Slouching Towards Bedlam — 73 of 76

Star C. Foster and Daniel Ravipinto

Release 2

Section 4(b) - Attic Flat

The description of Attic Flat is "A tiny flat with barely enough room for a small sink and tub to one side, a living area in the center, and a bed to one side."

The sink is scenery in the Attic Flat. The description of the sink is "Steam tubes snake through the living area to the tub and basin and from there into the wall. The ceramic is cracked and worn to a dull gray color." Understand "tubes", "tub", "basin", "ceramic", "living", "area" as the sink. Instead of doing something other than examining to the sink, say "Everything is old and broken - the tubes, the tub, the basin. Best to leave it alone."

The bed is scenery in the Attic Flat. The description of the bed is "An old, sour-smelling thing with twisted sheets. Beneath it, the planks seem misplaced." Instead of searching the bed, say "Beneath the bed a misplaced plank can be seen, revealing a space beneath." Understand "sheets", "twisted" as the bed. Instead of looking under the bed, say "Beneath the bed a misplaced plank can be seen, revealing a space beneath."

The plank is scenery in the Attic Flat. Instead of doing anything with the plank, say "Beneath the planks is a puzzle box, about the size of a book." Understand "space" as the plank.

The puzzle box is in the plank. The description of the puzzle box is "It is approximately the size of a large bound book. It is a puzzle box of some kind for while it seems to have a seam along its side, there is no way to open or unlock it. Its top is inscribed with a beautiful engraving of a tree." The puzzle box is a locked openable container. Instead of opening the box when the box is locked, say "The box is apparently locked, though there's no obvious way to undo this."

The analysis of the puzzle box is "CAT:NONLIVING.TO[line break]OL.UTIL:STORAGE.[line break]PART:COMPLEX.MEC[line break]ANISM.DETECTED.E[line break]NGRAVING+WRITING[line break]=KABBALAH?TREEOF[line break]LIFE/YGGDRASIL?B[line break]UTTONS=SEPHIROTH".

Instead of taking the puzzle box the first time:

now the box is in the player;

say "The box slides easily out of the hole."

A puzzle button is a kind of thing. The description of a puzzle button is usually "A plain, simple wooden button with the word '[noun]' printed on it." Understand "button" as a puzzle button.

The engraving of a tree is part of the box. The description of the engraving of a tree is "The tree is huge, covering the whole of the box. Its roots trail downwards, into a dull red glow while its upper branches are bathed in a white light.[paragraph break]A series of raised buttons overlays the tree, each with a word inscribed on it. Generally, from top to bottom they read:[paragraph break]Kether, Binah, Chokmah, Gevurah, Chesed, Hod, Tipareth, Netzach, Yesod, Malkuth". Some puzzle buttons that are part of the engraving of a tree are defined by the Table of Available Puzzle Buttons. The puzzle box has a list of puzzle buttons called the solution. The puzzle box has a list of puzzle buttons called the current combination.

Table of Available Puzzle Buttons

puzzle button

[Order apparently matters in this case -- buttons must be defined before added to the solution...]

The solution of the puzzle box is {Malkuth, Kether, Kether, Malkuth}.

After pushing a puzzle button:

say "The button depresses with a slight 'click.' Nothing more happens";

truncate the current combination of the puzzle box to the last 3 entries;

add the noun to the current combination of the puzzle box;

if the current combination of the puzzle box is the solution of the puzzle box:

if the puzzle box is locked:

say " for a moment, then the seam of the box opens slightly. The box appears to be unlocked and openable now.";

now the box is unlocked;


say ", since the box is already unlocked.";


say "."

A letter is in the puzzle box.

