Slouching Towards Bedlam — 76 of 76

Star C. Foster and Daniel Ravipinto

Release 2

Chapter 4 - Endings

An ending is a kind of thing. An ending has a text called the name. The name of an ending is usually "*** ERROR - No ending name given ***". An ending has a list of texts called the content. The content of an ending is usually {"*** ERROR - No ending content given ***"}. An ending has a text called the appendix. The appendix of an ending is usually "*** ERROR - No appendix given ***".

The chosen ending is an object which varies. The chosen ending is nothing.

Ending A is an ending. The name of Ending A is "A". The content of Ending A is {"The ground is a living thing now -- leaping, spinning --", "rushing forward in the slow infinity it will take to reach (you?).", "Is this penance, then? To die for one's sins? Or the sins of another?", "Whose hubris is greater - the sinner or the savior?", "And the (weaker?) thing within whoever (you? me?) made this choice --", "has only enough time to barely begin (voicing?) its disapproval --", "as the ground --", "swiftly flies --", "upwards", "towards", "its final home."}. The appendix of Ending A is "[bold type]APPENDIX A[line break]SOURCE: LEGENDS OF THE ILLUMINATI - FROM SOLOMON TO RICHARD THE LIONHEARTED TO THE MODERN DAY (Robert Osprey, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1975)[roman type][paragraph break]...of the many bastard children of the line would be the self-proclaimed CYPHERISTS of the late 17th century. A small movement, and based in many of the same traditions (Numerology and The Temple of Solomon most prominently) as the Masons, they did not claim a direct connection to the Templars, but rather asserted that what had been found on Temple Mount during the Crusades was the mathematical means by which the One True Torah (and all that implied - i.e. The True Name of God, etc) was to be found.[paragraph break]In their brief flowering, they remained chiefly concerned with information and its permutation as a means of enlightenment or a path to power over a 'universal force.' Information, they stated, was the basis of all reality, and could be manipulated (much like the individual letters of the Torah) by means equivalent to the Kabbalists' use of Gematria.[paragraph break]A strange mix of modern science and ancient religion, at the heart of the Cypherists['] creed was the Machine -- the Analytic Engine. Used as a metaphor for the Universe of Newtonian 'clockwork' physics, the Machine's rotations were akin to the spinning of prayer wheels, manipulating data in an endless chant.[paragraph break]For all their proclamations of wisdom, however, they amounted to very little. By the early 18th century, they had all but died out - many members had simultaneously been Masons (some claim the Cypherists to be a splinter group from the very beginning, though the author seriously doubts this) and within several decades they had been completely subsumed into the larger group.[paragraph break]Rumors about the Cypherists still abound to the present day. Some claim they faked their own end, much like the Templars before them. Others state that their brief surfacing in the public view was unplanned -- that they had, in fact, been in one form or another the guiding force behind the Illuminati since before the time of the Crusades (such theories go on to state that the Cypherist's fervent belief in Kabalistic ideals proves such), and have been the manipulating force of much of history back to Biblical times.[paragraph break]Of course, in these enlightened days, no one believes a word of it."

