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You force yourself to wake up, despite your <<print either("protesting", "aching", "drained", "sore", "creaking")>> body. The recent installation of your foam insilation on the walls could not [[drown out the screaming last night]].
You get dressed in your <<print either("", "kinda", "second", "third")>> least favourite outfit, ready for the morning cleaning.
This amount of non-communication was unacceptable. You decide to go to the <<click "Chamber of Commerce to see what was going on.">> <<script>>$('#spoiler').toggle()<</script>><</click>><span id="spoiler" style="display:none;"> Gardiner is a town so small and insignificant that there is no offical policestation. As in, no building designed purely for keeping police inside it.</span>
As you make way across town, the smell of ash gets stronger. The heat was enough to make you take off your jacket and tie it around your waist.
Nontheless, you make it into the building and demand to see the police's [[manager]].You are informed that the police do not have a manager. The secretary at the desk didn't even blink at your obvious reaction of disaproval. Or at least, gave the impression of not blinking. You honestly couldn't tell because they were wearing sunglasses indoors.
While this was certainly a hot autumn, you wouldn't say it was blinding. Even if it was, buildings tend to block sunlight pretty well.
You could leave and head for [[Yellowstone's River]]. You admit you are not very familiar with US law aside from the movies you've watched and therefore was not sure where to take this process in a world where police do not have managers.
The temptation to go to [[Yellowstone's River]] was huge. For whatever reason, [[being inside this building was hotter]] than being outdoors.
There were plenty of places to explore in Gardiner, Montana. However, where to start an investigation like this gave you a pause to wonder...
One thing that has certainly been nagging you is the lack of responce from your neighborhood police and wardens. Despite multiple complaints reported, you haven't heard much from the [[police->seepolice]]'s investigation.
However, their lack of response to the situation has made them more than a little unreliable in your books. Actually checking things out on your own may reveal more.
You could follow the general bloodtrail that seems to be heading to [[Yellowstone's River]]. Or, given that this strange situation keeps happening at night, it would probably make more sense to [[see what you are up against firsthand.->nighttrap]]Whatever it is you decided to make yourself eat, it wasn't memorable. The lack of sleep you have been getting these past few weeks has been making basic thinking become a chore.
However, you could only delay the next chore for so long, so you grab your cleaning supplies and head for the [[porch]].<i>Maybe last night wasn't as bad as it sounded</i>, you thought as you looked at the state of your porch. It was left in far better condition than yesterday. Why, there was only [[minor bloodstains and burnmarks->1stchoice]] on your steps and lawn.You think it started a month ago, the night screams. For some reason the timing is hard to pinpoint. (It might be the lack of sleep causing that.)
The desperate desire to sleep and fear kept you originally from peering out into the night to see what mayhem was actually occuring. You were doing what research you could on the best of modern technology, <<click "dail-up internet.">>
<span id="spoiler" style="display:none;">
The national wildlife site had a lot of realistic midi sounds as reference. So far, no luck on the weird animal noises. You felt pretty confident in your ability to identify human screams to not have to cross-reference that.</span>
Finished getting dressed, you force yourself through your very secure bedroom door to get some [[breakfast]].Somedays there are heaps of <<print either("cooked", "half-charred", "bizarre", "headless")>> human corpses. Today it was just <<print either("blood smears and splatters", "boiling blood puddles and hair", "smoked fingers and legs")>>.
However this is a small town, so whoever is going through here is running out of victims. You haven't seen your neighbors Tiff and Adi in <<print either("weeks", "months", "days")>>. It dawns on you as you begin washing your porch that unless this stops soon, statistically <<click "you were going to be next.">>
<span id="spoiler" style="display:none;">
Uh, actually, not statistically. Probability? If one out of ten people died every night it starts out at 10%, 20% more likely... You swear you know these things. Usually.</span>
You either have gained [[too much apathy]] due to lack of sleep to do anything or find a [[second wind]] to try something... different.Meh. What's the worse that can happen? You already felt dead inside, what would change about feeling it on the outside?
You decided given that this was a free day and all, why not go back to bed and deal with [[facing the situation->death00]] another day.Yeah, locking yourself further in your house isn't going to cut it. The feeling of taking action was giving you a strange feeling of security (main character status +2).
Since keeping to yourself wasn't getting anywhere, it was time to [[investigate->investigation_01]] the town.Potential Contraint = (link-reveal: "Options describe actions that take at least a week to perform.")[ This could be done in multiple ways. The easiest route would have a narrative time skip of things planned for events that puts the player in a situation that prevents them from further action in other things throughout the week.
The more complicated take would be to progame a timer that could:
1. limit the actions the player can take before the next event
2. real life timer that prevents the player from further action until the countdown is finished (see Swords and Sworcery or Digital: A Love Story)
3.give certain actions timer counters creating a time resource strategy
Of course, for the sake of actually completing this game I should limit the coding. AAAAH]Hiking along you noticed multiple other oddities aside from the smoky prints. Most notably, a small stone marker. You most certainly don't remember anything like this being around here before. It didn't even come up to your knee. It wasn't a grave. Or if it was, you've never seen one like it before. The tallest stone of three had carved pictures on it but it was hard to see due to the giant stone golem like being standing in front of it.