Instead of examining the letter, say "Folded but unsealed, it was apparently never sent. It reads:[paragraph break]Brothers:[paragraph break]Yes, I call you Brothers, though due to my age and alleged lack of knowledge you have denied me entrance into your Order. But as Seneca said, [italic type]Nullum saeculum magnis ingeniis clausum est[roman type]. I am proud to offer you indisputable proof that my generation is no exception.[paragraph break]As you must well know by now, I discovered the existence and nature of your enclave during my time at University. Excited by tenets so similar to my own: the celebration of intellect, the recognition of information as an entity rather than an idea, the embrasure and development of new technologies to unlock the mysteries of the Universe itself, I left my feeble schooling, gathered my few worldly possessions and came to study at your collected feet.[paragraph break]But trapped in your antiquated and outmoded ways, clinging more to superstition and myth than logic and reason - you refused me. Oh, you commended my 'ability to solve puzzles' and patted me on the head like a dog that returned a thrown ball. You allowed me to work for one of your lesser number, mindlessly churning out one insignificant apparatus after another - a mere journeyman in your archaic system.[paragraph break]Undeterred, I remained near by, studying where I could, observing in secret and working towards one goal: proving my worth and value to you. Tonight I have the rare and singular privilege to tell you that not only have I proved, beyond doubt or measure, my value. I have exceeded you. I have succeeded where you have failed, and I have gone further than you ever dared dream.[paragraph break]I have leapt the Sephinroth in one bound, from Malkuth to Kether. [italic type]Kai theos en ho logos[roman type]. I have heard that Word, Brothers - echoing across eternity. I have touched the mind of God - of Information pure and unsullied by the mere mind of Man.[paragraph break]My contact was brief, but glorious. The brevity of it was, I'm sure, due to the crude and simple nature of your mechanisms. The resulting damage was, of course, regrettable, but once I relate to you the breadth and wonder of my experience, I think you will agree: [italic type]exitus acta probat[roman type].[paragraph break]I eagerly await your response, Brothers: of when we shall meet to discuss my entry to the Order, and our ascendance upon the wings of this discovery towards a transcendent future.[paragraph break][italic type]Veritas Lux Mea[paragraph break]Cleve G. Anderson[paragraph break]Scientist, Cypherist[roman type][line break]".

A diary is in the puzzle box.

Instead of examining the diary:

say "Once leather bound and elegantly stitched, the journal looks as though it has seen better days. Some pages have been scribbled over to the point of illegibility, while others have manic messages scrawled over the neat, deliberate hand originally recorded there. Many pages have been removed entirely...";

wait for any key;

now the current menu is the Table of Cleve's Diary;

now the current menu title is "Diary";

now the introduction boolean is 1;

now the current menu introduction is "The diary is undated, though distinct entries can be made out:";

carry out the displaying activity;

clear the screen;

now the introduction boolean is 0;

try looking;