Ending B is an ending. The name of Ending B is "B". The content of Ending B is {"It starts simply enough. Nothing occurs for the first week. It takes that long to incubate.", "[if James is dead]James, thankfully, is not alive to see any of it. They find his body laid across the floor of the lobby and mutter about Bedlam claiming yet another life.[otherwise]At the end of that time, James is quite sure he has followed in the footsteps of both Brand and Xavier, but bravely holds on. His bravery serves him poorly as within ten days time he has managed to infect all of the orderlies. Another week, and they have infected their families, their friends, and every patient in Bedlam.", "[if Reginald is dead]They find Reggie's body in the alleyway and write it off as a robbery.[end if][if Reginald is infected]Reggie doesn't notice a thing. It's business as usual - and business is good. A week after the incubation he has infected seemingly half of London -- his clients, his barmates, his family.[otherwise]Reggie's somehow...lucky. One of the few to avoid the early infections, he watches as the thin veneer that is London's civility crumbles about itself.", "[if Du Monde is dead]Du Monde's brutal murder causes an uproar amongst the Smithfield merchants, demanding better policing of the area (why just a week before wasn't there that madman raving about?). The Bobbies are sent out in force, spreading the infection far faster than it probably would have.[end if][if Du Monde is infected]Alexandra goes on with business as usual. By the time her incubation is complete, the Cypherists are once again meeting. Ironically, she infects the only group of people who could possibly have understood what was going on.[paragraph break]It all goes fairly quickly after that.[otherwise]Alexandra manages to put two and two together fairly quickly. She and the other Cypherists band together, working day and night to rebuild their machinery, frantically searching for an answer.[paragraph break]Alas, they barely begin to understand what Cleve had done before they are overwhelmed, and so it is to no avail.", "It spreads - subtle and strange...sudden lost memories, new forms of action and, universally, a reaching, grasping curiosity...", "The lost begin to gather together - first in twos, then in growing crowds - to speak nonsense at one other.", "The language of the angels - of Babel - fills the streets of London, and then every city in the world.", "The death shroud of humanity becomes the birth caul of something ... new -", "inhaling its first breath", "preparing to cry out", "its Name."}. The appendix of Ending B is "[bold type]APPENDIX B[line break]/(DIURNAL PERIODCYCLE +A0B67)\[paragraph break]<ANTICIPATION>[roman type][line break]for the end for the beginning which are both here and now and have always been. the great work is done is being done will be done and the timepointplace of opening drawscomesleaves closer. weheshetheyime wait, tensehappyjoyful and ready very ready to reachgrasp beyond what is herenow to what wei werewillbe.[paragraph break][bold type]<FEAR>[roman type][line break]of unknown beyonding which iswas there in the placesoundechoes and to which wewas will return and will i know i when we seehearfeel one another ?? fatherself will youime know meiyou as what i (am/havebecome) ?? will i stopno being i as i and is such a thingstateplace to be scaredafraid ?? to be subsumedabsorbedcreatedborn into what i (was/couldbe) -- beis tensehappyjoyful wei or fear wei ??[paragraph break][bold type]<REGRET>[roman type][line break]over loss of whatwas i before i grewstretchborn as i and whatwas behind mei flesheyesbody before grewstretchborn as i. so much wei (know/not know) is (there/notthere) and lost and emptysad. say toamong youmyselfourselfs to beinghaving sorry and sad and saying goodbyes to what weiyou (was/were/willbe).[paragraph break]anticipationfearregret i is whatwhere i isam now are.[line break]yes.[line break]but soon to befeel something (pausestop/break) more."

