Counterfeit Monkey — 157 of 292

Emily Short

Release 5

Section 5 - Cold Storage

Cold Storage is southwest of Bureau Basement Secret Section. It is indoors and forbidden. "Shelves on both sides of the room are full of [objects-on-stands] on stands: objects that used to be men and women, and in a few cases even children. The [stand labels] preserve their original names."

The introduction is "If this goes wrong, we could wind up living in here permanently. So we'd better figure whom to send out, and do it fast."

Some assorted shelves are scenery in cold storage. The description is "There's room for more contents, to be sure."

The duty roster is fixed in place in Cold Storage. "[A duty roster] is posted prominently." The description is "The roster records duty shifts once every two weeks, assigned to various people in the department, all of them very high-ranking.

'Be conscientious,' admonishes the roster. 'Read each name clearly while looking at the item through a monocle. If you suspect an object of losing its original identity, contact the Curator. We have disposed of seventeen objects this year!!'"

The objects-on-stands are scenery in Cold Storage. The printed name is "objects". Understand "thing" or "things" or "objects" or "object" or "stand" or "stands" or "on" or "jon" or "alice" or "peter" or "lucy" or "19" or "13" or "20" or "2" or "1" as the objects-on-stands. The description is "The stand labels preserve their names, and a few details such as birthdate and date of inanimation."

Some stand labels are part of the objects-on-stands. The description is "[You] pick out a name on one of them: [one of]Graham 1, born 1968, inanim 2005[or]Jon 19, born 1979, inanim 1999 on charge of attempted espionage[or]Alice 13, born 1950, inanim 1982 on charge of stealing DCL information[or]Peter 20, born 2000, inanim 2010 on charge of reckless use of constructed language[or]Lucy 2, born 1991, inanim 2009 on charge of smuggling French materials[or]Thierry Claude, foreigner, inanim 1969 on charge of espionage[or]Petra Odinsova, foreigner, inanim 1972 on charge of not speaking English[at random]."

Instead of putting gel on the objects-on-stands:

if the patsy-woman is in the repository:

say "Hang on [--] are you sure you want to send one of these poor bastards out there? It would be cruel to get their hopes up just to have them re-arrested, not to mention that it would make my father look like a fool if he arrested a dissident who turned out to have been in storage all along. >>" ;

if the player consents:

move the patsy-woman to the location;

say "[line break]We gel the nearest of the objects, and it comes to life: a woman in her thirties or forties, at first so motionless that she looks like a statue, until she remembers that she can move.";

otherwise:

say "[line break]Okay then. There might be some other way.";

otherwise:

say "Choosing the nearest thing to us, [you] apply a little restoration gel. Nothing happens, though. It seems this particular object has forgotten what it used to be."

Instead of looking at the objects-on-stands through the monocle:

if the patsy-woman is in the repository:

say "The nearest of the objects resolves, awkwardly, into the face of a woman. It's hard to tell much about her, her age or her dress, from the faded image the monocle creates.";

otherwise:

say "There is only a shapeless shadow: the memory of something this object used to be, but now is not."

Test storage1 with "placefather / tutorial off / open tub / out / gel rock / z" holding the rock and the tub and the monocle in Cold Storage.

Test storage2 with "placefather / tutorial off / open tub / out / x objects / gel object / z" holding the rock and the tub and the monocle in Cold Storage.

Test storage-bug with "placefather / tutorial off / open tub / out / x objects / gel object" holding the dove and the rock and the tub and the monocle in Cold Storage.

Rule for listing exits while looking in Cold Storage:

do nothing instead.

Cold Dilemma is a scene. Cold Dilemma begins when the location is Cold Storage.

Instead of going from the Cold Storage when Cold Dilemma is happening:

say "So you want us both to get caught? Well, I'm not up for that arrangement. What [you] [are] doing here is important. I say [you] send Brock and get out of here."

Every turn when Cold Dilemma is happening and the time since Cold Dilemma began is 1 minute and father is in a room:

say "I vote [you] gel Brock and send him out to my father. No, hear me out. Brock's cover is probably not in great shape anyway. You might be able to rescue him later. And it would be a coup for my father to have a real big arrest to put on the record."

Definition: a person is human if it is not an animal.

Every turn when Cold Dilemma is happening and the player can see someone human (called the victim) who is not the player:

if victim is Brock:

say "You're silent. I'm not letting you act again. You're not stopping me.

'We're still inside the Bureau basement,' I say. 'We just need to head out, separately.'

He looks puzzled. 'Aren't we safer together?'

