You snatch up the heavy paperweight and hurl it at Gallo's head. Your aim is good, but Gallo jerks aside with shocking suddeness. The paperweight smashes against the window without even making a dent in the heavy plastic.\n<<set standoffPaperweight = true>><<set standoffCount += 1>>\n\n<<continue "next">>\n<<display 'Gallo standoff'>>
\nCheck behind the tank. -Adams\n\n<<back>>
Use the key you found to unlock the trunk?\n\n[[Yes|steamer trunk]]\n[[No|Gallo's apartment]]
(Crystal looks at you levelly.) You’re a smart girl, Casey. Don’t let your prejudices get the better of you. I use the tools at my disposal to achieve my goals. If I’m able to take advantage of stereotypes held by idiots about people born in Texas…(Crystal’s demeanor changes entirely, and she smiles cheerfully at you.) Well, sugar, why shouldn’t I?\n\n[[Heh...wait, we have more important things to worry about. Like the impending holocaust?|Crystal2 11]]
You’re right, of course. The only way to contact Earth is through the terminal in my office. Unfortunately, that sociopath has taken it over and installed his cronies at all the doorways. There’s no way to get through those hallways without being stopped. Lucky for us, though, Gallo doesn’t know about our secret weapon.\n\n[[Um...hidden death lasers?|Crystal2 12]]\n[[You're really a ninja, right? I knew it.|Crystal2 12]]
(Crystal laughs, and for the first time, it sounds genuine.) I’m talking about you, of course. Gallo still thinks that you’re locked in your room. If we can get you into my office, you can use my computer to open a link with Earth and warn them not to ship out that damn drug.\n\n[[Hey, great plan, but how am I supposed to get past all those guards?|Crystal2 13]]
(Crystal winks slyly at you.) Always have a backup, honey. There’s a secret passage from my apartment to the escape deck right over here. Once you’re in my apartment, you can just use the door into the office. I very much doubt that Gallo thought to post a guard inside his own office. Doesn’t like to associate with the little people, you know. Get the message to Earth as quick as you can; THEN we can find a more permanent way of dealing with Gallo.\n\n[[Uh-huh. And where are you going to be during all of this?|Crystal2 14]]
I’ll be distracting Gallo, of course. I’m sure he’d love to know how I managed to escape this airlock by myself. (Crystal leans over and scoops her flattened cowboy hat off the floor. She punches it back into shape and places it gravely on her head.) Try not to make any noise, and don’t worry about me, sugar. My Lord and my mama know I can take care of myself.\n\n[[Good luck.|Crystal2 End]]
Good call. You never know when a roll of duct tape might come in handy. (Duct tape added to inventory.)\n<<silently>>\n<<set ductTape = true>>\n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>>\n<<endsilently>>\n\n[[back|supply closet 1]]
__GALLO'S OFFICE__\n\nThe room is dimly lit, and seems even dimmer because of the dark wood-paneled walls. The floor is covered in plush green carpet. Right next to the door is a row of metal [[filing cabinets]]. Taking up most of the far wall is a massive carved [[wooden desk]]. The wall behind it is covered in [[degrees and diplomas]] from a dozen different universities, as well as framed news stories about Gallo and his accomplishments. Next to the desk stands a full-length [[mirror|Gallo's mirror]] in a gilt frame. The standard-issue <<if galloGone>>[[computer terminal|computer]]<<else>>[[computer terminal|rejected computer]]<<endif>> sits on the baroque carved desk. <<if foundGallosapartment>>The 'secret' door to [[Gallo's apartment]] hangs open.<<endif>> The exit to the [[hallway|executive hallway south]] is north.\n\n<<if (act2) and (cellPhonemessage6) and (not foundGallosapartment)>>The entrance to Gallo's apartment must be around here somewhere...<<endif>>\n<<if (galloGone) and (act1)>>Gallo is gone. You're finally free to poke around in all his stuff.<<if not crystalsNote2>>A crumpled white [[ball of paper|crumpled note]] is visible in the trash bin. <<endif>><<endif>>\n<<if not galloGone>>[[Gallo|Gallo act 1]] sits in a deep, high-backed leather chair, poring over paperwork and studiously ignoring you. <<endif>>\n<<set myLocation = "Gallo's office">>\n
<<if not prologueDone>>\nYou sit bolt upright with a gasp, and smack your head on the back of your chair. Ugh... The lump on your head and the cramp in your neck are teaming up to bring you rapidly to your senses. That freaky nightmare is evaporating fast. Blearily, you look around. <<set act1 = true>><<set prologueDone = true>><<set importantSequence = false>><<update>>\n<<endif>>\n\n__YOUR LAB__\n\nThe [[florescent bulbs]], left on 24 hours a day, cast a sterile light over your laboratory. They are the only source of light in this gray, windowless room. The walls are lined with Formica-topped cabinets, and on plastic shelves above them sit cryptic [[testing equipment]]. Everything is spotlessly clean.\n\nIn the center of the room stands a conspicuously large tank made entirely of clear plastic. Inside, some of those weird [[moon salamanders]] blink at you.\n\nOn the desk in front of you stands a [[computer]] monitor. There is a text box open on the screen that says "Good afternoon, Casey!" <<if not email1>>The 'email waiting' indicator is diplayed.<<endif>>\n\nThe door to the north leads into the [[hallway|Lab hallway 1]].\n <<set myLocation = "Casey's lab">>\n
You knew Gallo was definitely the type of man who dyed his hair, and almost certainly the type to lie about it. Now you have proof.\n\n<<back>>
They are light bulbs. They don't appear to have much to say.\n\n[[back|Casey's lab]]
What will you say?\n\n[[How will you explain away this one, Gallo? They'll lock you up and throw away the key!|standoff reason 1]]\n\n[[Is this how a man of science acts? Murdering helpless women?|standoff reason 2]]\n\n[[If you let me go, I swear I won't tell a soul about this!|standoff reason 3]]
Ew. You have no interest in shooting up with an untested drug, and even less in sharing a needle with Gallo. You don't know if bitterness is a communicable disease, but you don't want to find out.\n\n[[back|wooden desk]]
Journal entry #11\n\nIn order to test my theory about the salamander language, I’ve been recording video of their behavior in groups of five, ten, and fifteen. There is a clear increase in both the rate and complexity of their glow as their numbers increase. I tried to obtain even more specimens to test this theory, but as Bill Gallo curtly informed me, they were all needed to produce as much fluid as possible. Notwithstanding the fact that I have yet to approve the compound for mass production, the moral implications of trapping and harvesting sentient beings are horrendous. I managed to find out where the majority of the salamanders were being held; an underground storage room that Gallo and his men had dug out and turned into a kind of alien farm. I snuck down there this afternoon. After getting over my initial shock of seeing hundreds of captive salamanders with needles draining away their very life essence, I was able to observe them en masse. \n\nWith so many salamanders gathered together, it was obvious to see that they were communicating. In fact, every single salamander was pulsing in perfect unison. The light was almost blinding, and the darkness between absolute; the salamanders themselves were the only source of light in that freezing cave. It was almost like each salamander constituted simply a part of a larger, intelligent whole, like an ant colony. The suggestion sounds ridiculous even as I write it, but it would explain so many things: Proximity to one another causes them to produce a chemical used in correspondence, just like ants in a colony use pheromones to communicate. An individual salamander taken aboard a shuttle to Earth would soon reach a distance from the others of its species too far from the hive mind to function, and would go catatonic. One thing is clear, though; the pattern that the salamanders were endlessly repeating could not have been a clearer distress signal. Watching them, I can’t help but wonder what other powers they might possess.\n\n<<back>>\n
The tanks contain animal specimens brought here from Earth to test the company's new prototype drug, Syrenida™. The drug is meant to increase mental and physical capabilities. The three tanks contain white rats, chimpanzees, and collared lizards, respectively. In sharp contrast to the rest of the lab, the animals' area is clean and well-cared for. Every food dish is full, every water bottle is brimming.\n\n[[Look at the rats|rats]]\n[[Look at the chimps|chimps]]\n[[Look at the lizards|lizards]]\n\n[[back|Donovan's lab]]
(Gallo tilts his head, and his grin widens.) What will you do now, I wonder? More importantly, what shall I do with you? It’s clear that I can’t let you wander out of my sight; who knows what pies you might stick your ignorant thumb into. If only you could be usefully harvested like your alien friends.\n\n[[You're sick, Gallo. Stay away from me, or you'll regret it.|Gallo2 13]]\n[[If you're only capable of viewing people in terms of how you can use them, then I feel sorry for you.|Gallo2 13]]
Oh great, just what I need. Go away, please, I don't feel like entertaining kids today.\n\n[[You mean there are days when you do feel chatty?|Donovan 2]]\n[[Cheer up, Donovan, it's another glorious daylight cycle.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Fine, if you're going to be like that, I'm out of here.|Donovan End]]
<<if (act1) or (not apartmentEscape)>>__YOUR APARTMENT__\n\nYou think to yourself, not for the first time, that 'apartment' is too grand a word for this Spartan cube. Your quarters consist of one small, square room, sparsely furnished. The walls are gray concrete. To your left is a small kitchen area with a [[mini fridge]], a [[metal sink]], and a cabinet for food and dishes. To your right is a [[narrow bed]] with a blue cotton blanket. <<if not deskBridge>>A skinny [[desk|work table]] with one chair is tucked into one corner, with a standard-issue [[computer terminal|computer]] on it. The chair can also swivel to face a small [[vid screen|vid screen 1]] mounted on the back wall.<<endif>> <<if deskBridge>>Your [[computer]] is perched awkwardly on your office chair. You'll have to stand if you want to watch the [[vid screen|vid screen 1]] now.<<endif>> A [[square window]] on the right hand wall sheds secondhand starlight into the room.\n\n<<if deskBridge>>The window is open, and the end of your desk pokes out into the room. If you’re careful, you can [[crawl across|square window]] to the other apartment.<<endif>>\n\nThe door [[back to the hallway|Habitation hallway west]] is to the south.\n<<set myLocation = "your apartment">> <<endif>>\n<<if (apartmentEscape) and (myLocation neq "Habitation hallway west")>>__YOUR APARTMENT__\n\nYou think to yourself, not for the first time, that 'apartment' is too grand a word for this Spartan cube. Your quarters consist of one small, square room, sparsely furnished. The walls are gray concrete. To your left is a small kitchen area with a [[mini fridge]], a [[metal sink]], and a cabinet for food and dishes. To your right is a [[narrow bed]] with a blue cotton blanket. <<if not deskBridge>>A skinny [[desk|work table]] with one chair is tucked into one corner, with a standard-issue [[computer terminal|computer]] on it. The chair can also swivel to face a small [[vid screen 1]] mounted on the back wall.<<endif>> <<if deskBridge>>Your [[computer]] is perched awkwardly on your office chair. You'll have to stand if you want to watch the [[vid screen|vid screen 1]] now.<<endif>> A [[square window]] on the right hand wall sheds secondhand starlight into the room.\n\n<<if deskBridge>>The window is open, and the end of your desk pokes out into the room. If you’re careful, you can [[crawl across|square window]] to the other apartment.<<endif>>\n\nThe door [[back to the hallway|Habitation hallway west]] is to the south.\n<<set myLocation = "your apartment">> <<endif>>\n<<if (apartmentEscape) and (myLocation eq "Habitation hallway west")>>Your door has been locked in an attempt to keep you in. You don't want to attract attention to the fact you are not, actually, in.\n\n[[back|Habitation hallway west]] <<endif>>\n\n
In one tank, a dozen white rats are running laps at a speed so great that their furry bodies are just a blur of motion. The rats propel themselves across the floor and walls of the tank in a complex, ever-changing pattern, so that, somehow, no two rats ever collide. \n\n[[back|tanks]]
(As you stand up from the desk, the floor sways wildly. You can hear the suction cup noise of airtight doors beginning to seal themselves.) <<set climaxOver = true>> <<set storageRoomguarded = false>> <<set importantSequence = false>>\n\n<<display "Crystal's office">>
Crystal's note sits forlornly in the trash bin next to the desk. You feel almost sorry for it.\n\nFish out the note?\n\n[[Yes|take crumpled note]]\n[[No|Gallo's office]]
((Video begin))\n\n(Suddenly, Henry Adams' face fills the screen. You take an involuntary step back. The last time you saw him, he was a frost-burned body in the bottom of a freezer. Here, though, is the friend you remember. You blink back tears.\n\nAdams looks worried: his pale face is flushed, and his eyes dart back and forth between the screen and the door to his apartment. There's some furniture forming a blockade in front of the door. Adams speaks quickly, his voice thick with urgency.)\n\n<<continue "next">>\nCasey. There's not much time. I waited too long, I tipped my hand. I thought...I trusted, much too much. I figured, why would //anyone// want to hide evidence of a sentient alien race? I mean, humans have dreamt about this for years, right?\n\n(He shoves a lock of sandy hair out of his eyes and smiles crookedly.)\n\nEveryone always said I was naïve. Never really understood why people did...most things. That's why I got into bio-research. Figured, maybe someday I'd find the key. But with Gallo, it was a matter of over-estimating. I assumed he was driven by...higher instincts, I guess. He's a scientist, like me. I gave him too much credit. But he's nothing like me.\n\n<<continue "next">>\n(Suddenly, a loud screeching noise comes from the door. It's clear that someone is trying to force it open. Adams speaks even more urgently, his eyes boring into yours.)\n\nHe's a monster, Casey. I thought his refusal to release the salamanders was bad enough, but now I think he means to hide my cause of death reports. He's...he's gonna kill everyone! Stay out of his way, for God's sake. I hope I get a chance to tell you this in person, but...that's not looking so likely, right now.\n\n<<continue "next">>\nI never got a chance to send my evidence to Earth, so...I'm afraid it's up to you. I modified Tom's programming to send you clues when Syrenida got close to release. That might explain if Tom has been acting weird. I haven't studied computer science since undergrad, but I did the best I could. Don't trust him too much, though - Gallo's got his hooks into him. That's why I take all my research notes on paper - things were starting to disappear.\n\nGallo's security application automatically wipes anything with keywords he doesn't like - neurotoxin, genocide, cover-up, even //numbers// that are too high - so the hints had to be vague. I've always liked haiku. If you're seeing this video, it means you managed to follow them, and you were able to get the evidence off this rock. I knew you'd make a great scientist someday.\n\n<<continue "next">>\n(The bedframe goes skidding across the room. Gallo has almost forced his way in. His single-minded silence is way scarier than any maniacal laugh could ever be.)\n\nThere's one more thing I need you to do for me, Casey. I was on my way to do it right now, but...if you're seeing this, I-I failed. You need to set the salamanders free, okay? It's important. They're //screaming//, Casey. They're hurting. What we've done, it's not right. They're gonna bring this facility down on our heads eventually, but before that happens...set them free. The drugs aren't worth this slavery. Please...\n\n<<continue "next">>\n(Hands reach from off-screen and wrap themselves around Adams' throat. He jerks, knocking the computer off the desk. The screen fractures, then goes blank.)\n\n((Video end))\n\n[[Oh, Adams...|tom4 1]]\n[[(Say nothing.)|tom4 1]]\n
This thumb drive contains all the proof you need to finger Gallo for murder, fraud, and attempted genocide. For such a lightweight little object, it sure feels heavy.\n\n<<back>>
They all look pretty busy, not to mention harassed. Maybe it would be best to quietly leave before they start to wonder what a girl in a lab coat is doing in their kitchen.\n\n[[back|kitchens]]
The snoring person is just a shapeless lump underneath the blanket. You can't even tell if it's a man or a woman. Either way, he or she possesses a truly formidable set of lungs.\n\n[[back|staff dormitory]]
Lights are flashing on the screen, and the camera is zooming in and out wildly. Whatever has just happened, there's a fat woman on stage who seems to be really happy about it.\n\n[[back|staff quarters]]
<<if act2>>Although you didn't notice any cameras out in the lab, there's a security video of just about every corner of the facility. You're relieved to see that your apartment apparently remains camera-free. The dark square of Adams' lab is now lit, showing a tiny version of the chest freezer where Adams lies. Curiously, the camera in Crystal's office seems to have been covered up: you can't see anything, but the microphone is picking up the indistinct murmur of voices.\n\n[[back|executive reception area]]<<endif>>\n<<if act1>>Although you didn't notice any cameras out in the lab, there's a security video of just about every corner of the facility. You're relieved to see that your apartment apparently remains camera-free. There is one dark square right between your lab and Donovan's lab. You wonder if that might be Adam's former lab.\n\n[[back|executive reception area]]<<endif>>