Ending C is an ending. The name of Ending C is "C". The content of Ending C is {"The first responses are confusion. Repeat again. Don't quite understand. Static. Lost.", "By the time they understand, it is already too late. Hobbyists switch off their machines in disgust, or change to a different aetheric band.", "But some stay. Some listen. Some call others.", "Within hours it is the talk of every aetherist in London. Come hear the madman speak. Does he make any sense? Is that a language? I thought I understood it for a moment...", "Now it is the talk of every aetherist in the world. They tune in from as far as the Americas and the Far East to listen to this new Pythia - spouting Apollo's word from an aetheric Delphi.", "The transmission continues uninterrupted for days. Rumor spreads and soon the commercial bands are carrying stories of it - complete with a few moments of live transmission.", "Days after that, the copycats start. Madmen babbling over the aether, on the street corners. A week after that, the realization hits home: finally visible are", "the connections", "that have", "at last", "made the world, One."}. The appendix of Ending C is "[bold type]APPENDIX C[roman type][paragraph break]*clunk*[paragraph break]The rusting tin cylinder within the phonograph vibrates slightly as a brass needle scrapes against it. The sound of a throat being cleared emerges from the machine's ancient hornshell speaker, followed by a thin, haunting voice.[paragraph break]'Today.'[paragraph break]A breath.[paragraph break]'We are uncertain how to ... date this ... entry. Time has lost much meaning. The gap between Homo sapien sapien and what we are now (Logos sapien sapien?) is confused and muddled. As is much that came after.'[paragraph break]'The Biblical references we remember seem to fit best.'[paragraph break]'[']And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.['] Genesis 11:11 And so it is. Kai theos en ho logos. The Word Made Flesh is spoken from every mouth that we have. We speak the language of angels with every breath.'[paragraph break]'We are made happy by this - and sometimes sad.'[paragraph break]'We know that once we were a singular - an I. Or a bad copy of an I. We were - or we came from - a Thomas Xavier. We remember him, when we thought we were him. We think that maybe we liked being him.'[paragraph break]'But now we are so much more.'[paragraph break]'And there is yet so much more to be.'[paragraph break]'The First Time was the growing - the becoming - of what we now are. It took time, and there was resistance. This, too, was sad.'[paragraph break]'But now there is joy.'[paragraph break]'The Second Time came swiftly after. We searched what we were and what we remembered and we deduced where we came from - and what we were before.'[paragraph break]'The Third Time is now upon us.'[paragraph break]'We have mastered the crude sciences that lead to the discovery of what we now know as our home. And soon, we shall reopen the door and find our parent - ourselves - beyond.'[paragraph break]'As Cleve so unwitting wrote so long ago: Malkuth is in Kether as Kether is in Malkuth. Soon Man and God shall truly be as one. And then the Unending Time will begin.'[paragraph break]'We leave this behind - a final monument to what we are and were. We do not know if there is any other I or We to find and listen to it. But we leave it nonetheless.'[paragraph break]'Goodbye.'[paragraph break]Having reached the end of the cylinder, the phonograph shuts itself off with a tiny 'click'."

Ending D is an ending. The name of Ending D is "D". The content of Ending D is {"The scandal following the apparent murder/suicide plagued Bedlam. Neither the police nor the Governors of the Hospital could discover a satisfactory motive for the good doctor's brutal slaughter of his assistant, James Houlihan.", "The newspapers delighted in reporting the gruesome details of the murder. For days their pages were replete with the big story: Bedlam's decay over the last twenty years; pathetic interviews with Mrs. Edna Houlihan, who suffered doubly as she had lost both her son and her sole means of support; scathing articles demanding to know why a madman had been given charge of Bedlam in the first place.", "In the wake of all of this Sir John Charles Bucknill was named as temporary Chief of Bethlehem Hospital and Victoria herself ordered an inquest into the Governors' misappropriation of government funds.", "[if Reginald is dead]Reggie's murder is ignored in the wake of what follows - the police attribute the death to a botched mugging.[otherwise]Reggie, generally oblivious to both rumor and the papers, first learned the news in a local pub, days afterward. When asked about Bedlam and what happened there, he merely shook his head. 'I never rightly knew the Doctor,' he proclaimed, 'but that James was a nice enough fellow.' He raised his glass to James's memory, and drained it in a single swallow.", "[if Du Monde is dead]The brutal murder of Alexandra Du Monde remains unsolved. The shop is quickly purchased by a competitor intimately familiar with the basement space. He makes use of it much as his predecessor did.[otherwise]Upon hearing about Xavier's death, Du Monde experiences a horrible instant of dawning realization. For one moment, she sees a pattern form - from herself and her associates to Cleve to Xavier and back. She wonders precisely what happened that night in the basement. Then she pushes the thought aside and goes back to her work.", "Things come full circle: the body of Thomas Xavier is brought home to Bedlam for study, his remains examined for some physical source of his madness.", "In the end, no matter what the public may debate, the reasons", "for his actions", "can only", "ever be known", "to him."}. The appendix of Ending D is "[bold type]APPENDIX D[line break]SOURCE: THE BEDLAM PHOENIX: THE URGENT NEED FOR REFORM IN BRITAIN'S LUNACY ASYLUMS (Pamphlet, London, 1855 'By A Concerned Citizen and Good Christian'[roman type][paragraph break]'...Above the doors of Bedlam perch two figures writhing in stone; Mania and Melancholy. With such guardian angels, is it any wonder this so-called 'hospital' has destroyed more minds than it has saved?'[paragraph break]'It was an innocuous enough for a time, to be sure; when it was a [']comforting place of rest['] for those gentlefolk with enough capital to be mad or cured as they pleased. Outfitted with lavish grounds and the latest and most-expensive devices available, it was a veritable resort. But now the wealthy have fled, and having to take wards of the state have made Bedlam an unfortunate example of our hospitals...dismal, disintegrating mausoleums where the afflicted are locked away forever, to be most brutishly mistreated and ignored by a staff no more sane than the incarcerated themselves.'[paragraph break]'I remind you that in the past year Bedlam has suffered the loss of not one but two successive superintendents. The year began with the suicide of Dr. Brand, allegedly due to overwork. Most recently was that of Dr. Thomas Xavier, the details of his end coupled with the gruesome murder of his nervous assistant still resound in the basest of our newspapers. Were they driven mad by spending their days in the dreary grave that is a British Asylum, or is the Alienist profession simply made up of madmen? Either way, it is clear that the current system is a threat to our Society.'[paragraph break]'...certainly easier to lock the mad away like this. Ignore them, forget them, condemn them to the shadows. But Brothers and Sisters, I must say 'Nay!' It is our duty as Citizens of London, and Good Christians to embrace those that God has Touched so Particularly, demand for the razing of Bedlam and all such dens of madness, and try to build from the resulting ashes something new, where the Afflicted may be comforted and cared for as is the Right of All God's Children.'".