'No,' I say.[paragraph break]";

say "[command prompt]";

wait for any key;

say "[paragraph break]'But[--]'[paragraph break]'Look, just trust me, this once,' we say.[paragraph break][The victim] back[s] out the door. Loud sounds of an arrest ensue. I hear my father's voice, and two other people. Then finally the sounds die away.";

remove Brock from play;

remove father from play;

otherwise if the victim is fake:

say "[The victim] look[s] at us in confusion. 'OUT,' you say, pointing at the door[one of].

I keep thinking: my father is going to look like a fool when it's found he's arrested a fake person; he'll be disgraced.

I want to stop you, but you've got the upper hand now[or][stopping].

[The victim] back[s] out the door.

[if the victim is not undisguised]'Nothing on the auth scope,' comments a female voice.

'Yeah, but [it-they of the victim] do[es]n't look like a criminal mastermind, does [it-they]?'

[end if][one of]There's a noise like the firing of a restoration gel rifle and [or]The rifle fires again, followed by[stopping] the sound of [the victim] collapsing into [a list of things which proffer the victim]. 'Nice try,' shouts a voice from outside. 'Next?'";

remove victim from play;

otherwise if the victim is the patsy-woman:

change the library message person to second person;

remove victim from play;

remove father from play;

say "'Thank goodness,' says the woman. 'I felt like I was going to lose myself if I had to spend another minute in there. I don't know who you are, but thank you, thank you! Is there a Bureau reprieve? Please tell me they've decided to let us all out!'

'No general reprieve,' you say. 'Just you.'

This isn't what I want. It's not just unfair; it's actually monstrous. 'What were you put in for?' I ask.

'Italian,' she whispers.

'What?'

'I was learning Italian,' she says. 'I wanted to read Manzoni. There was no sympathy from the officers; they thought it was an inexplicable desire. Is it daylight or night-time out there? Not that it matters. I haven't seen either in so long.'

You gesture at the door. She looks at us once more, doubtfully, and goes.

From the corridor comes the sound of a shot being fired from a restoration gel rifle; the woman exclaiming in pain; officers gathering around her for the arrest. And she'll be back here, I suppose, before the night is out. I suppose that allows you to tell yourself that it wasn't a bad thing, what we just did.";

Cold Dilemma ends when father is not in Bureau Basement Secret Section.

When Cold Dilemma ends:

change the library message grammatical number to singular;

say "A faint spell comes over [if library message person is second person]you[otherwise]me[end if] and [you] feel dizzy.";

Instead of examining the player when the library message grammatical number is singular:

if the library message person is second person:

say "It's still our joint body, but it feels like you, and I'm riding along, somehow. Part of you, but alienated. Something's wrong. I want to get out.";

otherwise:

say "I can feel you in my head, but you've... stilled, sort of. Like an animal that's given up. Like a dog hiding in the corner of a cage. I feel more like me than I have all day, though I miss my real body.";

rule succeeds.

Instead of putting the restoration gel on yourself when Cold Dilemma is happening:

say "[one of]If you have some idea of gelling me and sending me out there while you escape with Brock, let me tell you, I know enough to ruin you. I know Lena, I know Slango, I know who to talk to at the Counterfeit Monkey. I know half a dozen other exploits you pulled before. And I would tell them, because that's the only way I'd get to avoid a full trial for treason. I like you, honestly, but if it's you or me, I'm still picking me[or][You] already discussed this. I'm not going out there[stopping]. Unless you're volunteering to go yourself? >>";

if the player consents:

say "You're a brave person. Foolish. But brave.

We do the split, a cold hasty slathering of gel, and--

[i]You're on your own now. You give Alex one last look. Wonder how he's going to get away, shivering and naked as he is, but that's not your problem now. He can keep all of your stuff, and doubtless there's some kind of outfit to be found in there. You go.

After that comes interrogation, incarceration, a trial that's remarkably swift. You aren't asked about whether you'd like to plea bargain. Alex's father doesn't mean to let you say the half of what you know; not if it would endanger him and his son. You spend most of the time leading up to your trial in a fog so dense that it must be drugs. You can barely speak.

The sentence is inanimation. You are put on the chair and the last thing you notice is the executioner setting the dial of his letter-remover to C.[/i]";

end the story saying "For a long long time you know nothing at all";

otherwise:

say "I didn't think so.";

Instead of listening to Cold Storage when Cold Dilemma is happening:

say "The men waiting outside aren't loud, but they're not silent, either. There's a sound of movement here and there."

Instead of listening to cold storage when Cold Dilemma has happened and Cold Dilemma has ended:

say "All quiet out there now."