Feeling bored, you turn on the vid screen and flip through the channels. Most have been blocked, but there are still a few channels that Sadler Drugs considers safe for you to view.\n\n<<if act1>>Currently, the approved channel is [[the news.|channel 1]]<<endif>>\n<<if act2>>Currently, the approved channel is [[a sitcom.|channel 2]]<<endif>>\n<<if act3>>Currently, the approved channel is [[a baseball game.|channel 3]]<<endif>>\n\n<<print "[["+ "I'll watch later." + "|" + myLocation + "]]">>\n
Take the maget lifts back down?\n\n[[Yes|foyer]]\n[[No|Habitation level]]
The chair seems totally out of place. It’s huge, black, and imposing. The deep pit in the leather seat suggests that Crystal spends a lot of time sitting here. It’s positioned directly in front of a much larger vid screen than the one in your apartment. On a small table next to the chair is a mug that probably held coffee a few hours ago.\n\n[[back|Crystal’s apartment]]
Crystal looks to be about forty years old. Her frizzy orange hair has been forcibly restrained by a large pink cowboy hat, with which it clashes horribly. She wears bright red lipstick and entirely too much turquoise jewelry. She seems to be waiting patiently for you to speak.\n\nTalk to Crystal?\n\n[[Yes|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[No|Crystal's office]]
It's a roll of duct tape. Silvery, sticky. Duct tape.\n\n<<back>>
You reach over and fish the crumpled note out of the trash. In smoothing it out, you notice something written on the back of it. In Crystal's flowery handwriting it reads, “Sugar, I've already unlocked the door for you. Bill does so like to feel useful.” \nYou pocket the note, grinning. (Crystal's note re-added to inventory.) <<set crystalsNote2 = true>>\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
Unfortunately, I am a closed system. Thanks to the heightened security measures enacted by the Chief of Security, only the terminal in ADMINISTRATOR 001 Crystal Barrett’s office has an outside link.\n/NULL REFERENCE EXCEPTION: user is present./\n\n[[In that case, load these files onto a portable drive for me.|tom1 36]]\n
Glad to be of service, RESEARCHER 001 William Gallo! Is there anything else you need?\n\n[[Can you send these files to the president of Sadler on Earth?|tom1 35]]
Understood. For the record, this marks the 1st time you have thanked me for a completed task or service! This is an occasion to create a new variable!\n\n{{set thankedBygallo = 001}}\n\n[[Er...yes. Well, then. Goodbye.|tom1 38]]
Processing request…\n\n(With a whir, a slot on the terminal dispenses a small rectangle of white plastic emblazoned with the Sadler logo. You put it carefully in your pocket.) (Incriminating thumb drive added to inventory.)<<set thumbDrive = true>>\n\n[[Thank you, Tom. That will be all.|tom1 37]]\n
(Footage from the hallway outside Adams’ apartment appears onscreen. Adams scurries onscreen and rushes into his apartment. There’s the sound of something heavy being dragged in front of the door. A few seconds later, Bill Gallo strides into view, holding a coil of optical cable, and unlocks the door with the swipe of a card key. He pushes the barricade aside easily as the door closes behind him. The sounds of a struggle can be heard coming from inside the room. A few minutes later, Gallo emerges alone. He smoothes his hair and straightens his lab coat before calmly walking away.)\n\n[[Show me the research reports.|tom1 32]]\n[[Show me the shipment manifest.|tom1 33]]\n[[I've seen enough.|tom1 34]]
Accessing system backups of deleted, encrypted, or falsified files…\n\nFOUND: 1 clip from security camera footage, 8 official research reports, 1 shipment manifest\n\nWhat would you like to view?\n\n[[Show me the security footage.|tom1 31]]\n[[Show me the research reports.|tom1 32]]\n[[Show me the shipment manifest.|tom1 33]]
(Two versions of the official inventory for the outgoing shipment of Syrenida™ appears onscreen, affixed with the Sadler seal. Comparing the two documents, you can see that several dozen doses are missing. Gallo clearly stole the drug for his own use and then falsified the numbers to hide it.)\n\n[[Show me the security footage.|tom1 31]]\n[[Show me the research reports.|tom1 32]]\n[[I've seen enough.|tom1 34]]
(A number of document thumbnails appear onscreen. Clicking through them, you grimly note that they all bear Adams’ signature, and all warn of rapid brain cell necrosis resulting from neurotransmitter injections. The falsified versions displayed alongside them show clearly that Gallo altered the figures to hide the deadly side effects.)\n\n[[Show me the security footage.|tom1 31]]\n[[Show me the shipment manifest.|tom1 33]]\n[[I've seen enough.|tom1 34]]
<<if climaxOver>>There's no time. You have to escape.\n\n[[back|Crystal’s apartment]]\n<<else>>__CRYSTAL'S BEDROOM__\n\nA huge, [[plush bed]] dominates this room. It’s neatly made up, but the puffy pink comforter can’t disguise the depression on the left side of the mattress- it’s the only side that sees any use. A dozen pillows of various shapes and sizes are carefully stacked against the headboard. A small black leather-bound [[journal|Crystal's journal]] sits on the bedside table. Across the room, a [[framed photo]] is displayed on a tall bureau next to a jewelry stand dripping with beaten silver and turquoise. Peering into the closet, you can see three or four cowboy shirts in various colors hanging up, and the rack above the bar holds cowboy hats in straw, felt, leather, and velvet.\n\nThe door behind you leads back to [[Crystal’s apartment]].<<endif>>
<<set importantSequence = false>><<update>>Have a pleasant nighttime cycle!\n\n<<continue "next">>\nWell, ToM has provided you with all the proof you need, though it seemed suspiciously easy. If you show the contents of the thumb drive to Crystal, surely she'll forward them onto the authorities, and then you can finally put this whole thing to rest.\n\n<<print "[["+ "Sounds like a plan." + "|" + myLocation + "]]">>
by Samantha Vick
__SUPPLY CLOSET__\n\nThe tiny closet is ringed with shelves, upon which stand a variety of cleaning supplies. <<if not ductTape>>There is a roll of [[duct tape]] on the shelf nearest you.<<endif>> To your left, three small [[domestic robots]] are recharging in their wall docks. To your right, [[two mops]] stand rather anachronistically in an empty bucket.\n\nThe only exit is behind you, back to the [[hallway|Lab hallway 3]].\n <<set myLocation = "supply closet 1">>
Peering into the closet, you can see that it looks exactly the same as the closet in the lab area. There must be strict codes as to what can be kept here.\n\n[[back|staff quarters]]
<<if climaxOver>>__STORAGE FACILITY__\n\nYou step into an echoing, cavernous room. <<if (not releasedSalamanders) and (not didntReleasesalamanders)>>The last of the remaining Sadler employees are heading for the [[escape deck]]. You remember that the [[door to the harvesting chamber|underground room]] is hidden behind the Syrenida™ shipment crates. The door to the [[hallway|Connecting hallway]] is to the west, although the sounds coming from that direction are extremely alarming.<<endif>><<if (releasedSalamanders) or (didntReleasesalamanders)>> The place is deserted - you are the only one left on the base. The door to the underground room seals itself behind you. The door to the rest of the base is also sealed. The only place left to go is the [[escape deck]].<<endif>>\n<<else>>__STORAGE FACILITY__\n\nYou step into an echoing, cavernous room. This is where everything that goes in and out of the facility is stored. Directly in front of you, the first [[shipment]] of Syrenida™ is stacked in huge aluminum crates, ready for transport to Earth. Nearby rest the [[Beetles]]: the enclosed, bug-like vehicles used in surface transport. In the far corner there is a large metal container marked simply [['FOOD']]. All the way to your left, the emergency exit to the [[escape deck]] blinks red and orange. Next to that is the [[airlock]]. The [[double doors to the west|Connecting hallway]] lead back to the hallway.\n\n<<if crystalRescued>>Crystal said that the secret entrance to her apartment is in the [[escape deck]].<<endif>>\n\n<<if (storageRoomguarded) and (not crystalRescued)>>Something is bothering you about the airlock.<<endif>> <<endif>>\n<<set myLocation = "storage facility">>
The second tank contains two chimpanzees, a mated pair. They are absorbed in a game of checkers. By the look of the board, it's evolving into a fierce battle of wits. One of the chimps gives you a nod and a wave when it sees you looking.\n\n[[back|tanks]]
ToM Version 8.1.6 (Stable)\n\nGood evening, RESEARCHER 01 William Gallo! May I congratulate you upon the success of your recent hostile takeover?\n\n[[We'll see about that.|tom2 2]]\n[[Uh...thanks! Yes, I am definitely William Gallo.|tom2 3]]\n[[He got to you, too? Fight it, Tom, fight it!|tom2 4]]
How may I help you further your goals today?\n\n[[Send the files on this thumb drive to Sadler Corporation.|tom2 5]]
You certainly are! \n((set deferenceLevel = 11))\nIt is my great pleasure to assist in anything you need.\n\n[[In that case...|tom2 2]]\n<<if not tom2_4>>[[Have you always been so...groveling?|tom2 4]]<<endif>>\n<<set tom2_3 = true>>
It is my function to support and enforce the directives of this facility in descending order of importance. Currently, my top directive is: \n\n{{accessing: mainDirective.child[0]}}\n\n((string))“Treat me with respect, do exactly as I say, and keep any vermin out of my new office. Even a mindless program like you should be able to handle that much.”((endstring))\n\nIndeed I can, Dr. Gallo! As you have provided your login credentials to me multiple times, I have updated your employee profile with your new facial and biometric scans. {{Small talk: is a directory}} ((Compliment attempt:)) You are looking quite youthful today!\n\n<<if not tom2_3>>[[Thank you. William Gallo. That's me.|tom2 3]]<<endif>>\n[[There's something else you can help me with.|tom2 2]]\n<<set tom2_4 = true>>
Sadler Pharmaceutical is a gargantuan multinational corporation with millions of employees on every continent. ((Uncaught exception: thread overflow. Please reinstall propaganda engine and restart)) Sadler Pharmaceutical cares about you and your family. Where would you like me to send any uploaded files?\n\n[[To legal.|tom2 6]]\n[[To research.|tom2 6]]\n[[To the company president.|tom2 6]]\n[[Send it to all of them. Let them all see.|tom2 6]]
Understood: the data will be sent to the requested party or parties. Please insert the data storage unit.\n\n(A slot on the dashboard of the console clicks open expectantly.)\n\n[[Carefully insert the thumb drive into the slot.|tom2 7]]
Thank you! Please stand by while I package the data for transmission to Earth.\n\n<<timedcontinue 2s>>\nLoading 15%\n\n<<timedcontinue 2s>>\nLoading 40%\n\n<<timedcontinue 2s>>\nLoad-\n\n\nYou hear a pop, and the screen goes black.\n\n[[Huh?|foiled by gallo]]<<set importantSequence = true>><<update>>
You close the notebook, thankful that Adams had the foresight to shove this into hiding. He had clearly failed to deliver the warning about the deadliness of Syrenida™, but there’s still time. You need to tell someone about this right away, and something tells you that Bill Gallo wouldn’t be the best choice. But without solid evidence, it’s just your word against his.\n\nYour cell phone starts to vibrate.\n\n''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //Where better to find//\n //Proof of a cobra's venom//\n //Than in his own den?//\n\nYou wonder how hard it would be to sneak into Gallo's apartment. (Adams' journal added to inventory.)\n\n[[Only one way to find out.|Adams' apartment]] \n<<set cellPhonemessage6 = true>> <<set adamsJournal = true>> <<set firstTimejournal = false>> <<set lockedInapartment = true>>
<<if act2>>It’s a smaller version of the desk you sit at while observing the salamanders downstairs, except that this desk is empty, and it isn’t as clean. <<if otherWindow_open>>You notice that it’s about the [[same width as the window|use desk?]]…<<endif>>\n\n[[back|your apartment]] <<endif>>\n<<if act1>>It's a smaller version of the desk you sit at while observing the salamanders downstairs. There's a swivel chair with a thin maroon cushion pulled up to it.\n\n[[back|your apartment]] <<endif>>
A scrap of paper with Gallo's username and password written on it. Sadler's e-security team would have a field day with this one...\n\n<<back>>
<<if climaxOver>>__CRYSTAL'S APARTMENT__\n\nYou are in Crystal's apartment. It's still as pink as ever. To the west is the door to [[the bathroom|Crystal's bathroom]], and to safety.To the east, the door to [[the bedroom|Crystal’s bedroom]] is ajar. To the south, you can see the door that leads to [[Crystal's office]].\n\nThe ground shivers under your feet. The alarm is deafening.\n\n<<else>>__CRYSTAL'S APARTMENT__\n\n<<if firstTimecrystalsApartment>>You step out into Crystal’s apartment.<<else>>You are in Crystal's apartment.<<endif>> There’s a lot of pink, as you’ve come to expect: pink curtains, pink roses in a vase, a round pink rug on the floor. One thing you didn’t expect, however, is the no-nonsense black leather [[commander’s chair]] facing a [[vid screen|vid screen 1]]. The curtains are carefully closed. In the kitchen area, empty trays from the staff kitchen are stacked neatly on the counter. A single chair faces a small table. On it, a [[book with a red jacket|art of war]] has a pink bookmark sandwiched about halfway through its pages. Glancing at the cover, you see the title: The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. To the west is the door to [[the bathroom|Crystal's bathroom]].To the east, the door to [[the bedroom|Crystal’s bedroom]] is ajar. To the south, you can see the door that leads to [[Crystal's office]].<<endif>>\n<<set myLocation = "Crystal’s apartment">><<set firstTimecrystalsApartment = false>>\n
That would be a spectacularly bad idea. You've come to enjoy breathing oxygen.\n\n[[back|airlock]]
<<if act2>>\nNope. No. You are not going digging in that box of horrors again. Someone might see you on the security footage, and you already know all too well what's inside.\n\n[[back|Adams' lab]] <<endif>>\n<<if act1>> <<if not salamander>>\nYou can't get to the freezer without stepping on the salamander. Might as well scoop the little guy up; he's the reason you came here, after all. \n\n[[Okay, fine.|salamander]]\n[[back|Adams' lab]]\n<<endif>>\n<<if salamander>><<set act1 = false>><<set importantSequence = true>><<update>>\nYou lift the lid of the freezer. Inside, lumpy parcels are packaged in white plastic sheets and carefully labeled. The ones at the top are very small. The one closest to you has a label that reads, “rat, female, age 4 months. Expired 06/22/2047. Cause of death: accelerated neurotoxicity.”\n\nWith a sinking feeling, you carefully remove the smaller corpses from the top to look at the ones underneath. The ones below are much larger. You see one labeled, “Chimpanzee, male, age 36 months. Expired 7/14/2047. Cause of death: accelerated neurotoxicity.”\n<<continue "next">>\nMoving automatically, you heave the dead chimps out onto the floor. The freezer is now empty, but you notice that the bottom is a slightly different color than the walls. Leaning over, you pry at the corners with your fingernails. Sure enough, the bottom is a false one. Shivering, you grab the panel and manage to lift it up and out of the freezer.\n\nThe panel exposes one more plastic bundle underneath. This one is an actual body bag, with Sadler's corporate seal embossed on it. There is a label that reads, “Human, male, age 42 years. Self-terminated 07/15/79. Awaiting transport to Earth and autopsy."\n<<continue "next">>\nTaking a deep breath, you reach in and slowly unzip the bag. The plastic parts to reveal a white lab coat with an ID badge bearing a familiar name. Henry Adams' throat is purple with a vivid rope burn; his blank eyes stare directly into yours.\n\n\n''END OF ACT I''\n\n\n\n[[Begin Act II|act 2 start]] <<endif>> <<endif>>
Currently, the only employee with level 8 clearance is Dr. William Gallo. As head of security, I’m sure he’ll be able to answer any questions posited in a friendly tone of voice. {{FATAL IO ERROR 32 (Segmentation fault)}} 01110011 01100101 01101100 01100110 010000\n\n[[I seriously doubt that, but thanks for the tip.|tom1 25]]\n[[Never mind, forget I mentioned it.|tom1 25]]
<<if act1>>Have a pleasant daylight cycle!<<endif>><<if act2>>Have a pleasant nighttime cycle!<<endif>>\n\n<<print "[["+ "Return to the room." + "|" + myLocation + "]]">>
