Back in January, I played a solo TTRPG called Unreality/Strictness designed by Edaureen Mohamad Nor. That is to say, I started playing it. It was quite fun, and intriguing in a way I didn’t know TTRPGs could be. The resulting story was interesting enough for me to look forward to finding out how it would conclude. I couldn’t wait. But life happened, so I had to. Until now.
Here, finally, is the second and final part of my playthrough, which I just finished today. If you haven’t read part one, you should probably start with that.
[3|4] [S5U0+3|S2+3U4] THIS. Helpful Water Thing. 417 holstered his Order and took the Express to the road it had happened in, whatever its name. They had already removed the body, but the tape was still up. It had stopped snowing. A blood-spattered hole remained in the slush where she had lain, an odd abstraction of the girl's actual shape. 417 took some more photos and a good look at the windows above. Could she have fallen? b2v5 He ran a few basic simulations; potential trajectories, the odd way she had landed according to Cole's photos, localized weather data of the storm that had passed the area... about 72% of scenarios involved a forceful push, from one of three windows. Nodding to himself, 417 left the scene and drove to the morgue to inspect the body. It was pale, still wet and surrounded by puddles of molten snow. 423 was there, his form rendered mysterious as always by the artificial white light. He had arranged the victim's belongings in neat little piles in front of him and was now cataloguing the objects. "This one's curious," said he to 417, holding up a limp business card in place of a greeting. 417 took it, and turned it slowly in his hands. "Curious indeed. It's largely dry, no water damage."
[4|4] [S5U0+4|S2+3U4] THAT. Helpful Void Person. As the pike hits the ground, darkness takes me again, just for a moment this time. "Now do you understand?" it whispers. b2v2+3 I do not reply in speech, but I welcome the emptiness into me. I add nothing to myself, and I know I'll always have it.
[4|5] [S5U0+4|S2+4U4] THAT. Helpful Air Place. As the darkness fades into me, I take a deep breath. I feel the fiery tides rolling in my heart, feel the pike's grip jammed steady into the solid ground of my home. The keep stands expectantly around me, every stone of every pillar brimming with attentive tension, ready to stand or fall at my command. b3v2+4 I exhale and look at the dancing lights around me. They seem to stop for a second, tremble nervously in the air, then they resume their dance to please me. It is an odd spectacle, as oddness I encourage.
[4|6] [S5U0+4|S2+5U4] THIS. Hostile Metal Person. It was a simple case, as most were for 417. For any Inspector. The card belonged to a small business, and the business to a man that lived behind one of the windows that the girl might have passed through. Lacking moisture suggested that the card had been planted on her body after the fact. She could not have done it, that much was certain. Plans made with her friends and family and various fresh bruises on her body indicated she didn't choose to jump either. The other two windows, in sum the most likely origins of her fall, belonged to the girl's flat. One had hair and blood on the sill. Someone that was close then, perhaps. Someone like her boyfriend, who had been suspecting an affair between the girl and her neighbor, whom he had always disliked. 417 knew this because the boyfriend had just told him as much, albeit in more emotional terms, and waving a pistol in his face for flair. It wasn't like a bullet could have silenced the truth; 417 had already established a live uplink to 592. But it could absolve the Inspector of his duties. What a thought. What a possibility! The girl had not wanted to go, yet she had been forced - 417 did not exactly want to go either, but he'd been forced so many eternities to stay, he'd have accepted it as gladly as any other form of change. "Let's get this over with," he murmured, interrupting the shouting boy, grabbing him by the arm, and leaning forward until the cold metal of the gun touched 417's forehead. w2v0+4+1 The boy's eyes grew wide as they saw the glint in the Inspector's. "Your Oddness," whispered the boy, and burst into tears and shuddered. With a sigh, 417 put aside the boy's gun and released his other hand from his Order. Unarmed, he led the crying young man towards his new home; a house that would teach him all about the damage potential of misplaced time.
[5|6] [S5U1+4|S2+5U3] THIS. Hostile Air Person. That night, 417 left his Order at the station. The air was busy with snow again, as it had to have been the night that she died. 417 enjoyed the cold wind biting at his face as he wandered home slowly, taking detours at every second corner, just to pretend he might get lost. Maybe that erratic behavior was the final straw, or maybe it was about his Order - he would never know. But in 417's freezing head rang the voice of the leader of the Order and his direct superior, 112. It was a voice the Inspector had not heard in a long time, yet he recognized it immediately. It commanded him to report back to the station at once, and underlined its message with a sharp headache. w2v1+5 417 winced at the pain, and it was in the very moment he opened his eyes again that he found the snowflakes in the air around him no longer falling but dancing up and down, softly glowing, like a hundred little lights. It was then that he felt the pain subside, felt his head come free and clean, and felt - sweetest of all - mortal again.
That’s it then. Hope you enjoyed. If you feel like playing the game yourself, go get it! The rules are really neat, span only two A4 pages, and cost you a lousy $3 (at the time of writing).