Slouching Towards Bedlam — 33 of 76

Star C. Foster and Daniel Ravipinto

Release 2

Section 1(d) - The desk

The desk is scenery in the Office. Understand "massive" or "cedar" as the desk. "A deep green blotter, dotted with black ink stains, sits in the center of the desk, mostly covered by files and papers.[if we have not looked under the blotter] One side of the blotter seems slightly higher than the other.[end if][if the sandalwood box is on the desk][paragraph break]The corner of a sandalwood box is visible beneath a stack of thick folders.[end if][paragraph break]The desk contains a large central drawer, [if the drawer is closed]which is currently closed.[otherwise]currently opened." Instead of opening the desk, try opening the drawer. Instead of searching the desk, try examining the desk.

An openable container called a drawer is part of the desk. The description is "Nothing unusual, it sits unlocked [if the drawer is open]and open.[otherwise]but unopened.[end if][if the drawer is open and the drawer contains nothing][paragraph break]The large central drawer is empty.[end if][if the drawer is open and the drawer contains something]". The printed name of the drawer is "large central drawer". Understand "large" or "central" as the drawer. The drawer is closed. In the drawer is a manual and a flanged brass rod.

The brass rod is a thing. The brass rod has a truth state called used. The used of the brass rod is usually false. The description of the brass rod is "A short rod of brass with a flange at one end (engraved with a [']6[']) and a series of tines at the other, perpendicular to the shaft." The analysis of the brass rod is "CAT:NONLIVING.TO[line break]OL.UTIL:KEY.UNLO[line break]CK.DEVICE.PART:I[line break]D=PANOPTICONKEY.[line break]CORRIDOR.6.(UPPE[line break]R).PLACE.IN.PANO[line break]PTICON.STAND.TO.[line break]ACTIVATE/ACCESS."

The manual is a thing. Understand "book" as the manual. The analysis of the manual is "CAT:NONLIVING.BO[line break]OK.UTIL:MANUAL.H[line break]OLDS.USEFUL.INST[line break]RUCTIONS.PART:RE[line break]COGNIZED.AS.TRIA[line break]GE.MANUAL.READ.T[line break]O.LEARN.HOW.BEST[line break]TO.OPERATE......".

Instead of examining the manual:

now the current menu is the Table of Triage Operators Manual;


now the introduction boolean is 1;

now the current menu introduction is "The manual has several headings:";

carry out the displaying activity;

clear the screen;

now the introduction boolean is 0;

try looking;

The blotter is scenery in the Office. "A standard office blotter, its surface well used and covered with stains.[if we have not looked under the blotter] One side of the blotter seems slightly higher than the other." Understand "deep" or "green" or "ink stains" as the blotter. Instead of pushing the blotter, try looking under the blotter.

Instead of looking under the blotter for the first time:

now the player is holding the small key;

say "Beneath the blotter is a small key, easily taken. It carries a small tag labeled '2D'."

The small key is a thing. The printed name of the small key is "small key labled 2D". The description of the small key is "A small key with a tag which reads [']2D[']."

The sandalwood box is an openable container on the desk. The description of the box is "It is unexceptional, perhaps one handbreadth wide by three long. On its lid is a white paper label. Written upon it in a fine copperplate are the words 'JOURNAL V. 4 - JANUARY THROUGH APRIL 1855.'" The sandalwood box is scenery. The sandalwood box is portable. Before taking the sandalwood box for the first time, now the sandalwood box is not scenery. The box is closed. Instead of inserting anything that is not a cylinder into the box: say "The box seems designed to hold tin cylinders and nothing else."

The tin cylinder labeled January eighth is a cylinder in the box. The media of the January eighth cylinder is {"'January the 8th.'[paragraph break]'I am uncertain if this entry is made in joy or sorrow. I have just received word from Dr. Yeates that I am to be...promoted. I am uncertain if that term is the correct one. In any case, it seems that there has been an... incident with Bethlehem[']s current superintendent, and a replacement is required. I have been chosen for the position, at least in the short term.'","'It is fairly obviously what has prompted this move. I have moved too far, too fast and in doing so have displeased the powers that be. While Yeates has supported my ... unorthodox theories well enough, he has warned me often that he cannot shield me from *all* of the backlash that may occur. I do not believe that his using this as a segue way to telling me of my transfer was entirely unconnected...'","'Bedlam seems both purgatory and paradise at this moment. I remember the history of the place well enough -- of the Governors['] decision to renovate the site in [']15 and the slow implementation of Urquhart and Bentham[']s now infamous Panopticon Plan. In the end it was nothing more than a final stab at respectability for the site, which has now languished as a home for the hopeless, the poor, and the criminally insane for almost twenty years.'","'But the technology! Yeates told me of a visit he took in the [']30s, when the place was still open as part zoo, part living drama. I paid little attention to his description of the patient[']s conditions and instead seized upon the description of the central Tower and its prism-viewer, by which the entire complex could be overseen by a single man, the massive Archives with their engine-run filing I shall see it with my own eyes, and I am both happy and sad at the thought.'","'I have but a fortnight to prepare for the move. It has been made clear to me that this is a test -- I must prove myself good, quiet, and respectable in the eyes of the Governors. With luck, I shall be back at Bedfordshire within half a year[']s time, ready to take over when the good doctor announces his retirement.'","'Perhaps this will not be so bad. In the public eye, I shall play their game and meanwhile, I shall continue my own research, utilizing whatever materials Bedlam has to offer...'"}