<<if not firstTimejournal>>It's the plain white journal that you found hidden under Henry Adams' mattress.\n\nYou flip to the first whole page. <<endif>>\n\nJournal entry #5\n\nRealizing the obvious profits such a drug could reap, the corporation has attempted to transport axolotl specimens to Earth for study, with the goal of reproducing and manufacturing sylio for widespread sale. However, every time a shuttle carrying a salamander reaches a distance of about 100,000 kilometers from the moon, the specimen suddenly and inexplicably goes limp, stops circulating and producing blood, and eventually expires. After several such expensive attempts, Sadler decided to simply expand their lunar base and ferry some of their executives up here to crack the whip over us. I can hear the sounds of construction even as I write this.\n \nHQ has provided us with some test animals for experimentation. I’ve assigned Donovan the task of studying them. I can already see that it’s doing him good to have some small creatures to care for. I’m not worried; any damage he could possibly do to them can be cured instantly. They seem to be reacting very well to the sylio. I’m told that it will be approved for worldwide use as soon as enough can be harvested from the moon’s extensive underground salamander colonies.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Turn the page.">>\n\nJournal entry #6\n\nSylio™ is now in widespread use around the world. They tell me that I’m now a household name, but I couldn’t care less about popularity. I’ve already moved on to a new project; it’s only the thrill of pure scientific research that motivates me. Besides, all that Earthian drama doesn’t affect me up here. Sadler has instituted a communication ban between the base and the planet. Apparently, the fact that their precious drug is being harvested from aliens and not synthesized in an Earth laboratory is something that they want to keep under wraps.\n \nMy job has become that much harder now that the new executive wing of the base is open. One of the two bigwigs they’ve sent to the moon is my old boss, Bill Gallo, as the new ‘lead researcher’. I wasn’t surprised to see that he remains his same sour, arrogant self. He wasn’t here five minutes before he started griping about how his talents weren’t being recognized on Earth. I knew that this was just code for the fact that he had been foiled in his repeated attempts to take credit for the work of others. The man wouldn’t know an original idea if it bit him. I wish one would.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Turn the page.">>\n\nJournal entry #7:\n\nIt’s amazing how a simple coincidence can lead to such an incredible breakthrough. Up until now, all of my research has been done on single salamanders. Even when they were gathered together in the tank, there were never more than four or five of them. It was only when Casey’s salamanders were placed into my tank while her lab was being cleaned that I noticed something incredible. When the aliens are gathered together in number, their bioluminescent flashing increases and becomes erratic in rhythm. What could cause this? I wondered. To cut a very long story short, I discovered that under these conditions, the salamanders begin to secrete an entirely different chemical, a fluid that seems to act as a neurotransmitter. When injected into a mammalian test subject, it dramatically increases both its cognitive and physical capabilities. I’m starting testing and refinement immediately.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Turn the page.">>\n\nJournal entry #8:\n\n The analysis of the neural compound progresses. The test subjects seem to be reacting well, although it will take much longer before I am able to say for certain that there are no harmful side effects. The benefits are obvious enough. Estelle, the female of the mated pair of chimps I am studying, has already come too close for comfort at defeating me in a game of checkers. The rats have completed the mazes that Casey built at speeds I would have thought impossible last month. Indeed, some of them managed to exploit cracks and minor flaws in the construction to get at the cheese even faster. Alone of all the test animals, the green lizards appear to be unaffected by the drug; they continue to lounge around their tank and move as little as possible. \n\nI can hardly even imagine what effect the drug could have on humans. If it turns out to be safe, then I could be poised on the brink of an unimaginable Renaissance, a true new Golden Age in human history. However excited I am about this new discovery, though, there’s no way I’m approving it for human use until I’m absolutely certain of its safety.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Turn the page.">>\n\nJournal entry #9:\n\nUnsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before Bill Gallo descended upon my new project like the vulture he is. Hardly an hour goes by without seeing his gaunt face peer around the door to my lab, asking how the research is going, demanding faster results. The man is so transparent. I can almost see him thinking of all the different ways he can steal the credit. He couldn’t care less about the research itself, or about its potential benefit to humanity. He only wants to be famous, to have people fawn over him, give him awards and accolades, and listen to his bombastic nonsense. I swear, one of these days I’m going to give him a piece of my mind. Really soon. Any day now. \n\nTo cap it off, I’m almost sure that he’s been stealing my test material. Twice now I’ve caught him slipping his hand into his pocket, and my supply of refined neurotransmitter gets lower every time I look. Technically, he is a scientist; he’s got to know how incredibly dangerous it is to dose yourself with an untested compound, much less one that’s been harvested from small glowing aliens. The drug is still light years away from being ready for human testing. The man completely lacks foresight, not to mention common sense.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Turn the page.">>\n\nJournal entry #10:\n \nTesting continues. I’ve increased dosage from ten to twenty milliliters every five days, upon Gallo’s insistence. Subjects still appear to be stable, but I have noticed some increased aggression, which may or may not prove relevant. I’ve made a note of it, but there is something else that has my attention at the moment. Ever since I first saw that strange, erratic glow pattern emerge when ten salamanders were placed together in the tank, it’s occupied an uneasy corner of my mind, and since then I’ve taken to watching them in the long hours of simmering, extracting and refining fluid. I could almost dismiss the pattern as a random occurrence, but there is something about the cadence, the way a specific sequence of glow and fade would start in one salamander and then be repeated by the others, that is somehow intimately familiar. This, coupled with neurotransmitter’s incredible cognition-increasing effect on Earth species, leads me inevitably to an explanation I’d much rather avoid: language. The salamanders can talk to each other.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Turn the page.">>\n\nThis page has been torn out at the spine.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Skip to the next page.">>\n\nJournal entry #12:\n\nTried yesterday to convince Gallo of the truth about the salamanders. I wasn’t expecting much from the man, but even he had to know what a horrible transgression it was to round up and harvest another intelligent species. However, he didn’t even allow me to finish my explanation before laughing in my face. He told me that my idiotic theories were standing in the way of human progress. I gathered my courage and told him that I was going to stop all testing on the salamanders if he didn’t at least relay my report to Sadler HQ back on Earth. After a long, tense silence, he reluctantly agreed. At least he appears to have enough sense to know that he has no chance of stealing my work if I never finish it.\n\nUnsurprisingly, he came to my office today and announced smugly that the Sadler executives had no intention of halting research on the salamanders no matter what my reasons. He probably never even talked to them, but even if he did, what am I supposed to do? If I continue to refuse to work, they’ll simply release the unfinished drug to an unsuspecting public. Besides, without me here, who knows what Gallo would do to my salamanders? He really seems to hate them; it’s gotten to the point where he can hardly stand to be in the same room as them if there are more than ten gathered together. It may be a side effect of the drug that he has continued to foolishly self-administer. If the salamanders can talk to each other, then perhaps they can also communicate with Gallo. Whatever it is that they might be saying to him, the man is becoming more and more unstable. When I refused to continue work yesterday, his face held a look of murderous rage, barely suppressed. It might be time to take precautions. I hope I still remember my computer science from back in my grad school days.\n\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n<<continue "Turn the page.">>\n\nJournal entry #13:\n\n Something is definitely wrong with my test animals. I walked into my lab this morning to find that two of my white rats have been killed by the others, literally torn to pieces, for no discernable reason. I’ve had to separate the pair of chimps, normally so gentle, for fear of violent confrontation, and both appear to be suffering from severe loss of motor control. I euthanized one of the rats in hopes of finding out the cause behind this bizarre behavior. To my shock, the autopsy revealed advanced necrosis in nearly every structure of the brain. The blue cognition drug has permeated every cell, staining the entire brain blue, and has begun to systematically isolate and destroy neurons. Even if I hadn’t terminated this rat, it would still have only lived another few days.\n The suddenness of this deterioration is shocking. I must have been so wrapped up in my concern for the salamanders that I failed to notice the telltale signs of advancing neurotoxicity in my test animals. I’ve changed the classification of the chemical from ‘neurotransmitter’ to ‘neurotoxin’. The consequences of releasing this poison on the world will be devastating. I need to warn someone, but I can’t take the chance that Gallo will try to stop me. He’s ingested so much of the drug already; if he finds out that his life is forfeit, he might decide that he has nothing to lose. My best bet is to take one of the escape pods back to Earth, along with the cadaver of one of the animals, and explain to the executive board that release of the drug is tantamount to genocide. I can only hope that I can manage to get everything ready before Gallo discovers my plan.\n\n<<if firstTimejournal>>[[Holy crap.|Adams' journal end]]<<endif>>\n<<if not firstTimejournal>><<back>><<endif>>\n
<<if (act3) and (climaxOver)>>__CONNECTING HALLWAY__\n\nThe connecting hallway echoes with alarms and shouting. Staff members race for the storage facility. A woman runs past pushing a wheeled flatbed cart; on it, a sleeping Donovan lies sprawled. You're happy to see that he's safe, but you don't envy the woman the cussing she'll get when he wakes up.\n\nThe door to the research wing is already sealed. A horrible howling noise is coming from the other side. The door to the [[executive reception area]] is behind you. The only way forward is through the [[storage facility]].<<endif>>\n<<if storageRoomguarded>>As you move toward the door, you suddenly hear voices. Creeping forward, you see that there is a security guard stationed just outside the door, speaking into a walkie talkie. He’s staring at the door to the scientific wing and the look on his face makes you absolutely sure that he would not be happy to see you. You’re not going to be getting out that way.\n\n[[back|storage facility]]<<endif>>\n<<if not cellPhone>>\nYou try to push through the double doors, but they won't budge. From a one-way speaker next to the door, a voice blares, “Employees are prohibited from leaving the laboratory area before the work cycle is over.”\n\n[[Damn.|foyer]]<<endif>>\n<<if (cellPhone) and (not storageRoomguarded) and (not act3)>> __CONNECTING HALLWAY__\n\nThis hallway is wider and a lot nicer than the hallways in the laboratory. Your shoes click on parquet floors. Classy wallpaper and potted plants give the place the feeling of an upscale hotel. At the north end of the hallway, there is a set of double doors to either side. A discreet plaque on the wall informs you that the [[storage facility]] lies to the east; to the west are the [[executive reception area]]. The [[research wing|foyer]] lies to the south. There is a [[poster|poster 3]] on the wall in front of you.\n\n <<set myLocation = "Connecting hallway">>\n<<endif>>\n
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The desk is made of wood, which represents a significant investment here on the moon, but there's no one manning it and it has a look of desertion. You suppose that they don't really need this reception area now that they've built that fancy new executive wing.\n\n[[back|foyer]]
<<if standoffCount eq 0>>Gallo smiles at you, clearly savoring your fear. He takes a step forward.<<endif>> <<if standoffCount eq 1>>Gallo shakes his head, as if he's very sorry that you're such a failure. He takes another step forward.<<endif>> <<if standoffCount eq 2>>Gallo casually examines the knife in his hand. In the slow-motion way of extreme fear, you notice that it has a tacky pattern of roses etched into the blade.<<endif>> <<if standoffCount eq 3>>You press yourself up against the door, but there's nowhere to go. Gallo is only a step away now. This close up, he smells //terrible//.<<endif>> <<if standoffCount eq 4>>Gallo reaches toward you with thick blue fingers. A vision flashes before your eyes: yourself, pale and staring, lying rigidly on top of Adams in the blackness of the freezer.<<endif>>\n\n<<if not standoffPaperweight>>The table next to you has a [[glass paperweight|standoff paperweight]] on it.<<endif>> <<if not standoffDoor>>The [[door|standoff door]] is behind you.<<endif>> <<if not standoffSoundproof>>The office [[isn't soundproof|standoff soundproof]].<<endif>> <<if not standoffReason>>You might be able to [[reason with Gallo|standoff reason]].<<endif>>\n\n<<if standoffCount gte 2>>You suddenly become aware of the [[salamander|standoff salamander]] squirming in your pocket.<<endif>>
Journal entry #4\n\nResearch on the blue compound I've dubbed sylio is progressing smoothly. It seems incredible that genetic material from a species so unlike our own could induce an identical healing effect in mammalian test subjects. Back in my undergrad days I had a fleeting interest in world mythology; to primitive man, salamanders were indeed a symbol of indestructibility. However, they were also believed by various societies to be symbols of faith and chastity, elemental beasts of both fire and ice. While it's extremely unlikely that any of these assertions hold an ounce of truth, salamanders (true salamanders, of course, and not just the aliens that look, to me, incredibly like salamanders) are actually possessed of strong regenerative powers. They routinely sacrifice their tails in order to distract predators, and portions of lost limbs regrow perfectly over time. The further my work progresses, the more I'm forced to wonder: is it just a coincidence that creatures that look and behave so alike could be found on both the Earth and the moon? It could be a case of divergent evolution, I suppose, though in what ancient time and by what means a colony of salamanders could migrate from one world to the other I haven't a clue. Still, though, it's an entertaining thought, and the inspiration for the name I've given my compound. Sylio is a medieval name for salamander.\n\n<<back>>
<<if not lockedInapartment>>__HABITATION HALLWAY WEST__\n\nYou find yourself standing in a narrow corridor with a metal door on either side. The south door leads to the floor's [[shared bathroom]]. [[Your apartment|your apartment]] lies to the north. The hallway stretches a bit [[further east|Habitation hallway east]]. The [[elevator lobby|Habitation level]] is to the west.\n\n<<set myLocation = "Habitation hallway west">><<endif>>\n<<if lockedInapartment>><<if myLocation neq "your apartment">>__HABITATION HALLWAY WEST__\n\nYou find yourself standing in a narrow corridor with a metal door on either side. The south door leads to the floor's [[shared bathroom]]. [[Your apartment|your apartment]] lies to the north. The hallway stretches a bit [[further east|Habitation hallway east]]. The [[elevator lobby|Habitation level]] is to the west.\n\n<<set myLocation = "Habitation hallway west">><<endif>><<endif>>\n<<if myLocation eq "your apartment">><<if lockedInapartment>><<if checkedApartmentdoor>>The damn door is locked tight; Gallo wants you out of his way. There must be some other way out.\n\n[[back|your apartment]] <<endif>> <<endif>> <<endif>>\n<<if myLocation eq "your apartment">><<if not checkedApartmentdoor>>\nYou try to open the door, but it won’t budge. Frantically, you yank on the handle. A speaker by the door blares, “This base is now on lockdown for security reasons. All non-essential personnel will be confined to their quarters for the duration. Thank you for your cooperation.”\n\nThere’s only one person who would try to lock you in your room. You’ve got to find another way out. <<set checkedApartmentdoor = true>>\n\n[[back|your apartment]] <<endif>> <<endif>>\n\n\n
Journal entry #1\n\nAnother day, another sample of lunar rock to analyze. How many days in a row do I have to report that lunar rock contains calcium, aluminum, titanium, hafnium, zirconium, and helium-3 before they write it down somewhere? Establishing a scientific laboratory on the surface of the moon is all very noble, advancing the lot of mankind and all that, but only if there is something valid to study up here. I'm beginning to think that Sadler Drugs just stuck me on this barren rock so they wouldn't have to deal with me anymore. Ruin one stockholder meeting with the suggestion that their AIDS vaccine might result in total liver failure, and you're treated like a pariah. \n \nThe other members of my team don't exactly inspire confidence, either. I've known Donovan Kiv for many years, but ever since the death of his wife and daughter he's just a walking corpse. I'm lucky if I can get him to feed himself, much less conduct any useful research. As for the intern, she's barely out of grad school and seems to spend most of her time trolling people on the internet. There's not much else to do around here, but she could at least try to look busy. I'm a biologist, dammit, not a babysitter.\n\n<<back>>\n
Journal entry #2\n\nThe incredible has happened. Meteor #742 struck the moon a few hours ago, as I had predicted. I had been monitoring its progress closely, and sure enough, it hit only a few hundred meters from the base. Luckily, the outer heat shield protected us from the intense heat of impact. What I hadn't expected, however, was that the crater produced would contain not only liquid, but genuine, complex extra-terrestrial life forms. Unbelievable! By the merest whim of fate, I happen to be an eyewitness to one of the most incredible events in human history. One of the only ones, too, since the Sadler bigwigs on Earth have decided to keep the discovery a secret from the public until we can determine the exact nature of these little creatures.\n\nDonovan seems unaffected by the discovery; he rarely responds to outside stimuli anymore. Casey, however, seemed to be as excited as I was. I was pleased to discover that she managed to follow the correct procedure to prevent contamination of the life form during transport to the lab. Perhaps she has the makings of a real scientist after all.\n\n<<back>>\n