Table of Cleve's Diary

"I have made a copy..."--"I have made a copy Du Monde's basement key. It is primitive, but it will serve. I have continued to listen in on their little meetings, but having actual access to the equipment below will make the vast difference between theory and practice.[paragraph break]She has mentioned the shop will be closed shortly for her little excursion to the countryside. That will be the time to move.[paragraph break]They have their fingers in every pie imaginable, it would seem. I heard them speak last night of some that had come close to discovering their secrets and what must 'be done about them'. So many secrets, so little actual learning..."--
"How full of themselves they are..."--"How full of themselves they are, their workspace so neatly arrayed in rows. I see now how much of their talk was simply that. They have made a most holy calling into a social club - a place of dilettantes and bored businessmen with a philosophical and mechanical bent. They have performed their ceremonies for so long that they no longer understand their true meanings. They have forgotten how to reach their sworn goals.[paragraph break]I shall change that.[paragraph break]My calculations are almost complete. Pages upon pages of equations and diagrams fill every corner of my room. I have taken to connecting the engines in the shop together after hours, running my own scenarios and simulations. It will work. It must."--
"I have seen the face of God..."--"I have seen the face of God.[paragraph break]How powerful, then, their little engines - to be able to rend the veil of the Temple to reveal the Holy of Holies beyond.[paragraph break]It was with an unnatural calm that I set the gears and knobs, aligning the energy just as my calculations demanded. It was as though my whole being knew all my toil and effort had not been in vain. I have not the words to express the joy that surged through me as I flicked the final switch.[paragraph break]The hole appeared slowly - so slow that at first I did not understand it to be a hole. The air above the pedestal warped subtly, the air bending the light as if it were a lens. Then, the warp became a bend, a break...[paragraph break]I cannot explain it, but it was in that moment that I knew I was looking onto a place fundamentally different than the universe I knew. Under my breath, I whispered the Order's motto ... for that is what had come to be. My words hung in the air a moment, drifting across the opening...[paragraph break] be echoed against the far wall of Creation. Language fails me. The words...the words! They echoed yes, they returned ... but they were not unchanged. Time stretched and pulled like the space above the pedestal and I knew in that moment my words had touched...The Word -- the...Logos."--
"That is all I can call it..."--"That is all I can call it - what else can one call language given sentience, an idea that breathes, a thought that thinks itself? The whole of the ... space? universe? ... beyond the rift was both its home and itself, part and whole.[paragraph break]And then, in a joyous, horrible moment -- God, the Universe, the Logos...awoke.[paragraph break]Linear time fell apart. A second, an hour, a year, an eternity. I cannot say how long it took, for the past and present and future were as one within it. The Logos had always been and would always be and my reaching out to it in this one moment was as a grain of sand on an infinite beach.[paragraph break]And yet, it responded. In that moment, it *heard* me."--
"The response was..."--"The response was immediate and incomprehensible. I ... was Spoken. I did not listen, I did not hear...I, myself, was spoken. I remember it now as vibrations - echoing across the air, across time - and across myself. I carried them as waves, as if I were made from water, or aether. They penetrated me, passed through me. In that eternal moment, I and Logos touched and were one...[paragraph break]And then the sparks, the smoke. The machines, long overloaded, broke down one by one in a shrieking of spinning gears and twisting metal. Axles broke, machinery shifted and then, instantly collapsing upon itself, the door I had opened slammed shut.[paragraph break]The force of it lifted me upward, flinging me across the room to the cellar's far wall, and for a long time I knew nothing more.[paragraph break]I awoke to find my hands and arms mysteriously burnt, the back of my head throbbing. I reached to touch it and my hand came back damp with blood. The engines were nothing more than so much melting slag. Of the hole, there was no sign.[paragraph break]Before I dragged myself up the stairs, I once more whispered the words that had brought Malkuth and Kether into the same space and thought I heard the faintest ghost of an echo ... a wash of a ripple across the air.[paragraph break]But the rest was silence, and smoke, and burning metal."--
"I have healed well enough..."--"I have healed well enough, in body - but my mind is a broken thing. It races, thinking on what has happened, running through each tiny detail over and over in the hopes of understanding some small part of what has happened.[paragraph break]I have written the Order a letter. I shall leave it for Du Monde to find -- I am sure she shall have words for me when she sees the state of her cellar. But once I explain ... show what I have done -- they will come to understand that in one moment, the world has forever changed, and all of our places in it as well..."--
"I have not left the flat..."--"I have not left the flat since I awoke. I stumble about, pace endlessly. My mind feels more fragmented with every moment. Often I awake not having remembered sleeping or passing out - perhaps I am sleepwalking?[paragraph break]My body, too, works against me - I feel sudden chills, numbness in my legs, my hands.[paragraph break]What is wrong with me?"--
"I awoke, screaming..."--"I awoke, screaming -- uncertain of why. I do not remember my dreams. How long was I raving? The flat is in a shambles - things tossed every which way. What has ...[paragraph break]It... what is this? What is th[paragraph break]Language...words...but words I have never heard and cannot understand. My throat is stripped dry. Is this the Logos? Still with me? Does it speak the language of the angels through my lips?[paragraph break]But if this is as angels speak, why am I so afraid?"--
"Everything has fallen apart..."--"Everything has fallen apart. My mind, my body, time, the world...[paragraph break]I am beginning to understand. I have destroyed my notes.[paragraph break]Man was never meant to...this experiment must never be repeated if humanity is to survive. I have burned all my research, although it pained me to do so.[paragraph break]The noise in my head grows louder.[paragraph break]The words...the words...[paragraph break]they never stop coming."--
"Quam terribilis est haec hora..."--"Quam terribilis est haec hora.[paragraph break]How fearful is this hour indeed.[paragraph break]I understand all. I (if I can still lay claim to I) have moved through time, backwards and forwards...I have tried every way imaginable to make it not so.[paragraph break]Once...once I tried to make it finally so.[paragraph break]I said...the words. How ironic, that the Order's hubris should be so. Our motto is now like the rays of the sun, melting the wings of poor Icarus as he plunges into the sea.[paragraph break]Curse those words forever. May no man speak them again.[paragraph break]May no man ever speak again.[paragraph break]I know what I must do.[paragraph break]They have come for me - as they have come before, as they will come again. I will let them take me to Bedlam. I will let them lock me away from the world so that what is within me shall never escape.[paragraph break]Poor Xavier -- my sweet, kind keeper. How sad your eyes look. But you will never understand, will you? You will scribble your notes and think on your theories, but it will all come to the same end. You shall keep me in a tiny cell for the rest of my days, and I shall hope that that shall be penance enough.[paragraph break]They are battering at the door now. I shall hide this and wait for them.[paragraph break]May whatever god there is have mercy upon my soul."--

A primitive copy of a key is in the puzzle box. The description of the copy is "Heavy and unwieldy, its rough surface gives evidence that this key is, in fact, a copy."