The tin cylinder labeled January twenty-second is a cylinder in the box. The media of the January twenty-second cylinder is {"'January the 22nd.'[paragraph break]'Arrived in London today in preparation for taking over my duties. The cab driver took what seemed a scenic route through Smithfield, then generally southward towards Newgate. I covered my nose as best I could as we passed the slaughterhouse that was the Market, though I noted a Mechanist's shop -- Du Mondes['] -- on Fleet, which I will try to visit at my earliest convenience, as my worst fears regarding the wireless have been confirmed.'","'It probably says something profound about me that I set up the magnetophone first, while everything else remains boxed or is still on its way from Bedfordshire. As I feared, I found no signal whatsoever. A simple message of [']Calling CQ['] went completely unanswered, which is unheard of, as there is *always* someone listening, particularly in such a city as London. I fear the buildings are blocking the signal, and I'll require a booster of some sort.'","'I understood the driver's choice of route when we approached the prison from the north. A huge crowd was gathered for the public executions. I asked him about the particular individual sentenced to the gallows as we passed and he proceeded to tell me - at great length and with much relish - of the trial of one Mr. Emanuel Barthelemy. I wondered if today was something special, or if the spectacle of death always attracts such crowds.'","'I heard a cheer go up from the top of the hill as we pulled to a stop in front of the flat. I shall not take this as an omen of any sort.'","'What I've seen of the place is modest, but I am not at all surprised considering what I am paying for it. I intend to spend as little time here as possible, after all. Bedlam awaits me in the morning.'","'A final note. It seems I left the majority of my unused cylinders at Bedfordshire. I shall have to write Yeates and ask that he send them down, or perhaps seek out where I may purchase them locally. In the meantime, I shall refrain from making a phonograph-entry until something truly momentous happens.'"}

The tin cylinder labeled March second is a cylinder in the box. The media of the March second cylinder is {"'March the 2nd.'[paragraph break]'It seems the Fates have listened closely and decided to give me a momentous occasion as quickly as possible. I am beside myself. Bedlam seems nothing more than a pit in which Her Majesty may place those she wishes to forget about. Such corruption dwarfs the imagination.'","'Perhaps I overstate the case, but it was the simple ease with which the constable approached me that most horrified me. If such things as this happen as a matter of course, then the place has truly been in the hands of the mad for some time.'","'I suppose I should have seen such things coming. The Insane Prisoners['] Act passed in [']40 was vague enough that it could be used as a political tool, and McNaughton[']s trial made it clear that the courts would do so when forced, but at least such things happened in the public eye.'","'My predecessor clearly had some arrangement with the Bobbies regarding cases such as these. James told me that he met often with the constable, though he was not privy as to the content of these meetings.'","'Simply put, I was asked to make the prisoner in their charge [']disappear['] and told that I would be [']well compensated['] for keeping things quiet. Part of me wishes I had put up more of a fight...had made an issue, or...'","'But what choice have I? It has been made clear to me that keeping things quiet is precisely what is expected of me in my time in Bedlam.'","'I have placed Cleve -- whose preternatural silence even as he struggled in his bonds gave the entire proceedings a sheen of unreality -- in the abandoned upper level of the northern wing, keeping the key separate from the rest. James showed it to me on my arrival and stated that while it still remained secure, only a few of the rooms were to be considered [']usable['].'","'Still, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. I have complete singular access to an interesting patient. Perhaps this is the opportunity my studies have been waiting for...'"}

The papers are scenery in the Office. Understand "folders" as the papers. "They appear to be a random selection of patient's files - each one labeled with a six-element alphanumeric code. None of them seems important." The analysis is "CAT:NONLIVING.PA[line break]PERS.UTIL:STORAG[line break]E.MEDIUM.PART:ID[line break]=GENERAL.FILES.O[line break]N.HOSPITAL.PATIE[line break]NTS.CURRENT.BUDG[line break]ETARY.CONCERNS.A[line break]ND.STATUS.......". Instead of doing something other than examining or pointing at to the papers, say "They appear to be of little consequence."