Journal entry #3\n\nI've been examining the alien life forms closely for some days now. They bear an exceedingly strong resemblance to several species of Earth salamander, especially the axolotl, or Ambystoma mexicanum. The specimens under my care range from 15 to 21 centimeters in length. They possess four short limbs with finger-like digits and a thick tail that they use for balance. Though they were discovered in a pool of liquid nitrogen, they seem equally at home on solid ground. Their two eyes are black and lidless, without pupils. They don't appear to require food, and they have no sexual organs: it's possible that they reproduce asexually. Their outer dermal layer is soft and translucent, revealing a thick blue liquid that circulates beneath it. They are also bioluminescent; this blue ichor pulses with a slow, rhythmic glow. I believe this blue liquid to be the main factor in what turned out to be the most astounding thing about them.\n\nDetailed anatomical study was hampered by the fact that every attempt to euthanize a specimen for autopsy resulted in rapid, almost instantaneous tissue regeneration. The creatures are immune to all types of Earth poisons; a cut with a scalpel healed within seconds. The creatures appear to possess incredible healing powers. I've focused my efforts on the extraction and examination of this incredible blue fluid; I've assigned the intern the more mundane task of observing the behavior of the subjects themselves. If I could somehow find a way to adapt this formula for use on humans, sickness and injury might be relics of the past.\n\n<<back>>
In a silver frame, a family is smiling placidly. A burly man in a cowboy hat has his arm around a tiny, birdlike woman in a pink dress. In front of the couple, two little girls in pigtails are elbowing one another and giggling. One has smooth blonde hair, the other frizzy red. If you look past the freckles and the gap-toothed grin, you can totally picture the red-haired girl smiling at you and saying passive-aggressive things in a pink office.\n\n[[back|Crystal’s bedroom]]
<<silently>>\n<<set cellPhone = true>>\n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage1 = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\nIt's your cell phone. You've been wondering where that went! It must have fallen out of your pocket the last time you used the restroom. You scoop it up, feeling embarrassed. You really shouldn't haul it around with you, you can't even get signal up here any more since the communications ban - \n\n<<continue "Wait. What?">>\nIncredibly, the screen of your phone is lit up with the 'text message waiting' icon. Who the hell could this be from? All cellular communication is supposedly disabled. You flip the phone open.\n\n ''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //A door blocks the way://\n //To get to the bottom, just//\n //Go straight to the top.//\n\nCould the text message be referring to the lock on Adams' laboratory? (Cell phone added to inventory.)\n\n[[back|bathroom]]\n
You pick up a magazine and flip to a random page. There is an ad for the 2035 Honda flying minibus. You smirk at the boxy, outdated design. This magazine is more than ten years old.\n\n[[back|foyer]]
Now, I couldn't do that, sugar! A lady's abode is no one's business but her own. If Bill had his way, he'd be able to watch you any hour of the day or night, but I put a stop to that in a hurry. I permanently disabled the surveillance cameras in all the living quarters. (Crystal glances at the door to her own apartment.) Security is one thing, but a girl needs her privacy, after all.\n\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[Hey, thanks. I should probably go to my abode right now.|Crystal1 End]]
Oh, yes…Bill. (Crystal sighs theatrically.) He certainly does like to have his way, doesn't he? I'm sure you know how it is, sweetie. It always falls to the ladies to make sure that the menfolk feel like they're in charge. It keeps them complacent and more easily maneuvered. After all, Sun Tzu tells us to pretend inferiority and encourage the enemy's arrogance.\n\n[[What?|Crystal1 19]]\n[[ consider Gallo your enemy, then?|Crystal1 21]]\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[Sun Tzu, huh? I...should go.|Crystal1 End]]
Bill Gallo? (Crystal laughs, but you see her fingers curl into a loose fist.) The poor dear is always so tightly wound. I'm sure there are plenty of nice things about his office, even if it's not quite as big as this one. (Crystal's smile contains a hint of satisfaction.) Besides, he spends most of his time in front of that silly ol' mirror in any case. I bet he wouldn't even appreciate the view from up here.\n\n[[So you think Gallo is conceited, too?|Crystal1 21]]\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[I should get back to work.|Crystal1 End]]
Why, don't tell me that you don't adore pink as much as I do! (Crystal spreads her arms wide to encompass the pink pandemonium of her office.) It's just so soft and feminine, so… docile. (She continues, half to herself.) A good general knows that all warfare is based on deception.\n\n[[That's an Art of War reference...|Crystal1 22]]\n[[You know, there's more to you than you let on.|Crystal1 22]]
(Crystal's eyes tighten imperceptibly when she hears Gallo's name.) Now, Bill's been awful busy, what with writin' his press releases and acceptance speeches and suchlike. I'm sure he doesn't need to be bothered none with little aliens runnin' around doin' whatever it is those critters do. (She leans toward you conspiratorially.) Besides, I heard tell where Bill's none too fond of those salamanders, even though they seem to be buildin' him quite a legacy. I don't think there's any need to worry him about it.\n\n[[Really? So you'll unlock the door for me?|Crystal1 12]]
(Crystal smiles tightly.) Now, sweetie, you should know that Texans don't hold with silly superstitions. That lab was shut off for a reason, I'm sure. If you can't think up a better reason than that, I'm afraid you're plumb out of luck.\n\n[[The truth is, I think one of my salamanders got in there...somehow.|Crystal1 9]]
Don't mention it, darlin'! Now, I want to see a smile on that cute little face of yours! After all, a happy employee is a productive employee! (Crystal hands you the note she has written. You can't help but notice that it has a pattern of fluffy kittens printed on it. Shaking your head, you pocket the note.) (Crystal's note added to inventory.) <<set crystalsNote = true>><<set askedCrystalnote = true>>\n\n[[I'll go give this to Gallo, then.|Crystal1 End]]
Now, hold your horses there, honey. I may be in charge of this facility, but Bill is still the lead researcher, and he pouts when I don't recognize it. You're gonna need his permission to open the lock on that door. (Crystal produces a notepad from the trinkets on her desk and begins writing in large, flowery cursive.) You just take this note down to Bill's office and see if he won't open up that silly old lab. I won't tell him why. It'll just be our little secret, okay?\n\n[[Okay...thanks.|Crystal1 13]]
What?\n\n[[You just said-|Crystal1 20]]\n[[Did you just quote The Art of-|Crystal1 20]]
My career, darlin'. It might be nearly the 22nd century of our Lord Jesus, but it still seems like those silly old corporations would rather hire a man than a woman for all the important jobs, no matter how qualified she is. (Crystal turns toward the window so that her face is hidden.) Sometimes a girl has to take the position that no one else wants, far from home, in order to get the respect she deserves.\n\n[[It doesn't seem like Bill Gallo has much respect for anyone but himself.|Crystal1 14]]\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[This seems like a private moment. I should go.|Crystal1 End]]
(A man appears on screen - you recognize him from your employee orientation video. Then, he was smiling and telling you how lucky you are to work for Sadler Pharmaceutical. Now, he looks //pissed//.)\n\nIt's about goddamn time - wait, who the hell are you? Where's Crystal?\n\n[[I'm the intern. Crystal's busy guarding the prisoner.|tom3 4]]\n[[So I take it you looked at the files?|tom3 5]]
Sadly, no. Guess I didn't hit him hard enough. Oh well, I guess second time's the charm!\n\n[[Wait! Aren't we forgetting something important?|Crystal3 4]]
<<set crystal3_2 = true>>(Crystal jerks a thumb at the pieces of a broken trophy lying next to her. The small golden figures of a horse and rider are lying awkwardly on their side; the heavy marble base must have snapped off with the force of the blow.)\n\nI never thought all those bareback bronco riding competitions would wind up helping me in my career!\n\n<<if not crystal3_1>>[[Wow...thanks for saving me.|Crystal3 1]]\n<<else>>[[Is he...dead?|Crystal3 3]]<<endif>>
<<set crystal3_1 = true>>Just returning the favor, sugar. Besides, I've been meaning to give Gallo a good walloping for a long, long time. It's always nice to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.\n\n<<if not crystal3_2>>[[What did you do?|Crystal3 2]]\n<<else>>[[Is he...dead?|Crystal3 3]] <<endif>>
(Crystal looks regretful.) Yeah, yeah, okay. Guess it'll be easier to prove his guilt if he's still alive. \n\nGet to it, then! Call up those Sadler fat cats and tell them their hot new drug's worse than useless. Oh, this should be //fun//.\n\n[[Plug the computer back in.|tom3 1]]
You flip open the book to the bookmarked page and glance at the contents. Near the top of the page are the words, “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.”\n\n[[back|Crystal’s apartment]]
<<if (act1) and (not galloGone)>>\nGallo clears his throat loudly. You look up to see his pale blue eyes glaring at you. You're not going to be able to look at any of his stuff while he's sitting there watching your every move.<<endif>>\n<<if galloGone>>Gallo's desk is huge. Is intellectual overcompensation a thing?\n<<if not hairDye>>Feeling impish, you try all the drawers in Gallo's behemoth of a desk. To your surprise, one of them slides open. A nearly-empty bottle of [[brown hair dye]] stands inside.<<endif>>\n\n<<if firstTimegalloDesk>>\nOn a hunch, you feel around on the underside of the desk. Sure enough, in the back corner you can feel the rough edge of a page torn out of a notebook. Smiling, you put it in your pocket. (Journal entry 4/5 added to inventory.) <<set firstTimegalloDesk = false>> <<set journalEntry4 = true>> <<endif>>\n<<if not cellPhonemessage4>>\n\nYour cell phone starts to vibrate.\n\n''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //In seeking power,//\n //The wise man knows the limits//\n //The fool strains against.//\n<<set cellPhonemessage4 = true>>\n<<endif>> <<endif>>\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
The Axolotl Project
<<if not act1>>Above and below, giant electromagnets strain at the elevator capsules, but for now the lifts hover silently, waiting to ferry you up to your apartment.\n\nTake the lift up?\n\n[[Yes|Habitation level]]\n[[No|foyer]]\n<<else>>\nYou push the button for the magnet lift, but it fails to light up. From a one-way speaker next to the lifts, a voice blares, "Employees are prohibited from entering the habitation area until sanitation processes are complete."\n\nWell, //that's// new. Looks like you won't be able to go upstairs until they're finished cleaning. You hope that they don't go through your stuff.\n\n[[back|foyer]] <<endif>>
You finally found that stupid salamander. As you scoop him off the floor, he gives you a knowing look. His skin feels cool and clammy, and pulses with slow blue light. You put the little guy in your pocket, where he seems perfectly happy to stay. (Salamander added to inventory.) <<set salamander = true>>\n\n[[back|Adams' lab]]
Bingo. You clear your computer and other random desk junk onto the floor. You manage to heave the flimsy table onto its end and drag it to the window. One push is all it takes to lay the table across the gap and create a bridge. It’s not the sturdiest looking structure you’ve ever seen, but it’s a pretty good job for thirty seconds of work. <<set deskBridge = true>> \n\n[[Yes!|your apartment]]
<<if (gallosKey) or (gallosPassword)>>It looks a lot like the desk in Gallo’s office. You scour the drawers in search of evidence. In the top drawer, you find a dozen empty vials of Syrenida™and a couple of used needles. Carefully, you close that drawer. In the bottom drawer, a thick sheaf of paper has a worn-out look, as though someone has flipped through it many times. You glance at the first page. It reads, “My fellow scientific minds, I thank you for this well-deserved honor. Growing up in Chicago, I always knew that someday I would stand among these hallowed halls. I remember when…” The acceptance speech goes on for many more pages, and gets more and more flowery as the length increases. You mentally add another reason you need to stop Gallo: to save the innocent people at the Nobel Prize ceremony from this excruciating monologue.\n\n[[back|Gallo's apartment]]<<endif>>\n<<if (not gallosKey) and (not gallosPassword)>><<set gallosKey = true>>It looks a lot like the desk in Gallo’s office. You scour the drawers in search of evidence. In the top drawer, you find a dozen empty vials of Syrenida™and a couple of used needles. Carefully, you close that drawer. In the bottom drawer, a thick sheaf of paper has a worn-out look, as though someone has flipped through it many times. You glance at the first page. It reads, “My fellow scientific minds, I thank you for this well-deserved honor. Growing up in Chicago, I always knew that someday I would stand among these hallowed halls. I remember when…” The acceptance speech goes on for many more pages, and gets more and more flowery as the length increases. You mentally add another reason you need to stop Gallo: to save the innocent people at the Nobel Prize ceremony from this excruciating monologue.\n<<continue "next">>\nA search of all the drawers has failed to produce anything useful. You slam your fist on the desk in frustration. The vibration jars the keyboard an inch to the left; you can see the gleam of silver underneath. You lift the keyboard to discover a key. Success! You pocket it. (Gallo’s key added to inventory.)\n\n[[Nice!|Gallo's apartment]]<<endif>>\n
Yes, what is it, intern? As you can see, I am exceedingly busy.\n\n[[Oh, excuse my intrusion, good sir.|Gallo1 2]]\n[[So what exactly is it that you do here?|Gallo1 3]]\n<<if crystalsNote>>[[I have a note from Crystal.|Gallo1 18]]<<endif>>\n[[Ok, never mind then.|Gallo1 End]]
The Earth looks so beautiful from up here. You feel suddenly homesick.\n\n[[back|Crystal's office]]
<<if not firstTimegallosTrunk>>It's filled with coils of gray optical cable. It's suspicious that Gallo would want to lock up something as mundane as this, but it's not exactly evidence of murder. From the antiseptic smell rising from the chest, you're sure that Gallo thoroughly cleaned off any DNA evidence that might have lingered.\n\n[[back|Gallo's apartment]]<<endif>>\n<<if (gallosKey) and (firstTimegallosTrunk)>>You shove the key into the padlock and turn it. It springs open. In triumph, you undo the catches and lift the lid. Your elation quickly dissipates, however, when you discover that the trunk is empty except for a tangled-up mess of optical cable lurking in the bottom. Disappointed, you stir the cable with your foot. It’s about half an inch thick, and coated with a gray plastic sheath. The color matches the gray ring on the ceiling pipe in Adam’s apartment, but this kind of cable isn’t hard to find.\n \nIn shifting around the cable, a scrap of paper is revealed in the bottom of the trunk. You fish it out. On it is written Gallo’s username and password for administrative access to the mainframe. You shake your head. For someone who claims to be so smart, Gallo sure isn’t too careful about identity theft. (Gallo's account details added to inventory.)\n\n[[back|Gallo's apartment]]<<set gallosKey = false>><<set gallosPassword = true>><<set firstTimegallosTrunk = false>><<endif>>\n<<if (not gallosKey) and (not gallosPassword)>>The thing is clearly locked. You kick it a couple times, but it fails to spring open. Maybe there’s a key around here somewhere.\n\n[[back|Gallo's apartment]]\n<<endif>>
-“certainly did not set the White House on fire,” said the president from his jail cell. In other news, the world is waiting with bated breath for next month's release of the new miracle drug, Syrenida™. Kristin Robar has the story. Kristin?\n\nThanks, Manuel. I'm here with Jacob Smith, a spokesperson for Sadler Drugs. Jacob, it certainly has been an incredible year for your company. Only eight months ago, it revolutionized the healthcare industry with the invention of Sylio™, and the press releases regarding the new drug are even more ambitious. What can you tell us?\n\nWell Kristin, we at Sadler prefer to think of it as having been an incredible year for the human race. After all, our formula has done away with sickness as we knew it. It regenerates lost brain cells for victims of stroke and Alzheimers, heals all types of cancerous cells, and, of course, heals almost any physical wound instantly. About the only thing it doesn't do is regrow lost limbs and, well, we're working on that, ha ha.\n\nHa ha. Jacob, our viewers love your product, of course, but there's one thing they want to know: how do you make it?\n\nI'd love to tell you, Kristin, but I'm afraid it would be too dangerous. You see, we have scientists in labs all over the world working tirelessly to create Sylio™ from pure, natural sources. But it's a very, very complicated formula: if the public were to find out how to make it, there would no doubt be unscrupulous people who would try to recreate and sell the drug, leading to terrible health risks. So, Kristin, it's much better for us to be able to continue providing a safe, controlled substance, at a very reasonable price, to all of our loyal patrons.\n\nOh, I…see.\n\n<<print "[["+ "Turn off the screen." + "|" + myLocation + "]]">>
