A Piece of Interactive Fiction: Play Along!
Created by Orange
Story by Orange and blue_tetris
[[Welcome back, Hunter! Sophont is online...]]
[[It is the 151st cycle of the 374th year.]]
[[Year: an arbitrary unit based on a bygone pattern of the earth and its star. Set by Sophont as equal to 313.1 28-hour cycles.]]
Yet another value set by Sophont, the only survivor from this world when it was whole. It has been 374 "years" since the first generation of humans woke to see this world. Sophont's memory says that our world was broken in half and only Sophont itself, the limitless encyclopedia, was able to survive. Let me demonstrate:
//What happened to earth?
[[Earth was damaged. It is now in half.]]
Not very informative, but you get the idea. All life perished. One computer, constructed over the course of thousands of years, went on to rebuild the world and awaken the first generation from Cocoons hidden safely underground.
//Who made life?
[[Life is spontaneous. Sophont created life on earth after it was damaged.]]
//How did Sophont make life?
[[The basic chemical elements, which Sophont combined into complex acids, helped to form the building blocks of life. For a technical explanation, type !.]]
//No thanks, Sophont.
[[ ^_>^ ]]
I was told that the first 3000 humans were quickly indoctrinated in all things necessary to take over their world, by the encyclopedic knowledge stored within Sophont. You know, just by doing what I'm doing now. I guess they weren't allowed to do much else except interface with Sophont until they were good to go. Then, they emerged from... ahh, what's the name of that damned place...
//Where did the first humans come from?
[[Sophont replicated the first humans from existing information about their structure. The humans were being held in the Nursery.]]
//Where is the Nursery?
[[The Nursery is beneath The Village. LIMITED FUNCTIONALITY]]
That's what that is, yeah. The Village is the city we all live in. I guess the Ministry doesn't want us knowing too much about this Nursery place. That's fine. The Ministry maintains total access to Sophont, presumably so we don't have to deal with all its complicated features. Also, probably, because if some of its information were to be misused, they figure our world might get more damaged than it already is.
The Ministry provides us full access to Sophont's encyclopedia on war and warfare. The mechanisms of war are purposefully left out of Sophont's original programming, but the effects of war are described with horrific detail. I can't imagine such a world.
[[You are 84323: The eighty-four thousand, three hundred and twenty third person to be born. Did you know there are over 60,000 people living in the world right now? ^_>^ ]]
[[I just reckoned you might think that was a fun factoid. Over two-thirds of the humans ever to exist on this new world are currently still alive!]]
//How many people were on the old world?
[[Just about a million times this many! It must have been a crowded place. I can't imaging trying to remember all of those people.]]
Sophont's AI is personable and fun-loving. I'm told each person who accesses Sophont gets a slightly different feed, based on their perceptions, personalities, tastes, and whether they are in a hurry. When I came to know the language Sophont created for us all to speak in, I got to pick my name.
I like to think I picked a pretty good name from Sophont's encyclopedia: Hunter. My wife's name is Janice. We have a daughter on the way. I can't wait to see who she becomes.
We live in a small house near the outskirts of The Village, which houses nearly half of everyone that exists. Gravity slopes precariously in our district. The stairs leading to downtown are a steep maze, slipping down the concave curvature of our perch into the crowded central area. Apparently, the surface of the old world was flat, by the observations of those walking its surface. Our world's gravity keeps us clinging to the center of a bowl, the sun skirting and bulging above the horizon overhead, keeping a faint glow over The Village at all times. Of course, the world is actually curved the other way. Gravity bends light to make it look very different than its actual shape.
[[Your work is NOT YET COMPLETE for this cycle. During this cycle, you must remedy collision paths for the Expedition (key 17) and the Pravda (key 2). They are currently on manual override, under the course correction of Enoch.]]
Bah, sounds like lots of boring math homework.
I work with Logistics, the firm that organizes the paths of the prisoner vessels that hang in the sky above. The prison ships actually help to repair our broken earth. They retrieve chunks of dislodged world material and deliver it to the space station that is currently mending our world. The more mass they retrieve from space, the more our gravity becomes like that of the former world.
Each passing year, the bowl that surrounds us flattens just a bit more and The Village is capable of growing outwardly into the newly-flattened terrain. This means more water yards, more farms, and more usable land. So, I guess having criminals out there in space doing some of the heavy lifting ain't so bad. At least they're not down here with us.
//How does one become a criminal?
[[By BREAKING LAWS SET BY THE MINISTRY, AS EVALUATED FROM SOPHONT'S ENCYCLOPEDIA.]]
//What happens to criminals?
[[CRIMINALS ARE REHABILITATED USING Sophont's morality chip! ^_>??^ and are SET TO WORK as miners in the Archipelago.]]
//What happens after the criminals are rehabilitated?
[[Criminals who have been rehabilitated are no longer criminals. In fact, the punitive system means they are no different than you or I. Their crimes are stricken from the record PENDING MINISTRY CONSIDERATION OF THEIR PAROLE.]]
I could play on this thing all day, but I've got work to do. Janice is counting on me to "bring home the bacon", as Sophont's idiomatic encyclopedia would proclaim. I guess it's about time I get down to Logistics and fix those collisions.
But first, I've just gotta ask Sophont one more thing...
//What are my greatest proficiencies?
[[Hey, players at home! It's your turn to help out the game! Hunter is good at a few things, but certainly not the best at everything!]]
[[From the following list of proficiencies, pick five of them and type them out. The best, most frequent, or coolest set of proficiencies for this Hunter guy will make the cut. I don't mean to sound bossy, but... well... get to work! ^_>^]]
[[(Oh, also, extra brownie points if you explain why he has these proficiencies, by coming up with some fun facts about his upbringing or background.)]]
PROFICIENCY LIST (select five)
Athletics & Fitness
Computers & Networks
Deception & Subterfuge
Electronics & Robotics
Mechanics & Vehicles
Persuasion & Seduction
Piloting & Navigation
Stealth & Thievery