You also didn't remember the [[giant stone golem]] being a feature of Yellowstone.Skin blackens and flakes away like dandruff. It didn't hurt and you didn't notice... at first. Then you noticed it like it were a bad dandruff day. A bad dandruff day combined with another set of puberty or something, because your body was changing rapidly. What should have been red bleeding flesh was pulsing lava and volcanic bone and teeth. The stone golem that originally loomed over you was now child-sized. Taking a deep breath the world shifted from the intense heat that plagued you for months into a cold, cold world.
A new energy flowed through you, one you haven't felt in a long time. As if you actually been getting sleep. But this new energy came with a new hunger.
“Yes, I recognise that expression~” the golem crooned, “you will need to fuel the fire I awoke in you. Humans have underestimated me for too long, comfortable abusing anything despite sitting upon a supervolcano. Together you and I-”
It seems the golem has gotten [[into a monologue.]]While you understood the earth's issues, you felt they were being rather immature in their reacting. It would be one thing if it was impossible to communicate with earth, but here earth is speaking to you in your language. Would it have been so hard for them to just ask the rest of the town to behave instead of having a killing spree?
You were under the impression that earth maybe a reincarnation of an Orca, but more on that later.
Are you [[straight forward->lavatank]] with your defiance to earth (+3 to main character) or will you be the [[sneaky sneek-hiddenlava]]?Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.There is a <<print either("familiar", "strong", "weak", "recognizable", "creaking")>> burning smell that seems... crisper here than in town.
It may have to do with the large, smoking animal tracks along side the river. Did these belong to the beasts you hear at night?
[[Well, there was only one way to find out->shrine]].<b>A</b>bandoning any feeling of [[curiosity->1stchoice]]
<b>M</b>acabre is so whatever
<b>P</b>acated by a nice warm shower
<b>H</b>abits like this are hard to break
<b>I</b>deally, you should have thought of this sooner
<b>C</b>acooned back into your bed
<b>Y</b>ou forget the day and sleep in
<b>O</b>nwards into the dark you barely notice
[[Nothing seems to get colder anymore->Wake Up]]That's when the crimes happen, so that would be the fastest way to obtain information! Right?
You finish cleaning your porch and prepare for [[nightfall->nightchoice01]].Rubbing your eyes open, you debated if you should drop your jacket. Your rattling air conditioner in your window was not cutting it. Despite the fact that this town should be way into autumn, it only feels like your getting a <<click "summer on your summer.">><<script>>$('#spoiler').toggle()<</script>><</click>><span id="spoiler" style="display:none;"> //Yo man, I hear you like 103°C autumns.// </span>The heat only seemed to double at night.
As does the smell of ash.
Eventually, another familiar element to your night routine comes-
If you head [[torwards the screams->couldie_01]] you could finally see the cause of it. Or feel vastly unprepared for the unknown and chicken out and go to bed to [[try something else in the morning->regret_nosee]].You head torwards the scream, the smell of heat and ash getting stronger-
A human shaped black crackle mass of embers stopped you in your tracks. Well, almost human shaped. It was missing a very important detail: a head. Crawling on the ground, you squint to see if you recogise the rest of them. However their lack of head, being on fire, several yards away and no face means that <<click "they could be anybody.">><<script>>$('#spoiler').toggle()<</script>><</click>><span id="spoiler" style="display:none;"> Well, except for Umut. Umut was born without a leg.</span>
[[You were taken out of your sleepy trance by a loud snapping noise.]]Ok, last night was kind of a bad idea. You are only a civilian after all.
(main character stat -3)
You could explore [[Yellowstone's River]] in the safety of a cooler day or [[complain to the police.->seepolice]]A glowing beast of heat crashed down on the body, <<click "shattering it.">><<script>>$('#spoiler').toggle()<</script>><</click>><span id="spoiler" style="display:none;"> The random dismembered parts around town made more sense now.</span> Glowing thick liquid dripped off the beast to cool to smocking black lumps xor tiny fire balls.
The sudden push of heat from this beast made you realise you were breathing next to no air. Choking, you knew you had to make a decision fast-
You could try to [[hide and watch the beast->death01]] from a distance or [[call it quits and run home.->death01]]You turn to make distance between you and the beast of imense heat. However you were no master at holding your breath as a child and certainly not one as an adult.
The night was dark but now it kept flickering darker and darker for longer. Where did the air go?
What was once solid concret buckled and cracked under you. You felt yourself fall as your shoes melted to them. You heard your hands and arms cooking as they braced for your fall to the ground.
[[You knew it was hot,]] but it wasn't registering anymore.Trying to push yourself off the ground you found yourself being pressed back into it. Looking up with eyes that should have melted at this point, you watched the 2.5 meter bear-like beast open it's maw upon you. As it's mouth closed around your head what should have been deep darkness was instead deep brightness.
For a moment, you thought you could recognise temperature. But no- what was temperature was simply a deafening hum.
Everything is gone but this humming.
