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Rewind, recollect the past. You’re in a huge, vibrant night club, the kind with the fourty foot high blocks of glass and then plastic, with high chairs on top and sleazy bartenders serving up glass upon glass of mystery substance before a drunk topples his drink to the floor below. Lights flare in miraculous colors from the roof. While not a safe club, it’s the most interesting.
Rewind. It’s 2040, what they call “the big age”. They’re right. Highrises with small streets between them, orderly block upon orderly block. Large antennae and ladders to nowhere land. Cars going places but pedestrians only serving as a means to an end; modern day Miami scares and excites you. Every day the buildings are different. Every day the blood on your hands is different.
Rewind. Rewind again. You moved into a small apartment, it’s 2035 and Austin, your roomate, again calls for you. Life’s been a rollercoaster- partying some days and other days you can only feel depression. Your girlfriend left you for three murders you swore you never committed. You’re not sure if you did yourself. Your parents are long gone in la-la place they told you your grandmother went, then your uncle, and then in bed they’d tell you that’s where they went. You cried and told them it was bullshit. They died anyway.
Rewind. Recollect. You deliver papers, it’s 2028, your wonder years. You were bullied then, kids your size and not your size and kids you wish would trip on their bike and fall into traffic. 18 is a young age nowadays. Most people don’t expect much of you. You don’t exactly look tough at all- small build and no muscles and optometrists shake their heads when they visit you. You run like the wind. You can climb things well and stick a dagger into a man’s flesh.
Go back. Rewind. It’s 2020. This is the day your uncle died. You liked having a little party in the snowy mountains. You were young, not getting the whole meaning. People drank alcohol. You had ten year old friends too. Your parents didn’t want you here as much- shook their head and said no as you twiddled your feet ready to go. They let you go anyway. Now you regret going. Not because of what happened, but because of their reluctant acceptance. You have sympathy for that.
Suddenly a plane hits the building complex and all goes black for a second. A scream and blood flies. Fire fills your vision, falling and falling and a thump against a table which snaps in half. Your ears ring and your head hurts. Somebody is telling you to do something. You don’t want to do it.
What name are they calling you at this exact moment, this exact time?
(You leave the game running a bit to contemplate before typing in an answer.)
She exclaims “Jack!” You don’t know if it’s a cry of help or a plea of your awakening but either way you stand up and ready. Your mother tells you to find a way out while she… and it’s all caught in a murmur as she slumps toward your uncle, bleeding and half-dead on the floor.
You weren’t sure what to do until reality came clear into existence. Your vision became sharper. Then you made your decision, calmly, collectively.
I needed to find a way out. In such a time, the person whose bacon is the most important was mine – trying to pry my mindfallen mother off that corpse would have been futile had I tried.
My vision darted along the walls, looking for a door. A door bringing me close to the outside world, which had no ceilings about to fall on me.
A door there was indeed; but as you approached almost instinctively you noticed a plank of wood smothering the handle. Broken glass surrounded you. Fire raged. A large “creak” as the building loses a stilt and a large “snap” as your uncle cracks yet another bone.
The windows shatter. The snow begins to pour in. Time might be running out, but it’s also slowing.
(There’s no prompt. The game just asks you what you do. Kind of scary, you think.)