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    A Nocturnal Opus

    No Win States - Hedgehog and Nagas - Astral Closed

    by , 02-10-2021 at 07:29 PM (262 Views)

    I'm in a game. As a rule, a game has a win state. A condition for successfully completing a predetermined task. But this is a dream and here, the games I play don't have win states.

    I am in a grand fantastical realm, up in a round tower, the top of which has a balcony along its circumference also accessible via a cliff. Inside, I am seeking for some object. An object to win? Or an object to allow my progress towards a win? There are many objects scattered on the tables and shelfs. But nothing seems useful or glorious. I only find objects that I remember from false memories but are now useless. What is my purpose in this game? I am lagging.

    The tower owner is coming. I hide outside on the balcony assuming she will be displeased by our trespassing. But my ally is not motivated to hide. From the doorway he tells me to just get back inside and he goes back in, to my surprise. The owner catches him. He is a hedgehog and she wants to pluck each of his quills. On top of that, the game's ultimate villains have located us. The situation is so grave, and this is a dream after all, so I come back in, confident in my own infinite power. I summon chaos. And now the people in the tower are multiplied so the enemies are diluted, and we are now all bird rabbit creatures pointing at each other in slow hand drawn animations. Amidst the chaos and the change in visual aesthetics, I make it out with my ally the hedgehog back into the original graphics of the game, and on that same cliff. We proceed through a cave and into a giant room. The ground is water and the room is scattered with platforming structures. There are many other people competing against us in this game. I want to win! But what is the win state? Where do we go to win? What do we do? We make it across the room and the way out is above. But it's too easy! The room is so big. I go back because I feel dissatisfied. I want to win. So many competitors. So much to explore. I climb back toward the center.

    "There are snakes!" Someone warns me. Indeed, snakes are scattered here and there on the platforming structures. Resting and ready to attack. I decide to take the offensive. I am now hanging from a vine and take a bow and arrows. I aim. Miss. The snake has seen me and has taken a woman's form. She calls out at me, defying me and ready to come attack me. Luckily, I am out of harmís way but another player is now hanging on the vine with me and we sway. No matter, I aim again. This time, I get the woman right in the stomach but she does not care. She says I gained a 10 points bonus but now she is swimming toward me. The vine sways further and much closer to another snake. I aim at it and fail three times. There are only two arrows left. The snake is now a beautiful woman, but her face does not hide she is a predator. The other player with me asks to try so I hand her the bow. Meanwhile, I climb around and come toward the snake woman from behind. My ally fails to get a hit and is now in the woman's clutch. Desperate I take a hold of the snake woman's head and try to snap her neck but I am disgusted by the violence and I am made weak. I don't want to hurt her but she looks at me unphased. Her face tells me she will kill me as soon as she can. I spot a silver fang resting on the platform. Reluctant, but knowing it's her or us, I grab it and stab her in the neck. Her blood starts seeping out but I keep hold of her. Why are we doing this? I fill a salt shaker with her blood, wanting there to be a reason for this violence and hoping her blood will somehow be useful in the future. She dies and falls in the water below.

    I make my way back toward the room exit. On the way, I find the hedgehog. He's a boy now. He tells me our other friend is in the next room. I make sure to not lose the salt shaker with the blood. It must have some use. There must be a reason. In the next room, there's a library. What's the game? Floor is lava? We stay off the ground. I climb up and push bookshelfs hidden above. I throw books. Some elderly men who are not players like us are on the floor and looking at me with exhausted surprise in their face. Evidently, the floor is not lava but this is a game. There must be a game. A challenge. A win state. Yet, these men are not playing with us. They must be the enemy. So, I throw books at them and kick them. They shuffle away.

    My destruction is stopped to listen to a narrative. This is a dream. But it's isolated and so my destruction does not destroy the dream beyond and does not disrupt its inhabitants. As an example, I am presented with a statue of Voldemort which also attempted to wreak havoc in the dream world. Luckily, he was isolated in his own dream. I get the sense that I have been watched by entities of the dream beyond and they keep those doors closed to me. But maybe not permanently. Gazing at Voldermortís tormented face, an effigy of my own naÔve violence, I wake up.


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    1. Sivason's Avatar
      WOW! That is so cool. Must have been very exciting.
      Occipitalred likes this.