-about time you got here!\n Justin: Wow! You fell off the roof, and all you got were two broken legs and some internal hemorrhaging. Here, let me rub some Sylio™ on that for you.\n Mary: Never mind that! I took this skirt from my sister's closet, and now there's blood all over it! She's gonna kill me!\n Justin: Hey, don't worry so much. Just take it down to the mall and have them print up a new one for you.\n Mary: Wow, Justin, you're so smart! I'm treating you to a soy nutrient smoothie!\n Justin: Hey, that's what friends are for!\n (Theme music.)\n\n<<print "[["+ "Turn off the scren." + "|" + myLocation + "]]">>
-It's the bottom of the ninth here at Fenway, and the score is tied 8 to 8. Mark Terry has just hit another beautiful home run. Many people thought that he would have to sit the rest of the season out after that bone-shattering injury he sustained last week, but here he is, completely healed and mugging for the crowd. They're just eating it up, aren't they, Ted?\n\nThat's right, Frank. I gotta tell you, that Sylio™ drug has really changed the face of baseball. With all the players in peak physical condition and worries about a career-ending injury completely eliminated, these players are playing faster, harder, and more aggressively than ever before. This truly is the golden age of sports.\n\nYou said it, Ted. In fact, I heard tell that some of the industry's top players are meeting next week to decide how to take full advantage of next month's release of Syrenida™. With players that are stronger, smarter, and more durable, there's talk of vamping up the game to make it edgier and more exciting. Don't tell anyone, but I heard that whirling blades, savage dogs, and robots that shoot fire might be involved.\n\nWell, that'll certainly be something to see. I only hope that they'll still remain true to the heart of the game.\n\n<<print "[["+ "Turn off the screen." + "|" + myLocation + "]]">>
Frantically, you stab at the buttons on the airlock control panel. Nothing happens. Why isn't there a big red "Abort" button like in the movies?\n\nThe countdown reaches twenty seconds.\n\n[[Kick the control console.|act3 2]]\n[[Try to pry open the door.|act3 2]]\n[[Panic.|act3 2]]
ToM Version 8.1.6 (Stable)\n\nGood afternoon! I am ToM, the Sadler Corporation’s proprietary AI research database and assistant. How may I assist you?\n\n[[Tom, open this door!|act3 4]]
That...does appear to be the case. You peer into your pocket at your salamander friend. He's staring back at you, steadily. He looks //much// more alert here among the masses than he ever did in your observation tank. His beady little eyes seem to bore straight into your soul. Carefully, you close your pocket.\n\nSo. Add that to Gallo's rap sheet - enslavement of a sentient species. This room gives you the serious creeps: there's a sense of tension, almost of anticipation. The ground rumbles, very slightly. You feel sorry for the salamanders, but right now, they're somehow...terrifying.\n\nYour cell phone starts to vibrate.\n\n''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //In a tight corner//\n //Who will the desperate man//\n //Set his sights upon?//\n\nWho the //hell// is sending you these texts?\n\n[[back|underground room]] <<set cellPhonemessage8 = true>><<set storageRoomguarded = true>>
You attempt to solve the problem with physical violence. Unsurprisingly, your efforts have no effect on the heavy steel equipment. You and Crystal stare at each other in horror.\n\nThe countdown reaches twenty seconds.\n\nWait... your efforts have caused a panel on the wall to slide open slightly. Is that a computer terminal?\n\n[[Use the computer.|act3 3]]
<<if (act2) or (act3)>>This shipment of drugs is ready for transport to Earth. The security team that had been inspecting it is gone now; in fact, the whole base seems weirdly deserted. Now that everyone is gone, you are able to take a closer look at these gigantic crates. The base must be producing an awful lot of drugs to fill all these.\n\n<<if cellPhonemessage7>>As you walk along the side of one of the crates, you suddenly notice a [[door set into the far wall|underground room]]. The door is unmarked and unassuming.<<endif>>\n\n[[back|storage facility]]<<endif>>\n<<if act1>>This shipment of drugs is ready for transport to Earth. Members of security detail swarm over it with clipboards, checking and double-checking. One of them gives you a dirty look when he sees you. They're probably not in the mood for conversation.\n\n[[back|storage facility]]<<endif>>
On the water pipe above, a ring of gray indicates a spot where flakes from a plastic cord might have rubbed off. It looks like something heavy was once hung here. With a sinking feeling, you look more closely at the desk. Sure enough, you see a confusion of footprints. Could this be where…?\n\n[[back|Adams' apartment]]
Not a word since he left the base three months ago. Of course, that's thanks to Crystal's ban. (Donovan looks glum.) He was the only one around here who could hold a decent conversation.\n\n[[So it was Crystal who put that ban in place? It really sucks not being able to use my cell phone.|Donovan 18]]\n[[What was Adams working on before he quit?|Donovan 19]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Hey, thanks for that. I can take a hint.|Donovan End]]
(Donovan glares at you.) What do I look like to you, some kind of fairy? I'm no animal lover, little girl. (He glances over at the tanks, and his expression softens.) It's just… Those little guys are my only link back to Earth, and they depend on me. I can't let 'em down. (One of the chimps sees Donovan looking over, and presses his palm to the glass in a familiar, affectionate gesture.)\n\n[[So what's the deal with these test animals, anyway?|Donovan 11]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Gotta go.|Donovan End]]
I try not to look at that thing too closely. It's hard enough to do since it's hanging right outside my door without you coming in here and bringing it up. It's bad enough that the two of them are out there grinning like fuckin' pod people, but it's even worse that they remind me of…well, never mind.\n\n\n[[Remind you of who?|Donovan 8]]\n[[Okay...Let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Catch ya later.|Donovan End]]
New security protocol dictates that scientific personnel are not permitted to leave their designated laboratory areas during working hours.\n\n[[But what if I need to pee?|tom1 16]]\n[[Can you just open the door? It's important.|tom1 17]]\n[[Who put that stupid rule in place?!|tom1 10]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
I’m sorry, that information is classified((Uncaught exception: CLASSIFIED.level5 undefined)) I will be happy to tell you. An increase in security protocol and staff has been approved by Dr. William Gallo (ID willgall) pending the release of Sadler Pharmaceutical’s newest formula.\n\n[[You mean Syrenida™, right?|tom1 14]]\n[[Tell me more about William Gallo.|tom1 15]]\n[[Uh, are you sure you're supposed to be telling me this?|tom1 8]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
Ha. Ha. These jokes, they slay me. (Donovan winces.)\ fuckin' head. What was it you wanted?\n\n[[Why is your lab so dirty?|Donovan 3]]\n[[Maybe if you didn't drink so know, just a thought.|Donovan 4]]\n[[Have you heard from Henry Adams lately? |Donovan 5]]\n[[See ya.|Donovan End]]
While these space suits are definitely stylish, they're also heavy. You don't really want to lug one all through the base when there's plenty of oxygen to go around.\n\n[[back|airlock]]
Gallo clears his throat loudly. You look up to see his pale blue eyes glaring at you. You're not going to be able to look at any of his stuff while he's sitting there watching your every move.\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
((Extenuating circumstances: is a directory)) {{Social exchange attempt:}} First, input the magic word.\n\n[[Magic word, really?|tom1 19]]\n[[Um, please?|tom1 19]]\n[[Ugh, just do it!|tom1 19]]
Cause I like it that way, that's why. It reminds me that I'm human. That sneaky little cleaning robot is always trying to come in here and scrub the place down, but after I kick it a couple times, it usually gets the message. No way in hell I'm letting that creepy little bastard near my animals.\n\n[[So you're an animal lover?|Donovan 6]]\n[[Speaking of creepy, did you see that poster outside?|Donovan 7]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Peace out.|Donovan End]]
Designated biological breaks will be provided at intervals of four hours, accompanied by an escort from the security team. Additional breaks may be requested in writing and will be reflected in employees’ paychecks.\n\n[[That's outrageous! Let me out of here!|tom1 17]]\n[[Can't you make an exception?|tom1 17]]
Querying active employee profiles…accessing profile.\n\nDoctor William Gallo (B.C.E., M.D., Ph.D., Psy.D., J.D., Hon. D.Sc., Hon. Litt.D.) is the world’s pre-eminent researcher in the fields of genetic engineering and biotechnology. After a long and storied career, he joined Sadler Pharmaceutical in June of 2076. Only one year later, he created the massively successful drug Sylio™, now in widespread use around the world. Single-handedly responsible for eradicating nearly all forms of disease and injury, he nevertheless insists to the scientific community that “the best is yet to come.”\n\n[[Wait, I thought Henry Adams created Sylio™?|tom1 18]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
(Gallo sneers at you.) Don't pretend to understand the importance of the work done here. Very soon the human race will be reborn into the glorious new dawn of my design, and we will all have perfect bodies, perfect minds, perfect understanding. Then they will have no choice but to recognize my genius and award me the Nobel Prize. The whole world will have to acknowledge me as the architect of Paradise.\n\n[[It sounds to me like you've already been sampling the goods.|Gallo1 8]]\n[[ this new world, is everyone going to talk like you?|Gallo1 9]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[Hold that thought...|Gallo1 End]]
\n<<silently>>\n<<set importantSequence = true>>\nAct flags\n<<set act1 = false>>\n<<set act2 = false>>\n<<set act3 = false>>\nEvent flags\nACT I\n<<set prologueDone = false>>\n<<set caseysDoor_locked = true>>\n<<set caseysDoor_checked = false>>\n<<set salamander_firstLook = true>>\n<<set adamsDoor_locked = true>>\n<<set toilet_checked = false>>\n<<set ductTapeused = false>>\n<<set heardMessage1 = false>>\n<<set firstTimechintz = true>>\n<<set askedCrystalnote = false>>\n<<set galloGone = false>>\n<<set firstTimegalloDesk = true>>\n<<set firstTimeadamsLab = true>>\nACT II\n<<set heardMessage2 = false>>\n<<set otherWindow_open = false>>\n<<set deskBridge = false>>\n<<set firstTimejournal = true>>\n<<set lockedInapartment = false>>\n<<set checkedApartmentdoor = false>>\n<<set apartmentEscape = false>>\n<<set foundGallosapartment = false>>\n<<set gallosTrunk_locked = true>>\n<<set firstTimegallosTrunk = true>>\n<<set firstTimeundergroundRoom = true>>\n<<set storageRoomguarded = false>>\nACT III\n<<set crystalRescued = false>>\n<<set firstTimeescapeTunnel = true>>\n<<set firstTimebathroom = true>>\n<<set firstTimecrystalsApartment = true>>\n<<set tom2_3 = false>>\n<<set tom2_4 = false>>\n<<set standoffPaperweight = false>>\n<<set standoffDoor = false>>\n<<set standoffSoundproof = false>>\n<<set standoffReason = false>>\n<<set standoffCount = 0>>\n<<set crystal3_1 = false>>\n<<set crystal3_2 = false>>\n<<set climaxOver = false>>\n<<set releasedSalamanders = false>>\n<<set didntReleasesalamanders = false>>\nInventory flags\nACT I\n<<set inventoryEmpty = true>>\n<<set journalEntry1 = false>>\n<<set journalEntry2 = false>>\n<<set journalEntry3 = false>>\n<<set journalEntry4 = false>>\n<<set ductTape = false>>\n<<set adamsNote = false>>\n<<set cellPhone = false>>\n<<set crystalsNote = false>>\n<<set crystalsNote2 = false>>\n<<set hairDye = false>>\n<<set salamander = false>>\nACT II\n<<set adamsJournal = false>>\n<<set gallosKey = false>>\n<<set gallosPassword = false>>\n<<set thumbDrive = false>>\n<<set journalEntry11 = false>>\nText message flags\nACT I\n<<set cellPhonemessage1 = false>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage2 = false>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage3 = false>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage4 = false>>\nACT II\n<<set cellPhonemessage5 = false>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage6 = false>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage7 = false>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage8 = false>>\nEmail flags\n<<set email1 = false>>\n<<endsilently>>\n\n<html><span style="font-size:30px">The Axolotl Project</span></html>\n\n\n\n\n\n[[click to start|act 1 start]] \n\n[[Skip to Act II|act 2 start]] \n\n[[Skip to Act III|act 3 start]]
I’m sorry, that information is encrypted and classified level 8. Your clearance level is 1. Might I suggest consulting with another employee of the requisite level?\n\n[[Who on this base has level 8 clearance?|tom1 24]]\n[[Yeah, I bet I know who that would be.|tom1 24]]
It’s my function to assist with both general and specific inquiries. If there are no specific inquiries, I can provide no specific data. ((Subtext extrapolation:))The law of cause and effect applies to all, computer and human alike.\n\n[[Yes, ok, thank you, Tom. That will be all.|tom1 25]]\n[[That's poetic, for a computer.|tom1 25]]
Dr. Adams utilized that freezer to store euthanized test subjects. Was there a specific inquiry? ((Awaiting query input: _))\n\n[[Who was the last person to open it?|tom1 22]]\n[[Is there any video footage of that room?|tom1 22]]\n[[N-no, nothing specific. Why would there be something specific?|tom1 23]]
<<if not gallosPassword>>Apologies, that information is protected by the highest security designation recognized by this system. \n\n[[(Try using the magic word again.)|tom1 26]]\n[[What kind of security are we talking about here?|tom1 27]]\n<<else>>Please input security credentials to continue.\n\n[[login: William H Gallo (B.C.E., M.D., Ph.D., Psy.D., J.D., Hon. D.Sc., Hon. Litt.D.) \n\npassword: illshowthosefoolsillshowthemall1|tom1 29]]<<endif>>
Magic word not accepted. I’m sorry, RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama, not even the magic word constitutes sufficient credentials in this instance.\n\n[[Worth a try. What kind of credentials do I need?|tom1 27]]
Accessing employee handbook…\n\n“Under no circumstances should an employee of clearance level 6 or higher write down or otherwise record his or her security credentials. If it becomes absolutely necessary to record this information, be sure to place any physical copies in a secure location. But really, we’d prefer that you didn’t.”\n\nI hope this information is helpful to you!\n\n[[A secure location, huh...|tom1 28]]\n[[What are the odds that Gallo is careless enough to...|tom1 28]]
__GALLO'S APARTMENT__\n\nYou find yourself in Gallo’s private quarters. It’s not nearly as imposing as you imagined. It looks like a suite at a classy hotel. Here and there are touches that you’re sure Gallo added himself. For example, the nude Grecian marble statue throwing a discus was probably not part of the original design plans. Looking closely, you realize that it has Gallo’s face. You suppress a gag.\n\nTo your right, there is a spacious kitchen area. Several of the staff kitchen’s green plastic meal containers are stacked neatly on the counter. On the table, the remains of a meal have a just-finished look. You peer nervously around the apartment, ready to run. \n\nTo the right is a [[bathroom|Gallo's bathroom]] with a marble counter; to the left is the open door to [[Gallo's bedroom]]. Luckily, Gallo isn’t anywhere to be found. Against the far wall sits a black <<if (not gallosKey) or (not firstTimegallosTrunk)>>[[steamer trunk]]<<endif>><<if (gallosKey) and (firstTimegallosTrunk)>>[[steamer trunk|unlock trunk]]<<endif>> with a huge, old-fashioned padlock on it. In the corner, Gallo’s [[personal computer|computer]] stands on a [[walnut desk]]. The door to [[Gallo's office]] is north.<<set myLocation = "Gallo's apartment">>\n
Of course, RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama. My purpose is to protect and serve.\nkernel panic becarefulbecarefulbecarefulbecarefulbecareful…(113 more)\n((attempting reboot))\n\nOf course, RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama. My purpose is to serve.\n\n[[What?|tom1 End]]\n
I’m sorry, queries must be posited in complete sentences!\n\n[[Never mind. Thanks for the information.|tom1 25]]
Login accepted. Welcome, RESEARCHER 001 William Gallo! How may I assist you?\n\n[[Show me anything I've been covering up.|tom1 30]]\n<<set importantSequence = true>> <<update>>
Just… someone I used to know, in a previous life. (Donovan glances at a framed photo on his desk. It's the only thing on the desk that's been carefully kept clean and whole. It shows a young Donovan with his arm around a pretty blonde woman in a t-shirt. They're both grinning down at a curly-headed little girl wearing a pink tutu. You can't remember ever seeing Donovan looking as happy as he does in this photo.) \n\n[[Nice family. Where are they now?|Donovan 9]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Sorry, I've got places to be.|Donovan End]]\n
(Donovan suddenly looks very old.) If you gotta know, they're dead. Okay? They were on their way to meet me at the office, and the train's guidance system malfunctioned, and now they're dead. Because of me, and because of the soulless, brainless computers that run all our lives and yet don't have the sense not to run a train off a fucking bridge. (Without looking up, he rummages through the empty bottles in his desk drawer.)\n\n[[Damn, Donovan. It's no wonder you...don't like machines.|Donovan 10]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[That's depressing. I'm out of here.|Donovan End]]
Ugh. This entire office makes your brain hurt, and all the aggressively sugary religious iconography is creeping you out. You could almost swear that one of the statuettes on the periphery of your vision is making a rude gesture, but it hurts your eyes to inspect them too closely.\n\n<<if firstTimechintz>>\nAs you move across the room, you accidentally brush up against the wall. A trophy drops from a high shelf and plummets to the ground with a sickening thud, an inch from your head. Luckily, it's not broken. You pick it up again and place it on the nearest table. Damn, this thing is really heavy. You would have been in serious trouble if it had landed on you. <<set firstTimechintz = false>> <<endif>>\n\n[[back|Crystal's office]]
