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136123 No. 136123 ID: d052fd

I just realized this didn't have a discussion thread, and it probably needs one given that it has a 3-year hiatus in the middle of it. Recapping: you are Mike, an astronaut on Mars, stranded and faced with circumstances that are likely to result in your death by starvation. A woman with no spacesuit knocks on your airlock door, identifies herself as "Ira", flies in, and brings you soup. Quickly ascertaining that you are a crazy person who hears voices, Ira offers an exchange: a free ride back to earth for a brain scan. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem too keen on answering many questions about herself, except to say that she is a human, but that the body in front of you is a remote-controlled robot. Eventually you come to an agreement, and hop in her pimped-out space winnebago for a 4-day interplanetary trip. She eventually reveals that she worries you will be swept away in a coverup, as nobody on Earth seems to know who she is anymore.

There's obviously more to it than that, but that should get you up to speed on where we sit as of this writing.
No. 136124 ID: d052fd

BTW chapter 1 is here: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/876030.html
No. 136204 ID: d052fd

Quest has been renamed "Artificial." New thread is here:


Alternative titles that I did not wind up going with include "The Day the Earth Stood Still, but some weird stuff happens," "An Immature Escapist Power Fantasy," and the title you get by reading the first letter of every sentence in the first post of this thread.
No. 136205 ID: f8fa51


Goddamnit. It was hiding in plain sight the entire time.
No. 136219 ID: d052fd

I want to make sure what's going on here is understood. All the externally-verifiable events depicted in the first thread happened as you saw. The actions Mike took actually happened. All the non-verifiable stuff like internal dialogue did not necessarily actually happen as depicted. That's just Ira's brain subconsciously building a retroactive narrative around the idea that you are the same voices Mike was hearing.

For example, here Mike and Ira have a conversation about how altered states of mind, like dreams, can sometimes pull out memories you had forgotten:
He tells her about the interrogation dream, but not the hurricane one. Later, when he springs the information about the hurricane that wiped out North Sentinel Island, he doesn't bring up the hurricane dreams at all.
That's because the Hurricane dreams didn't necessarily actually happen. They're just Ira trying to subconsciously justify why he didn't bring it up until later by tying it in to their earlier dream conversation.

The things you did in the first thread did matter, because they led Mike to take the actions he took. It's just that, in the context of the narrative, they're not things you guys specifically did. Mike was hallucinating, and the voices he heard did not necessarily say exactly the things you said. But, whatever was going on in his head was similar enough to produce an outcome that looked the same from the outside. If you had suggested other things, Ira would currently be unconsciously justifying a different set of actions with a different internal narrative.

Ira was planned to be the protagonist from the beginning. The first thread was more of a prologue, introducing some concepts and narratively justifying why she's taking advice from voices in her head.

Hopefully that makes sense.
No. 136221 ID: 264f71

In hindsight she "feels" more like a protagonist, too. You did a really good job at this.
No. 136224 ID: d052fd

I also had a history of running quests with a "blank slate male protagonist with female secondary character that knows more than he does" format. That may have assisted with the smokescreen before I fell off the face of the earth for three years.
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