[[It might as well be screaming.->Wake Up]]You found yourself asking that question aloud. The secretary did not respond, either not hearing you or ignoring you.
You either demanded an answer of [[why they are so hot]] or escape for the cool waters of [[Yellowstone's River]].The secretary paused before turning their face in the direction of you. You try to stammer a correction as well as an apology. You ment the building and not them as a person-
A bell chime struck the air. It did not linger though, as you watched the call bell warp under the secretary's hand.
Oh wow, [[you guess they must be literally hot.]]The heat in the room trippled when two other individuals walked into the room. They were wearing police uniforms giving you the impression these must be the police that you heard so much about. They were wearing matching sunglasses.
You had no desire to for this to escalate. You could flee for the nice, cold waters of [[Yellowstone's River]].
Or you could [[ask the police]] how the investigation is going.You did come here for a reason, after all.
One of the policemen grunted a response, but the words were inadudible. Resquesting a repeat statment was on your mind, but the fact that the sounds came from a glowing mouth of yellowish fliud really caught your eye.
You were starting to think these people were not policemen.
Hearing the door close behind you, you turn to see the secretary mold the door handles together. You were pretty sure the secretary wasn't people either.
You ask outloud to no one in particular if sunglasses indoors was a new fashion statement.
[[The room kicked up a few more degrees as if in response.]]One by one, each... //being// took off their sunglasses revealing hot glowing masses behind them. Sleep dreprivation aside, you could clearly see you were in a room of <<click "non-humans at this point.">>
<span id="spoiler" style="display:none;">
//When did you stop breathing?//</span>
Lava. Thats what it looked like. What was suppose to be eyes were openings bleeding lava unto the floor. What were those sunglasses made out of? What kind of reverse logic do these sunglass exist in?
You tried to gasp in suprise, but at this temperature oxygen was but a thin whisp.
[[The brightness gets closer as your vision darkens.->Wake Up]]Even worse, it seems that the stone golem has been tryign to talk to you for several minutes.
Blinking several times, you apologized to the being asking them to repeat themselves again. They start again, but its really hard to understand someone who sounded like they were continuously grinding teeth made of rocks.
You could ask to [[repeat themself]] again, or decide you must be [[hallucinating]] and go home.<b>A</b>bandoning any second guesses
<b>M</b>acabre is so delicious
<b>P</b>acated by the love of earth
<b>H</b>abits like this are easy to make
<b>I</b>deally, you should have thought of this sooner
<b>C</b>acooned back from once you came
<b>Y</b>ou thirst for something new
<b>O</b>nwards into the dark you barely notice
[[Nothing seems warm enough->Wake Up]]The golem seemed to understand you and started again.
Still sounded like the sound of stones grinding against each other.
You could ask them to [[repeat themselves again]] or decide to [[track back->hallucinating]]You decided that you are clearly not in the right mind to be doing anything more today. Giving a friendly nod to the golem you stepped back and turned to head home.
Or only just the step back. The golem clamped their hands to the sides of your head preventing you from doing the other planned actions. Lifting you up, over their own head. Pressure. Pushing down on me, down on you, no one asked for.
It only hurt for a second.
[[Then nothing else existed.->Wake Up]]The stone-like eyebrows narrowed over stone-like eyes. You apologised again, blaming it on heat stroke.
A crackling, gasping sound came fromt the golem before it began to spontaneously began to twitch. Twitching to convulsions to... quaking? Their next exhale came with a new source of heat.
"Wish to try your luck, human?" came from the golem's new, glowing dripping mouth of lava.
You could say [["Not really,"->hallucinating]] or decide to [[try your slots.]]"Where other humans lose the will to move in my presence, desire to sleep, desire to die- your mind still functions. Your flesh still responds. My Amphicyon army grows on souls like yours."
Twitching hands covered in glowing cracks embrace you.
"[[What should burn you only cools you, yet your skin crackles.->bear]]",
"[[Smelling yourself cook is oldly soothing, you feel yourself drifting.->Wake Up]]"
)>>The golem is apparently not a golem. A different king of earth being. An earth being that thinks themselves to be some sort of god. A god that felt slighted by humans and felt like punishing them via being slaughtered by ancient beasts made of lava.
While you couldn't help how... wonderful their descriptions of devouring humans sounded, the lack of sleep deprivation has brought back your critical mind. This god has decided that instead of talking things out or going to court over the slights humans have brought them, they decided to remove their problem by murder...
However, your critical mind now runs on lava, and it needs fuel. Is it wrong to judge nature by what it does best? (Hint: It does death.) ''You are very hungry.''
[[Join the god on their conquest->toearth]] or
[[Refuse the Call.]]While you understood the god's issues, you felt they were being rather immature in their reacting. Despite how wonderful and sweet the feeling of cooking human in your mouth, your mind would not work on that logic. Their head just feet below yours.
Sure, it was no substitute for human, but you needed something. Might as well try with the problem that started it all. The god only gave a brief confused groan as you ripped their stone-like heave from their stone-like shoulders.
After all, [[it's only nature to do so.->thend]]
<center>[[Amphicyon Convection->Wake Up]] by CLV</center>