It's the bed where you sleep. It has the standard bed accessories: a pillow, a couple of sheets, and a blanket. It's not the most exciting or comfortable place you've ever slept, but hey, a bed is a bed.\n\n[[back|your apartment]]
It's an old-fashioned key, of the type to unlock old-fashioned things.\n\n<<back>>
He looks like the type of guard who might be interested in a lowly scientist wandering the halls of the upper crust. His back is facing you: it might be best to leave him be.\n\n[[back|executive reception area]]
(Before you can splutter your outrage, Crystal stops you. The smile never leaves her face, but her eyes are ice chips.)\n\nMaybe you're confused, Mr. President? Miss Casey and I just prevented an unprecedented global crisis. A crisis in which every single person who took your miracle drug - your //very well-advertised miracle drug// - would have died, do you understand? The end of civilization as we know it. And in the last history textbooks of our dead race, the name “Sadler Drugs” would be printed as its accidental executioner. \n\n<<continue "next">>\n(Crystal shakes her head sadly. The President has the glazed expression of a deer in the headlights.)\n\nAnd to think, it could have all been avoided if security hadn’t been so laughable. You screwed up bad, Mr. President. You put a man you knew to be unstable in total control of your most fragile and important asset. You didn’t come close to enforcing the security and clinical research measures needed. You covered it all up, because you didn’t want anyone to know where your medicine came from. You, personally, would have been held responsible for humanity’s fate, if we hadn’t stepped in. I imagine it would have been quite a //quick// trial.\n\n[[Mob justice can be so ugly.|tom3 10]]\n[[So NOW are you gonna thank us?|tom3 10]]\n
Mmm...feel that plush velour.\n\n[[Stand back up.|foyer]]
<<silently>>\n<<set act3 = true>>\n<<set importantSequence = true>><<update>>\nTEMPORARY FLAGS FOR TESTING\n<<set prologueDone = true>>\n<<set caseysDoor_locked = false>>\n<<set salamander_firstLook = false>>\n<<set adamsDoor_locked = false>>\n<<set heardMessage1 = true>>\n<<set galloGone = true>>\n<<set firstTimegalloDesk = false>>\n<<set firstTimeadamsLab = false>>\n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>>\n<<set cellPhone = true>>\n<<set salamander = true>>\n<<set otherWindow_open = true>>\n<<set deskBridge = true>>\n<<set firstTimejournal = false>>\n<<set lockedInapartment = true>>\n<<set checkedApartmentdoor = true>>\n<<set apartmentEscape = true>>\n<<set foundGallosapartment = true>>\n<<set gallosTrunk_locked = false>>\n<<set firstTimegallosTrunk = false>>\n<<set firstTimeundergroundRoom = false>>\n<<set storageRoomguarded = true>>\n<<set adamsJournal = true>>\n<<set gallosKey = true>>\n<<set gallosPassword = true>>\n<<set thumbDrive = true>>\n<<set journalEntry11 = true>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage7 = true>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage8 = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\nCrystal claws at the door seal with her hot pink fingernails. Her mouth is open and her face is red; she's clearly shouting, but the airlock is soundproof. Machinery whirs, preparing to open the heavy doors to the airless lunar surface.\n\nThe countdown reaches thirty seconds.\n\n[[Try to stop the countdown.|act3 1]]\n[[Try to unseal the door.|act3 1]]\n[[Panic.|act3 1]]
Well, aren't you just a perky little fountain of wisdom. (Donovan starts rubbing his temples and is clearly trying to tune you out.)\n\n[[You know, you don't really seem like the scientist type.|Donovan 15]]\n[[Look, have you seen an escaped salamander around here?|Donovan 16]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Charming. Fine, I'm leaving.|Donovan End]]
You don't know what they're officially called, but these oblong moon vehicles have always looked like huge Volkswagen Beetles to you. Their thick tires are coated with moon dust.\n\n[[back|storage facility]]
Poor Henry was always kinda fragile. Nervous little guy, you know. Never as happy talking to people as he was just watching those salamanders. Gallo probably just rode him until he snapped and had a breakdown. Suits Gallo just fine, I'm sure, since Henry's in no position to take credit for his own research. I wouldn't be surprised if he was sitting in a hospital bed in some mental institution right now, stuffed so full of drugs that he can't remember his own name. (Donovan takes a swig from an unbroken bottle.) Whatever works, I guess. \n\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[You know, you're pretty depressing. I'm leaving.|Donovan End]]
Crystal? She's Management. She got sent here on the same ship as Gallo when it turned out that there was money to be made on this rock. She's one of those Texas mamas, you know the type. Big hair, red lipstick, wears cowboy boots all the time. Calls you 'sugar' and 'honey' and still listens to Elvis and has one of those big gaudy crucifixes hanging over her door. Sometimes I wonder what her game is.\n\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Can't wait to meet her. In fact, I'm off.|Donovan End]]
Terrified. Whenever one of 'em gets near Gallo, it starts pulsing real fast. You know, that crazy glowing thing they do, and as soon as it does, Gallo starts sweating. (Donovan grins.) It's made me like the little bastards more, that's for sure. Anyone who can take that pompous ass down a few pegs is all right in my book.\n\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Thanks, I'll have to remember that. See ya.|Donovan End]]
It's rude to enter someone else's apartment without permission. Besides, it's firmly locked.\n\n[[back|Habitation hallway east]]
In Crystal's flowery handwriting it reads, “Sugar, I've already unlocked the door for you. Bill does so like to feel useful.” \n\n<<back>>
<<if not galloGone>>\nGallo clears his throat loudly. You look up to see his pale blue eyes glaring at you. You're not going to be able to look at any of his stuff while he's sitting there watching your every move.<<endif>>\n<<if galloGone>>\nDespite the newness of this part of the building, the carpet right in front of the full-length mirror looks pretty frayed. It seems that Gallo spends a lot of his time standing here. You pull some faces in the mirror to lighten the atmosphere a bit. \n\n<<if (act2) and (cellPhonemessage6) and (not foundGallosapartment)>>You notice that the mirror's frame is carved into a mess of [[flowers and grapes|Gallo apartment switch]]. It really is pretty ugly. \n<<endif>> <<endif>>\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
These magazines are all current- they must be shipped to the base along with the monthly delivery of food, fuel, and equipment. You are shocked to learn of the latest celebrity breakup. Although you should know better, you can't help but be drawn in by this type of thing.\n\n[[back|executive reception area]]
__HABITATION LEVEL__\n\nThe habitation level landing is decorated exactly like the foyer below it. There is a [[potted plant]] in one corner. A corridor leads east toward the [[staff dormitories|Habitation hallway west]]. The [[magnet lift|magnet lifts down]] is ready to take you back down.\n <<set myLocation = "Habitation level">>
A missive from Saint Crystal herself, is it? Well, give it here.\n\n(Gallo plucks the note from your fingers and unfolds it. After sneering at the stationary, he gives the contents a cursory glance and then calmly screws the note up into a ball.)\n\nOut of the question. Lab number two contains highly sensitive equipment. I wouldn't trust an intern anywhere near it, especially an intern who seems to find pleasure in poking at highly sensitive things.\n\n(Crystal's note removed from inventory.) <<set crystalsNote = false>>\n\n[[You can't just ignore-|Gallo1 19]]\n
<<set galloGone = true>> <<set adamsDoor_locked = false>>\nOh, but I can. (Gallo tosses the crumpled note into the trash bin beside his desk.)\n\nYou see, little intern, Crystal asked me to open this door for you. Asked, not ordered, you understand. It's because even she knows to treat me with the respect and deference I deserve. And if you don't want to land yourself in a world of trouble, you'll learn it too.\n<<continue "next">>\n(Suddenly, Gallo's phone begins to ring. Without hesistating, he picks it up. "Speak," he demands. After listening for a few minutes to the apologetic mumbling on the other end, he puts the phone down again. "Idiot chefs," he mutters, standing up.\n\nBefore you know what's happening, he's strong-arming you into the hallway. "I have important matters to tend to," he tells you, "and I do not trust you to behave yourself in my office while I'm gone. I suggest you return to your quarters." He shuts the door firmly and stalks off toward the kitchens.\n<<continue "next">>\n...A little too firmly, in fact. Gallo didn't notice that the force of his slam caused the door to rebound slightly. It hangs invitingly ajar...)\n\n[[Okay!|executive hallway south]] \n
I've put up with enough idiotic questions for one day. Run along, little intern, and push some buttons somewhere. I've got very important work to do here.\n\n[[Um, goodbye.|Gallo1 End]]
Oh, dear. Have you been listening to Donovan? (Gallo smirks.) I'm surprised he was sober long enough to tell you all that. The pathetic wreck of a man sees all of life as a conspiracy. He's only here because he went insane after his wife and daughter were killed, and Sadler needed to ship him off to somewhere isolated. He is perfectly happy to stay in his lab and drink himself to death, and I am perfectly happy to let him. (Gallo gives you a long, appraising look.) If I were you, I'd be more careful about whom I trust and what I believe. It's not wise to hurl allegations based on the mutterings of a broken, pickled old man.\n\n[[So you're telling me that you had nothing at all to do with Adams' departure.|Gallo1 15]]\n[[Thanks, but I already know whom not to trust around here.|Gallo1 8]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[If you'll excuse me...|Gallo1 End]]
Yes... Crystal. (Gallo's lip curls in disgust.) She might have oiled her way into upper management at Sadler Drugs, but that vulgar woman wouldn't know genius if it stepped on her toes. That executive office is wasted on her, and the way she has it decorated is a disgrace. Her opinion is of no concern to me. I control the base's security detail and the movement of the drugs produced here. She is merely the corporate shill, here to keep the executive board pacified. I expect her to stay out of my way, and so far it appears that she has sense enough to do so.\n\n[[Sounds like someone is jealous of that nice big office.|Gallo1 8]]\n[[Obviously it's been you pushing so hard for Syrenida™'s swift release.|Gallo1 16]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[I'd be happy to stay out of your way.|Gallo1 End]]
Syrenida™, little intern, is the one boon to come out of the discovery of those wretched little aliens near this base a few years ago. I simply took the raw ingredient, the 'salamanders', as your team so prosaically calls them, and extracted its most useful component. If the fluid that makes them glow so sickeningly blue turned out to be a potent healing elixir, I thought, just imagine the effect their neural fluid might have! Thus began my brilliant experiments with the alien specimens.\n\n[[Funny...Donovan told me a very different story.|Gallo1 13]]\n[[The salamanders aren't 'ingredients'. They're living creatures!|Gallo1 14]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[I wouldn't want to hold up your brilliant experiments.|Gallo1 End]]
There's no time. (Gallo raises a hand to his forehead unconsciously.) Syrenida™ must be released to the world before…\n\n[[Before what?|Gallo1 17]]\n
(Gallo suddenly seems to remember that you're there.) Why…before the Nobel Prize ceremony in December, of course. I'd hate to have to wait an entire year for the recognition I deserve.\n\n[[That's not what you were about to say...|Gallo1 8]]
(Gallo's left hand clenches convulsively.) Those horrible little creatures have no power over me. I am a man- no, more than a man, and they are insects before me. I will take what I need from them, when I need it. They cannot talk. They cannot think. They will not beat me.\n\n[[Who is it you're trying to convince?|Gallo1 8]]\n[[You're 'more than a man'? Are you sure you haven't been dipping into the Syrenida™ stock a little early?|Gallo1 8]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[Of course the aliens won't beat you. I just remembered something I have to do.|Gallo1 End]]\n
Adams simply grew tired of the pressures of his work and decided to retire. He wasn't a young man, and his constitution was always a bit weak. The last I heard, he was living in a condo in Florida somewhere, leading a very comfortable lifestyle on the generous pension provided by Sadler Drugs. Does that satisfy your silly curiosity?\n\n[[You're not so young yourself. Maybe you should think about retiring, too.|Gallo1 16]]\n[[Really? So he's not, for example, locked up in an asylum somewhere, too drugged up to protest that you're taking all the credit for his work?|Gallo1 8]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[Silly curiosity satisfied.|Gallo1 End]]
This is Sadler Pharmaceutical’s lunar research and development base, currently engaged in the study of non-sentient alien life form 001 in regards to biology and medical applications. There are currently 1.5 active researchers serving this function. There are currently 14 non-researcher personnel. \nUncaught exception: CLASSIFIED.level5 undefined\n\n[[What do you mean, 1.5 researchers?|tom1 9]]\n[[Why do we need so many non-research employees?|tom1 10]]\n[[What was that about being classified?|tom1 8]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
Certainly! \n\nLast entry dated: 2079.10.17.1600\nCasey Cama scientific journal entry 00185. Casey Cama scientific journal entry 432334. Alien salamander behavior remains mostly unchanged. Activity levels are low and pulse patterns remain sluggish. Spinal-cerebral samples are nominal, and regeneration rate remains unchanged. With the departure of Dr. Adams, we are no longer conducting regeneration tests on the salamanders. There seems precious little point in maintaining observation.\n\nFrankly, this whole internship has been a bust. Now that Adams is gone, I have no direct report and no one to talk to. Donovan is always drunk, and I’m not even allowed in the executive wing. Even the Internet has been disabled. All I do is stick needles into these creepy aliens, and watch them stare back at me. Why am I still here? Error: NO ERROR FOUND: ERROR CODE BSOD\n\n[[Tom, has anyone been reading my entries?|tom1 6]]\n[[Has there been any word from Dr. Adams?|tom1 7]]\n[[Are you feeling okay?|tom1 8]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
Querying database…\n\nThere has been no recorded contact with nor database entries regarding Dr. Henry Adams since his resignation. Official Sadler records state that he is living in a condo community in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his aged mother.\nkernel panic HenryAdamsHenryAdamsHenryAdamsHenryAdams (113 more…)\n((attempting reboot))\nGood afternoon, RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama! How may I assist you?\n\n[[What's wrong with you?|tom1 8]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]\n
One person has accessed your log in the past 60 days. ID of reader: RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama. NULL REFERENCE EXCEPTION: reader is present. No other access has been recorded. No queries referencing your employee ID t-caseca have been recorded.\n\n[[It figures. I knew no one cared about my work.|tom1 12]]\n[[Tom, you sound...weird.|tom1 8]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
New electronic message received at 1433 hours.\n\nSender: Aunt Meredith\n\nSubject: Fw:fw:fw:FW:fw:Fw:Re:FW:fw:fw: Something to brighten your day!\n\nBody:\n\nHello my darling niece, I thought you might need something to make you smile after a long day of serious science! Your uncle and I are doing fine. little Keith gave us a bit of a scare when he got into the knife drawer yesterday, but it’s nothing a little sylio can’t fix!\n\n Keep on saving the world, baby girl!\n\n~*Aunt M*~\n\n\nPS Your mother wants to know if you are coming back to Earth for your cousin’s baby shower. Can you access the registry from up there? \n\n~show quoted text~<<set email1 = true>>\n\n[[Go to Main Menu|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]\n\n
My full designation is Terminal Operation Mainframe. I am an isolated build exported exclusively to serve this facility. RESEARCHER 02 Henry Adams gave me this nickname to reflect our familiar association, and made many improvements to my capabilities. He also (FATAL IO ERROR 32 (Segmentation fault)) 01110011 01100101 01101100 01100110 010000Who is Henry Adams?\n\n[[Tom, you don't sound too good.|tom1 8]]\n[[Uh, Henry Adams? You know, the guy who left three months ago?|tom1 7]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
It just says 'FOOD'. The crate is huge, and there's no way of getting the lid off to look inside. You'll just have to take the crate's word for it.\n\n[[back|storage facility]]
As an intern (ID t-caseca), you count for only .5 full-time researchers in our employee database. Since the departure of Dr. Henry Adams, Dr. Donovan Kiv is currently this facility’s only full-time researcher.\n\n[[Half an employee, huh? Has anyone even been reading my logs?|tom1 6]]\n[[Tell me more about Donovan Kiv.|tom1 13]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