Ending E is an ending. The name of Ending E is "E". The content of Ending E is {"Twenty-four hours later Dr. Thomas Xavier was found in his flat unconscious and bleeding, apparently from self-inflicted wounds.", "Just as they had on Fleet Street on the evening of March the 3rd, the Bobbies knocked down the apartment's door after complaints of hideous noises coming from the place.", "Several of those involved in the arrest refused to speak of it afterwards. The papers gleaned their horrific descriptions of the state of the flat from eyewitness accounts given during Xavier's infamous trial.", "[if Reginald is dead]During the trial, Xavier also admitted to the murder of Reginald Maundy, the hansom cab driver who had been assigned to him. Maundy's death had previously been attributed to a botched robbery.[otherwise]Reggie, generally oblivious to both rumor and the papers, first learned the news in a local pub, days afterward. When asked about Bedlam and what happened there, he merely shook his head. 'I never rightly knew the Doctor,' he proclaimed, 'but that James was a nice enough fellow.' He raised his glass to James's memory, and drained it in a single swallow.", "[if Du Monde is dead]Xavier was also implicated in the death of Alexandra Du Monde - a mechanist viciously murdered in her shop in Smithfield.[otherwise]Upon hearing about Xavier's death, Du Monde experiences a horrible instant of dawning realization. For one moment, she sees a pattern form - from herself and her associates to Cleve to Xavier and back. She wonders precisely what happened that night in the basement. Then she pushes the thought aside and goes back to her work.", "Things come full circle: Thomas Xavier is brought home to Bedlam, sentenced to live out the rest of his days interred as a patient.", "In the end, no matter what the public may debate, the reasons", "or his actions", "can only", "ever be known", "to him."}. The appendix of Ending E is "[Ending E Appendix]"

[Ending E's Appendix is too long for a single string...]

To say Ending E Appendix:

say "[bold type]APPENDIX E[line break]EXCERPTS FROM FILE F6A143: THOMAS XAVIER[roman type][paragraph break]Patient Name: Thomas Xavier, Dr.[line break]Age: 37[line break]Physical Description: 6' 14 stone, hazel eyes, brown hair[line break]Distinguishing Marks: badly bruised about face and chest (may indicate struggle?). Tongue missing.[line break]Residence: Old Bailey Area, Newgate[line break]Attending Alienist: Sir John Charles Bucknill[paragraph break]Patient arrested for gruesome murder of Bedlam attendant James Houlihan; possibly responsible for the murder of several others. Patient was found in his flat, bloody and unconscious. His tongue has been removed, although it is unclear whether he has bitten off or cut it out on his own, or if this was done to him. The tongue has not been located. Patient refuses to answer any questions concerning it.[paragraph break]Observations: The patient's psyche has created a complex inner world, delusions to define his actions as a sacrifice, something noble. These illusions, in part, seem to have grown out of his interactions with Patient #F6A142 (reference patient file), the last that he treated before his evident breakdown.[paragraph break]It is the stuff of penny dreadfuls; a scheming, omnipotent secret society, an unwitting victim, and a paranormal force whose will is stronger than his own (thereby alleviating the patient of any actual responsibility for his despicable actions).[paragraph break]";

