Slouching Towards Bedlam — 30 of 76

Star C. Foster and Daniel Ravipinto

Release 2

Section 1(a) - Phonograph

A phonograph is fixed in place in the Office. "There is a phonograph on the table near the window." The phonograph is a device. The ivory arms are a container that are part of the phonograph. The phonograph is switched on. The analysis of the phonograph is "CAT:NONLIVING.TO[line break]OL.UTIL:RECORDIN[line break]G.AND.PLAYBACK.O[line break]F.AUDIO.INFO.PAR[line break]T:PERSONAL.PROPE[line break]RTY.OF.OPERATOR.[line break]USED.FOR.DIARY.E[line break]NTRY.RETRIEVAL..". Understand "switch" as the phonograph. The phonograph has a number called the current entry. The current entry is 1.

Instead of examining the phonograph:

say "A delicate device, its base is carved from oaken heartwood, bearing a small black plaque which reads 'Columbia Phonograph Co., Ltd. of London'.[paragraph break]";

if the ivory arms contain a cylinder:

say "Two ivory arms emerging from the base lean inward, firmly grasping a [if the phonograph is switched on]rotating [end if][printed name of a random cylinder which is held by the ivory arms]. A brass needle [if the phonograph is switched on]scrapes against[otherwise]hovers above[end if] the cylinder's surface.[paragraph break]";


say "Two ivory arms emerging from the base stretch quiescently outward, as if waiting to be filled.[paragraph break]";

say "From the base's back emerges a small, black hornshell speaker, its surface delicately curved. The phonograph is currently switched [if the phonograph is switched on]on.[otherwise]off.";

Instead of inserting anything into the phonograph: try inserting the noun into the ivory arms.

Before inserting a cylinder into the ivory arms:

if there is a cylinder in the ivory arms:

say "(first removing the cylinder already in the phonograph)";

try removing a random cylinder which is held by the ivory arms from the ivory arms;

After inserting a cylinder into the ivory arms: if not handling the playback activity, say "The [noun] fits perfectly into the phonograph's waiting ivory arms."

Instead of inserting anything that is not a cylinder into the ivory arms: say "The phonograph is designed to play inscribed tin cylinders."

Before taking a cylinder which is in the ivory arms:

if the phonograph is switched on:

say "(first switching off the phonograph)";

try switching off the phonograph.

Instead of taking a cylinder which is in the ivory arms:

now the noun is carried by the player;

say "The ivory arms slide easily apart and the cylinder leaves the phonograph with a slight 'click'."

Instead of opening the ivory arms:

if the number of things enclosed by the ivory arms is 0:

say "The arms of the phonograph are already open and empty.";


try removing a random cylinder which is held by the ivory arms from the ivory arms;

Every turn:

if the phonograph is switched on:

increase the current entry of the phonograph by 1;

let position be the current entry of the phonograph;

let the current cylinder be a random cylinder inside the ivory arms;

if position is at most the number of entries in the media of the current cylinder:

if the player is in the Office:

say "[entry position of the media of the current cylinder][line break]";


now the current entry of the phonograph is 0;

now the phonograph is switched off;

if the player is in the Office, say "Having reached the end of the cylinder, the phonograph shuts itself off with a tiny 'click'.";

The tin cylinder labeled March sixteenth is a cylinder. The March sixteenth cylinder is in the ivory arms. The media of the March sixteenth cylinder is {"'March the 16th.'[paragraph break]A deep, shaky breath.[paragraph break]'I dread to say it, but I believe I am going mad. The -- *moments* -- come more frequently now. I fear that I have found what I have sought, and I shall now pay the price for it.'[paragraph break]The scrape of a chair across flagstone. A sigh.[paragraph break]'Chaos treads the halls of Bedlam; her work is evident everywhere...'","The phonograph continues to play.[paragraph break]'I discredit my profession; examining madness as if the world were a fluent thing and sanity as malleable as the warm wax of a candle.'","'The secret lays heavily on both my mind and heart. I have told no one; I despair a second opinion would confirm my worst suspicions. I have secured all my knowledge of these events within the mechanical assistant left by my predecessor. It was my hope that it would allow me to see the situation from a new perspective, and help me discover the key to my salvation.'","'Alas, it has been to no avail. While I found the entry mode easy enough, and the thing seems filled with information regarding the hospital down to the point of minutiae, it seems helpless in the face of analyzing my current situation.'","'It may be that I have simply not found that by which this growing mystery may be unlocked. Perhaps by subjecting the Triage to further experiential data, it may find something that I have missed. But I have little faith left at this point.'","The sound of a chair creaking.[paragraph break]'I have found a blessing in James. He has been nothing but kind and helpful in my short time here. I find myself wondering if, perhaps, he can be trusted enough to... but how can I punish him with this knowledge?' [paragraph break]A sigh.[paragraph break]'But how can I bear it alone?'","A sudden noise, as of something wooden being struck, comes through the phonograph.[paragraph break]'No. I can trust no one, in the end. Not even James. Perhaps soon...not even myself.'","'I must stop here, I feel the faintness coming once again.'[paragraph break]A scraping noise, a click.[paragraph break]'May God have mercy [']pon my soul.'"}