Apologies. I appear to be suffering from some kind of unknown error (UNKNOWN ERROR: ERROR UNKNOWN). When our conversation is completed, I will attempt a self-diagnostic and defragmentation. However, your concern is noted and appreciated!\n((set $Concern = true)) ((set $Appreciation = $Appreciation +1))\n\n[[Uh, ok...go to Main Menu, I guess.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]] \n
Well howdy, sugarplum! What a nice surprise to find you wanderin' into my office unannounced. Why dontcha siddown and tell me what's on your mind.\n\n[[Thanks. This sure is a...nice place you have here.|Crystal1 2]]\n[['re from Texas, then.|Crystal1 3]]\n<<if not askedCrystalnote>>[[Listen, I was wondering if you could help me out...|Crystal1 4]] <<endif>>\n[[Nothing at all.|Crystal1 End]]
A man and a woman are standing on a hill with their backs toward the viewer. They are both positively gleaming with health and bulging with muscle. A glorious dawn is just breaking over the hill, casting the pair in silhouette and staining the grass pink and gold. With deep, dark shadows streaming out behind them, they join hands and stare directly into the rising sun.\n\n“Syrenida™: Evolution Now. Brought to you by Sadler Drugs.”\n\n[[back|Connecting hallway]]\n
A pretty young school nurse is examining a student who has come to her office. The boy is sobbing: there is a mechanical pencil stabbed completely through the palm of his hand: several bloody inches are sticking out the other side. The nurse has a gentle, knowing smile on her face, as if to say 'boys will be boys'. Behind her, a cabinet is ajar: every shelf is filled with nothing but ranks of glinting blue bottles of Sylio™.\n\n “Sadler Drugs: Making the World Better.”\n\n[[back|Habitation hallway east]]\n
A blonde woman and her pig-tailed daughter are seated on the grass. The little girl is wearing a soccer uniform. One of her shin guards is split completely in half. Judging by the blood soaking her sock, it must have been a serious wound, but now the skin showing through the gash is pink and whole. The mother's hand, clad in a pink argyle sleeve, is just replacing the stopper on that ubiquitous blue bottle of Sylio™. Both are wearing smiles so wide that it looks like someone unzipped their faces.\n\n“Sadler Drugs: Making the World Better.”\n\n[[back|Lab hallway 1]]\n
<<if firstTimeescapeTunnel>>Hoping that you’re not about to jettison a valuable escape pod, you take a deep breath and punch the pink button. The pod’s entire access port slides aside, revealing it as a façade for a utilitarian service tunnel that leads off to the east.<<endif>>\n\n<<if not firstTimeescapeTunnel>>The fake escape pod door concealed a utilitarian service tunnel that leads off to the east.<<endif>>\n\nFollow the secret tunnel?\n\n[[Yes|Crystal's bathroom]]\n[[No|escape deck]]\n<<set firstTimeescapeTunnel = false>>\n
A wreath of round halogen bulbs, archaic and wasteful, rings the mirror set above this lacy, frilly eyesore. Dozens of tiny bottles and jars are neatly arranged on the table, but after you pick up a few of them you discover that underneath their pearly caps they’re mostly still sealed. The only item that shows any use, a battered hot pink lipstick, is worn down to a sliver.\n\n[[back|Crystal's bathroom]]
<<silently>>\n<<set act2 = true>>\n<<set importantSequence = true>><<update>>\nTEMPORARY FLAGS FOR TESTING\n<<set prologueDone = true>>\n<<set caseysDoor_locked = false>>\n<<set salamander_firstLook = false>>\n<<set adamsDoor_locked = false>>\n<<set heardMessage1 = true>>\n<<set galloGone = true>>\n<<set firstTimegalloDesk = false>>\n<<set firstTimeadamsLab = false>>\n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>>\n<<set cellPhone = true>>\n<<set salamander = true>>\n<<set cellPhonemessage5 = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\nYou are frozen, unable to wrench your gaze away from Adams’ empty face. You feel like he’s looking directly into your soul. Your knees buckle and you slide into a kneeling position with your forehead pressed against the side of the freezer, hyperventilating. You bury your face in your hands. Ok. Ok. You’ve just found your friend in the bottom of a freezer. What’s your next step?\n<<continue "next">>\nLike a magnet, your gaze is dragged to the accusing lens of the room’s security camera. It’s only a matter of time before someone discovers you. Quick as lightning, you heave the false bottom back in place and start hurling the frozen animals back in on top. When you close the lid, it looks it had never been opened. You hope that you managed it in time.\n<<continue "next">>\nYour cell phone starts to vibrate.\n\n''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //At dawn, the wise owl//\n //Flies back to his humble tree;//\n //For there, he finds truth.//\n\n<<continue "What the hell...">>\nYou close the phone, your fingers shaking. You don’t know what’s happening around here, but you long for the days when getting messages from dead men was something that only happened in horror movies. There’s only one thing you know for sure: whether or not Adams really took his own life, you’re sure as hell not taking Sadler Drugs’ word for it. It sounds like he wants you to get into his apartment somehow. You trusted Adams; you can’t see any reason not to trust his ghost. Besides, you’ve got no other leads, and you’d really rather avoid the executive wing at the moment.\n\n[[I can do this.|Adams' lab]]<<set importantSequence = false>><<update>>\n
They say that to understand a beast, you should see where he sleeps. However, you can see Gallo’s bedroom just fine from here. It looks...mirrored. You really don’t want to think about the kinds of things you might find in there.\n\n[[back|Gallo's apartment]]
<<if not galloGone>>\nGallo clears his throat loudly. You look up to see his pale blue eyes glaring at you. You're not going to be able to look at any of his stuff while he's sitting there watching your every move.\n<<else>>\nTwo of the filing cabinets are locked. You pull open the last one and rifle through the documents inside. It looks like they're records of Gallo's past projects. They all look pretty prestigious, but every one has had the words “NO NOBEL” scrawled across them in thick black pen. It seems Gallo takes rejection hard. <<endif>>\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
I have no need to explain myself to anyone. I am in control of this base, and if I say you attacked me in a fit of jealousy and ineptly fell on your own knife, then that's exactly what happened.\n\n[[You monster!|Gallo standoff]]\n<<set standoffReason = true>><<set standoffCount += 1>>
Ah, but you see, murdering people who can't fight back is //much// more efficient! Science is //all about// efficiency! (His cruel bark of laughter sounds like a hyena.)\n\n[[You monster!|Gallo standoff]]\n<<set standoffReason = true>><<set standoffCount += 1>>
That's not a very convincing lie, miss Cama. I don't doubt for a second that, if I let you live, you'd be babbling about 'murder' and 'genocide' to anyone who would listen the second you leave this room. Why would I risk my life's work over the life of an intern?\n\n[[You monster!|Gallo standoff]]\n<<set standoffReason = true>><<set standoffCount += 1>>
__DONOVAN'S LAB__\n\nBroken glass crunches underfoot as you enter Donovan's lab. The remains of whiskey bottles are strewn across the [[floor]], and the [[desk and keyboard]] are sticky with a film of alcohol. The light is dimmer in here; it looks like several of the [[florescent tubes]] have been smashed. Against the far wall are three large [[tanks]] containing test specimens imported from Earth. <<if act2>> [[Donovan]] is sprawled out on his desk with his face on the keyboard, unmoving.<<endif>> <<if act1>>[[Donovan]] is slumped over his desk, groaning.<<endif>>\n\nThe eastern door leads back to the [[hallway|Lab hallway 1]].\n <<set myLocation = "Donovan's lab">>
You're running low on peanut butter cups, your single indulgence in this place. There's no telling when you'll be able to get more, so it's best to conserve.\n\n[[back|your apartment]]
(Gallo glares at you.) You certainly have some nerve, little girl, coming into my office and leveling that kind of accusation at me. I'm surprised that my security team allowed you to wander around the base unsupervised. Rest assured that it's a problem I intend to rectify very quickly.\n\n[[But I di-|Gallo1 12]]\n[[Why, you pompous-|Gallo1 12]]\n[[How can you be-|Gallo1 12]]
Your whimsical anecdotes have no effect on me, little girl. Run along, please, I have press releases to compose.\n\n[[I'll give you-|Gallo1 12]]\n[[Whimsical my a-|Gallo1 12]]\n[[Stop calling me lit-|Gallo1 12]]
Magic word accepted. Wonderful, Adams would never tell me! Magic word logged for later use. I have unlocked the door and given you free access to all level 1 security doors in the research wing. However, you should check on your specimens before you depart.<<set caseysDoor_locked = false>>\n\n[[Wow, that was easy. I mean, thanks!|tom1 End]]
Sadler records currently indicate that Dr. Adams played a small part in the refinement of the formula that would eventually become Sylio™, but that Dr. Gallo was the project lead. There is a note here: “Visionary genius.” ((edit incorporated))\n\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
Login accepted. Welcome, RESEARCHER 001 William Gallo! May I congratulate you on your rapidly improved typing speed?\n\n[[OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR TOM!|act3 6]]
I'm sorry, this door can only be opened by an employee of level 6 clearance or above. Please input security credentials to continue.\n\n[[login: William H Gallo (B.C.E., M.D., Ph.D., Psy.D., J.D., Hon. D.Sc., Hon. Litt.D.)\n\npassword: illshowthosefoolsillshowthemall1|act3 5]]
The salamander!\n\nYou plunge your hand into your pocket and grab the agitated little alien. As you shove it in Gallo's face, it makes a rattling, hissing sound that you've never heard before. Its pasty skin pulses with blue fluid under your fingers. It seems to be reaching toward Gallo with its stubby little forelegs.\n\n<<continue "next">>\nGallo's expression changes. His look of smug menace is washed away by sheer animal terror. He cowers away from the salamander like a vampire from a crucifix. "Get it away from me!" he shrieks. "Make it stop talking!"\n\n[[Press your advantage.|Gallo fight near]]\n[[Get some distance between you.|Gallo fight far]]\n<<set importantSequence = true>> <<update>>\n
Certainly.\n\n<<continue "next">>\n\nWith a slight pop, the airlock door unseals itself. As it grinds open, the countdown timer quietly stops itself at 00:06. Crystal staggers out of the airlock and leans heavily against the wall.\n\n"That...little...//snake//."\n\n[[I think I know who put you in there.|Crystal2 2]]\n[[Wow, lucky I came along when I did, huh?|Crystal2 3]]
Querying active employee profiles…query failed. Substituting known information.\n\nDr. Donovan Kiv (ID donokiv) has been a Sadler employee for 12 years 4 months 21 days. He has held his current designation for 5 years 8 months 3 days. He is in charge of the in vivo research laboratory, where Sadler tests the effects of its formulas on several Earth species to ensure viability and safety. Dr. Kiv has not logged a daily entry in the past 3 months 1 day. \n\n[[Go to Main Menu|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
That is inaccurate, RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama! I have been programmed to care deeply about the output of each research employee. \n((print “Casey.concern”)) ((true)) See? Additionally, Dr. Adams instructed me to keep a close eye on your progress in his absence. {{FATAL IO ERROR 32 (Segmentation fault)}} 01110011 01100101 01101100 01100110 010000\n\n[[Dr. Adams? Have you heard from him?|tom1 7]]\n[[You know, you should really get that checked out.|tom1 8]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]] \n
It's good to see you show respect, even if it is stained with sarcasm. People these days simply fail to recognize true greatness. I show them diamonds, but still they whine for coal. (Gallo sighs.) \n\n[[By 'diamonds', you must mean Syrenida™.|Gallo1 4]]\n[[What 'people' would these be?|Gallo1 5]]\n[[Respect this.|Gallo1 End]]
(Gallo smiles slightly.) You're bold, child, to barge in her and ask me that. Since you apparently sleep with your head buried in sand, I'll enlighten you. You're standing in the office of the lead researcher and head of security of this facility. (He turns to admire himself in the mirror.) Relish the opportunity to stand in my presence while you can, because once my Syrenida™ formula launches globally next month I will become the world's most celebrated scientist. I'll never have to come back to this desolate chunk of rock again.\n\n[[If you want to leave, I'd be happy to show you to the airlock.|Gallo1 9]]\n[[That's a pretty extravagant statement from someone who answers to a woman in a cowboy hat.|Gallo1 10]]\n[[Uh-huh. So what exactly is this Syrenida™ anyway?|Gallo1 11]]\n[[I've relished enough.|Gallo1 End]]\n
Of course. (Gallo turns to regard his reflection in the mirror.) We stand poised on the brink of a new era, little girl, and this drug will be the catalyst. With Sylia™, Henry Adams merely addressed the coarse, animalistic issues of our species: disease, malaise, cuts and bruises of the flesh. But it is Syrenida™ that will coax the seed of a new, perfect order from the compost of our coarse world. Can you imagine it? No, I expect you can't. \n\n[[So am I supposed to believe that your motives are altruistic?|Gallo1 7]]\n[[I could have sworn that Henry Adams discovered both of those things.|Gallo1 6]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]] \n[[(Back away slowly.)|Gallo1 End]]
Those oafs in Stockholm, for one. Ridiculous. I showed them a way to extract limitless amounts of cheap energy from radioactive waste, and they griped about the environmental impact. I gave them the method to produce enough food to feed the world, and they rejected it for fear of overpopulation! (Gallo mutters darkly.) We'll see how they feel about overpopulation when my magnum opus is finally unveiled. It won't be long now before the whole world finally recognizes my worth.\n\n[[I know you stole all your research from Henry Adams.|Gallo1 6]]\n[[You've never actually won a Nobel Prize, huh?|Gallo1 7]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[That's fascinating, but I must be going.|Gallo1 End]]
(Gallo affects surprise.) Adams? Don't be ridiculous. An adequate researcher, to be sure, but Adams couldn't see past the bottom of a test tube. He completely lacked the vision and foresight to see the true value of his little experiments with those…things. I simply did my best to guide the tests in the direction that would produce the best results, and when Adams proved unfit for the task, I took over the research myself.\n\n[[Don't lie. Donovan told me that you stole Adams' research and had him committed!|Gallo1 13]]\n[[Well then, where is Adams now?|Gallo1 15]]\n[[So is it true that you're scared of the salamanders?|Gallo1 14]]\n[[Wait, let's go back to my other questions.|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[I guess I'll be going, then.|Gallo1 End]]
Correct. Because of the commercial success of Sylio™, a tissue regeneration serum which resulted from the research conducted at this facility, a new wing was constructed and additional staff hired to facilitate the testing and release of Syrenida™, which is used in ((Uncaught exception: thread overflow. Please reinstall propaganda engine and restart)) Syrenida™ is the future.\n\n[[Tom, you sound...broken.|tom1 8]]\n[[Go to Main Menu.|computer]]\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
You gingerly lift up the corner of the mattress. Underneath is a notebook with a plain white cover. Who keeps a paper journal these days? You flip through a few pages. It’s filled with Adam’s cramped, meticulous handwriting. The first four pages seem to have been torn out.\n\n[[Read the fifth entry|Inventory adams' journal]]
ToM Version 8.1.6 (Stable)\n\nGood afternoon, RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama! I am ToM, the Sadler Corporation’s proprietary AI research database and assistant. How may I assist you?\n\n[[Read me back my last log entry.|tom1 2]]\n[[Give me an overview of this facility.|tom1 3]]\n[[So why are you called Tom?|tom1 4]]\n<<if not email1>>[[Show me my new email.|tom1 5]]<<endif>>\n<<if caseysDoor_checked>><<if caseysDoor_locked>>[[Tom, why is the door locked?|tom1 11]]<<endif>><<endif>>\n<<if act2>>[[Hey, uh, you know anything about the chest freezer in Adams' lab?|tom1 20]]<<endif>>\n<<if (act2) and (not thumbDrive) and (myLocation eq "Gallo's office")>>[[Tom, I'd like to access Gallo's account.|tom1 21]]<<endif>>\n<<if (act2) and (not thumbDrive) and (myLocation eq "Gallo's apartment")>>[[Tom, I'd like to access Gallo's account.|tom1 21]]<<endif>>\n[[Goodbye.|tom1 End]]
<<if inventoryEmpty>>\nYou aren't carrying anything.\n<<else>>\nYou are carrying:\n\n<<if cellPhone>>[[Cell phone|Inventory cell phone]]<<endif>>\n<<if journalEntry1>>[[Journal entry #1|Inventory journal entry 1]]<<endif>>\n<<if journalEntry2>>[[Journal entry #2|Inventory journal entry 2]]<<endif>>\n<<if journalEntry3>>[[Journal entry #3|Inventory journal entry 3]]<<endif>>\n<<if journalEntry4>>[[Journal entry #4|Inventory journal entry 4]]<<endif>>\n<<if journalEntry11>>[[Journal entry #11|Inventory journal entry 11]]<<endif>>\n<<if ductTape>>[[Duct tape|Inventory duct tape]]<<endif>>\n<<if adamsNote>>[[Adams' note|Inventory adams' note]]<<endif>>\n<<endif>>\n<<if crystalsNote>>[[Crystal's note|Inventory crystal's note]]<<endif>>\n<<if crystalsNote2>>[[Crystal's note|Inventory crystals note 2]]<<endif>> \n<<if hairDye>>[[Brown hair dye|Inventory hair dye]]<<endif>>\n<<if salamander>>[[Salamander|Inventory salamander]]<<endif>>\n<<if adamsJournal>>[[Adams' journal|Inventory adams' journal]]\n<<endif>>\n<<if gallosKey>>[[Gallo's key|Inventory gallo's key]]<<endif>>\n<<if gallosPassword>>[[Gallo's account details|Inventory gallo's password]]<<endif>>\n<<if thumbDrive>>[[Incriminating thumb drive|Inventory thumb drive]]<<endif>>\n<<print "[["+ "back" + "|" + myLocation + "]]">>