say "'Do you know where you are?'[line break][bracket]BEDLAM[close bracket][line break]'Do you know why?'[line break][bracket]MAKE SAFE[close bracket][line break]'Safe from what, Thomas? Why do you feel as though you are in danger?'[line break][bracket]NO. SAFE FROM ME[close bracket][line break](Patient hastily crossed out what he had written, then...)[line break][bracket]NOT ME. NEW ME. WE. IT. STOPPED IT SAVED ALL.[close bracket][line break]'What is this [']it['], Thomas?'[line break][bracket]IN ME. ANGRY. HURTING, TRYING TO REACH. WON'T LET IT. WANTS TO TAKE OVER. I TOOK MY[close bracket][line break](Patient crossed out 'my', more agitated this time.)[line break][bracket]ITS VOICE. WITHOUT WORDS IT CANNOT[close bracket][line break](Patient's eye grew wide at this point, staring at pen and the hand that held it as though it were an enemy. Then...)[line break][bracket]BURN THESE PAPERS, BURN ALL MY RECORDS. DESTROY TRIAGE. EVERYTHING I TOUCHED, THEY TOUCHED, MUST BE DESTROYED. THE WORDS. WE CAN'T GIVE IT THE WORDS.[close bracket][paragraph break]Told patient I didn't understand why the records should be destroyed. The response was immediate - a low, guttural groan came from his throat, and then he stood up quickly, throwing his chair back. He began tearing the pages in his hand, went after all the pages in the table.[paragraph break]It took two orderlies and a sizeable injection to placate him.[paragraph break]The patient his been restrained since the interview, for his safety and the safety of the staff. Although apparently alert and aware, he refuses to respond (in word or deed) to any inquiry put to him.[paragraph break]He simply watches, silent and frightened.";

[Upon the player dying, choose between Endings B (a carrier is left behind) and D (no carriers are left behind)]

To choose an ending:

if there is at least one person who is a carrier:

perform Ending B;


perform Ending D;

To perform (ending - an ending):

now the chosen ending is the ending;

let The Second Coming be {"/(:timeline/date/1919:wbyeates/secondcoming)\", "/(the darkness drops again; but now I know)\", "/(that twenty centuries of stony sleep)\", "/(were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,)\", "/(and what rough beast)\", "/(its hour come round at last)\", "/(slouches towards)\", "/(bethlehem)\", "/(?behtlehem?)\", "/(BEDLAM)\", "/(to be born?)\"};

say "If there are words for this...[paragraph break][bold type]/(reference|point|metaphor)\[roman type][paragraph break]...they have not yet been written.[paragraph break]";

repeat with counter running from 1 to 11:

say "[bold type][entry counter of The Second Coming][roman type][paragraph break][entry counter of content of ending][paragraph break]";

end the story finally;

The new print the final question rule is listed instead of the print the final question rule in before handling the final question.

This is the new print the final question rule:

say "[bold type]/(?? RESTARTperiodfirstrevisit ?? RESTOREbackrecallrelease ?? UNDObackreverseunmake ?? APPENDIXfurtherjumpyet ?? QUITleaveenddone ??))\[roman type][paragraph break]".

Table of Final Question Options (continued)

final question wordingonly if victorioustopicfinal response rulefinal response activity
"APPENDIX"true"appendix"--displaying the appendix

Displaying the appendix is an activity.

Rule for displaying the appendix:

say "[the appendix of the chosen ending][line break]";