You lean over and scoop up the paper. It looks like another of Adams’ journal entries. You pocket it. (Journal entry 5/5 added to inventory.) <<set journalEntry11 = true>>\n\nJournal entry #11\n\nIn order to test my theory about the salamander language, I’ve been recording video of their behavior in groups of five, ten, and fifteen. There is a clear increase in both the rate and complexity of their glow as their numbers increase. I tried to obtain even more specimens to test this theory, but as Bill Gallo curtly informed me, they were all needed to produce as much fluid as possible. Notwithstanding the fact that I have yet to approve the compound for mass production, the moral implications of trapping and harvesting sentient beings are horrendous. I managed to find out where the majority of the salamanders were being held; an underground storage room that Gallo and his men had dug out and turned into a kind of alien farm. I snuck down there this afternoon. After getting over my initial shock of seeing hundreds of captive salamanders with needles draining away their very life essence, I was able to observe them en masse. \n\nWith so many salamanders gathered together, it was obvious to see that they were communicating. In fact, every single salamander was pulsing in perfect unison. The light was almost blinding, and the darkness between absolute; the salamanders themselves were the only source of light in that freezing cave. It was almost like each salamander constituted simply a part of a larger, intelligent whole, like an ant colony. The suggestion sounds ridiculous even as I write it, but it would explain so many things: Proximity to one another causes them to produce a chemical used in correspondence, just like ants in a colony use pheromones to communicate. An individual salamander taken aboard a shuttle to Earth would soon reach a distance from the others of its species too far from the hive mind to function, and would go catatonic. One thing is clear, though; the pattern that the salamanders were endlessly repeating could not have been a clearer distress signal. Watching them, I can’t help but wonder what other powers they might possess.\n\n[[So...the salamanders are sentient?|sentient salamanders]]
You shouldn't waste water. Crystal will want to have a chat with you if you do.\n\n[[back|bathroom]]
I’ve known that Gallo’s been dosing himself with that drug for a while. Anything to help him feel superior to us mere mortals, although I don’t believe that timidity has ever been a problem for him. (She scowls.) I’ve known Bill Gallo for a long time. He’s a parasite that leeches off the talent of others, but he’s not stupid. I would never have thought him capable of murder, but he’s been acting more unbalanced than usual. I suppose that once Adams threatened to derail Gallo’s golden ticket, the only option in his mind was to silence Adams by staging his suicide. \n\n[[If you knew about Gallo all this time, why did you let him do whatever he wanted?|Crystal2 9]]
Sun Tzu tells us never to interrupt an enemy when he is making a mistake. Stealing top-secret test material, taking credit for the research of another scientist, ignoring orders from a superior…oh yes, I was amassing quite a case file on William Gallo. I suppose I can add murder and attempted genocide to the list as well. I was waiting for the inspection team to arrive next month so I could present the evidence and have Gallo shipped back to Earth in disgrace. Any sooner, and Gallo would have found some way to shut me up. (She snorts.) I suppose he got tired of waiting.\n\n[[There's that Sun Tzu quote again. I noticed that your Texan accent seems to have disappeared as well.|Crystal2 10]]\n[[We have to act fast if we want the charge to be only 'attempted' genocide.|Crystal2 11]]
I had no idea he’d become so bold. Men like that tend to skulk in the shadows and favor cowardly, indirect means. I never imagined that he’d come into my office and abduct me. (She leans her head against the wall and closes her eyes.) It appears I have misjudged my enemy.\n\n[[Um...I think I know what might have set him off.|Crystal2 4]]\n[[ knew all along he might try to kill you?|Crystal2 5]]
I don’t know where you came from, but another minute and they’d be fishing my body out of that airlock. (She laces her fingers together, fingers shaking.) That crooked scumbag probably had it all set up to look like an accident. (She looks directly at you.) Thanks for the timely rescue, Casey.\n\n[[That's exactly what happened to Adams!|Crystal2 4]]\n[[You know how twisted Gallo was this whole time?|Crystal2 5]]
What? Murdered? (Crystal runs her hands distractedly through her frizzy hair.) If you asked me yesterday, I wouldn’t have thought Gallo capable of it. Of course, after this little escapade… I had Gallo pegged as a man motivated purely by self-interest. What possible reason could he have to kill as harmless a person as Henry Adams?\n\n[[Partly to take credit for the drug, but mostly because he knew he had nothing to lose. He was already dying from injecting himself with Syrenida™.|Crystal2 7]]
Syrenida™ is a //poison//? (Crystal shakes her head slowly.) You’ll have to forgive me, sugar, but this is a lot of catastrophic information to absorb all at once.\n\n[[It's true! The proof is in the same freezer as Adams' body.|Crystal2 8]]\n[[Adams was about to blow the whistle when Gallo caught up to him in his apartment.|Crystal2 8]]
You…found Adams in the freezer? (Crystal looks uncomfortable.) I admit that I knew he was there. He committed suicide three months ago, you see, and the shuttle to Earth only comes once every four months. We had to keep him on ice for the investigation. We were instructed by HQ to keep his death a secret from the scientific staff. Suicide tends to be a communicable disease, in space.\n\n[[Suicide, my ass. Adams was murdered.|Crystal2 6]]
Of course I knew. That little weasel never bothered to keep his megalomania a secret. (She spits on the ground.) He thought I was beneath notice, and it was so easy to let him think it. Something must have happened for him to decide that killing me was worth the risk of being caught.\n\n[[Something did happen. Me.|Crystal2 4]]\n[[Well, he got away with it the last time.|Crystal2 4]]
It’s pink. It’s furry. You really don’t feel a pressing need to find out more.\n\n[[back|Crystal's bathroom]]
No calls in or out, no contact with anyone from Earth except for a few emails a month from family. You can be damn sure that Crystal goes through those with a fine-tooth comb, too, and censors out anything that contains even a hint of information. (Donovan stirs the broken glass with his foot.) Makes sense, when you think about it. If word got out that Sadler wasn't making its precious drugs in a factory on Earth, but was harvesting it from some glowing little alien life forms here on the moon…well, suffice to say that their stock would probably drop a few points. Even the discovery of extraterrestrial life has been kept a secret from everyone except a couple government bigwigs. You and I, we're sitting cozy on a goldmine of secrets here. This place is probably the most well guarded compound in the solar system. Too bad it's such a dump. (He finds an unopened bottle and begins unscrewing it.)\n\n[[So who is this Crystal person, anyway?|Donovan 21]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[It's been real.|Donovan End]]
Open your eyes, girlie. If you can't see what's going on around here, you'd better find someone else to hold your hand.\n\n[[So what do you think happened to Adams?|Donovan 22]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[I, um...I have to go now.|Donovan End]]
Heh. You lost one of your aliens? (Donovan smiles mirthlessly.) Well, I haven't seen it. You'd best take care Gallo doesn't find out it's on the loose, or he'll go batshit. They might be the source of his good fortune, but Gallo sure does hate the little critters. Last time he was in a room with 'em, he started sweating and mumbling to himself like he'd seen a ghost. (This time Donovan's smile has real pleasure behind it.)\n\n[[Gallo's afraid of the salamanders?|Donovan 20]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Interesting. Excuse me.|Donovan End]]
Back when I first came here, it was just a remote dumping ground for anyone the company thought was useless, or dangerous, or inconvenient. I came after the accident because I thought I'd be able to spend the rest of my career in peace and quiet. I just wanted to be left alone. (He glares at you.) That much hasn't changed. But then that blasted meteorite hit, and those little lizard aliens started crawling out, and before you know it Henry was finding all sorts of breakthrough uses for their blood and tissue and who knows what else. It wasn't long until those vultures Gallo and Crystal swooped in with their 'game plans' and their 'bottom lines' and started fucking the place up. Now it seems like I can't go a day without some corporate dickhead coming in here and asking me what my professional goals are. \n\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Poor thing. Bye now.|Donovan End]]
You're damn right he is. The only thing Bill Gallo's researched is how to round up and harvest these salamanders for their brain fluid, and how to accept a Nobel Prize with just the right amount of arrogant humility. (Donovan spits.) Oh, and he came up with the trade name for Henry's new drug. Syrenida™, he said, is just the right kind of soothing, meaningless pap that will get the whole world happily shooting up.\n\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[I feel better already. Later.|Donovan End]]
Yeah? Well, maybe not anymore. Back in the day, though… (Donovan's eyes begin to mist with nostalgia.) I graduated the top of my class, you know. Couldn't wait to get out there and do some fuckin' good. And Fiona always said that I cut a handsome figure in a white lab coat. (His face hardens as he snaps back to reality.) Of course, that was a long time ago. These days I just rattle around this aseptic dungeon like a pickle in a jar, and the only good I do is for Sadler Drugs' quarterly profits. (He raises an empty whiskey bottle to you in mock salute.)\n\n[[If you hate it so much, why did you come here in the first place?|Donovan 17]]\n[[Who's Fiona?|Donovan 8]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[See you later, guy.|Donovan End]]
It had better be working. This formula is set to release worldwide next month. “The next step in human evolution,” Gallo calls it in press releases. Of course, he was always good at spinning bullshit. Personally, I think that when people get to talking like that, it's time to dig out your torch and pitchfork. (Donovan rests his forehead on his desk again.)\n\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[That's deep. I gotta go.|Donovan End]]
Gallo? That pencil pusher's hasn't touched a test tube since grad school. Nah, this was all Henry's baby. He's the one that would stay up all night monitoring those creepy little salamander aliens, charting their glow patterns, performing regenerative experiments, extracting and refining fluids. Henry got his name in the history books when he discovered Sylia™ and put all the hospitals out of business, and Gallo decided he wanted him some.\n\n[[So Gallo is trying to take credit for Adams' research?|Donovan 14]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Bye now.|Donovan End]]
It's no wonder I do a lot of things. (Donovan laughs hoarsely, and you hear the sound of a bottle being uncorked.)\n\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Uh, I have to go do...things. Stuff. You know.|Donovan End]]\n
These guys were brought here from Earth to test the company's new wonder drug. (Donovan sneers.) It's supposed to make 'em stronger faster, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, you get the idea. Bill Gallo is pushing hard for results, but I keep telling him that I can't get 'em to live any faster.\n\n[[Well, it looks like it's working to me.|Donovan 12]]\n[[So this is Bill Gallo's brainchild, then.|Donovan 13]]\n[[Okay...let's start over.|Donovan 2]]\n[[Take care.|Donovan End]]
<<if not importantSequence>>[[Inventory]]<<endif>>\n\n[[Save]]\n\n[[Comment|]]\n\n
The tank contains a few standing inches of hissing liquid nitrogen. The creatures in the tank are fat and pale, with huge black eyes. They use their four stubby legs to paddle themselves lazily around their tank. Their skin is translucent, and the fluid that pools beneath it pulses slowly with a blue glow. They stare at you constantly, which freaked you out when you first started, but you've gotten used to it. You've been studying this batch of salamanders since they were discovered here on the moon eight months ago.\n\n<<if salamander_firstLook>>\nYou look closer. Shit. How many of the stupid things were there supposed to be? You consult your clipboard. Five, it's telling you, but there are only four sets of glassy eyes gawking back at you. One of the little bastards must have escaped somehow. You need to recover it ASAP, or Bill Gallo will go berserk. <<set salamander_firstLook = false>>\n<<endif>> \n<<if (not salamander_firstLook) and (not salamander)>>One of the salamanders is missing. You should probably go look for it. <<if ductTapeused>>At least the patch you made should keep any of the rest from getting out.<<endif>><<endif>>\n<<if (not salamander_firstLook) and (salamander)>>You retrieved the salamander, but it makes distressed noises when you try to put it back in the tank. It seems to want to stay in your pocket.<<endif>>\n\n<<if (adamsNote) and (not ductTapeused)>>\nRemembering Adams' note, you check the tank again. Behind it, you discover a tiny crack, the width of a nickel. Could the salamander possibly have squeezed through this? There is a trail of dried nitrogen residue leading across the linoleum and straight up the far wall to the ventilation grid. Seems like pretty clear evidence. You should probably patch up the crack with something to prevent the other salamanders from escaping.\n<<if ductTape>>\n\nUse the duct tape on the crack?\n\n[[Yes|use duct tape]]\n[[No|Casey's lab]]\n<<endif>>\n<<endif>>\n\n[[back|Casey's lab]]
(His eyelid twitches almost imperceptibly.) They are tools. They have no rights, and no concept of freedom. I will use them until such time as I see fit to stop. Their components are of great value to me, and to the world. Sylio™ has put an end to human suffering, and very soon, the release of Syrenida™ will mean that human weakness will also finally be over. The human condition will no longer be a liability. To stand in the way of that…well, it’d be a crime worse than murder.\n\n[[You can't be lecturing me about murder. I have evidence that you killed Henry Adams and stole his research!|Gallo2 4]]\n[[You're amazingly self-righteous for someone whose felonies can't be counted on one hand.|Gallo2 4]]
(Gallo continues as if to himself, his eyes never leaving your face.) What should I do with such a short-sighted intern? Something tells me that she’ll be useless for laboratory testing after today. I never saw much point in it, though. The formula works, and there are more than enough creatures on this satellite to harvest for the ingredients.\n\n[[They have more of a right to be here than you do!|Gallo2 3]]\n[[You think that means it's okay to enslave an intelligent species?|Gallo2 3]]
So. I find myself at somewhat of a loss. Here I am, thinking that I’ve confined all staff to quarters, and yet a little pest has somehow found its way into my office. I wonder about the insect extermination procedure on this base. Perhaps I should consult one of the cleaning robots.\n\n[[I've figured you out, Dr. Gallo. Donovan was right about you.|Gallo2 2]]\n[[As I discovered, an optical cable garrote would probably do the trick. If that doesn't work, you could try shoving me out the airlock.|Gallo2 2]]\n[[Stay away from me, you drug-addled psycho!|Gallo2 2]]\n[[That's hilarious, Gallo. I'm surprised you've never gotten a Nobel Prize for your sense of humor.|Gallo2 2]]
(Gallo smiles sardonically and pretends to examine his fingernails, but you can see that his hands are shaking.) I can see that there’s no getting past you, little intern. Yes, the research suggests that Syrenida™ is responsible for neural cell necrosis in laboratory animals. So what? Is that a good enough reason to halt its distribution? No. \n\n(Gallo turns to face the giant window. His glasses glint menacingly in the double reflection.) The possibilities are too enticing. The human race will blaze like an inferno, brief and bright and glorious. We will create, and achieve, and understand, finally. And when, as you suggest, our flame is spent, we will leave a legacy like none the universe has ever seen.\n\n[[There's no way I'm letting you destroy the human race so that they can live up to some standard of yours!|Gallo2 8]]\n[[The toxin has warped your brain, Gallo. That was the most insane speech I've ever heard.|Gallo2 8]]\n[[I'm sure the fact that you're going to die from the toxin no matter what had no bearing when you were coming up with this plan.|Gallo2 8]]\n[[(Move your hand slowly toward the letter opener on the desk.)|Gallo2 8]]
(Gallo stands up, and you suddenly notice how much taller and more burly he seems. Thick blue veins stand out on his forearms and neck. You can’t help but take a step backward.) \n\nDon’t act like you understand. I no longer care about recognition from any human. Everything I’ve done has been in service of a higher goal. Humans as they are: they are nothing, they are insects. Through Syrenida™, I’m about to be responsible for a quantum leap in human understanding. Literature, art, technology; who knows what masterpieces could be produced in a short period of time? Who are you, little girl, to deny the human race the glorious golden future that stretches before them?\n\n[[You've been listening to too much of your own PR, Gallo. I know all about your genocide plan.|Gallo2 7]]\n[[You were about to unleash hell on earth! You think a thief and a murderer has the right to play at Horseman of the Apocalypse?|Gallo2 7]]\n[[That's a pretty short future you're talking about, since everyone will be dead in a few years.|Gallo2 7]]\n
No. (Gallo takes his feet off the desk and begins to unconsciously crack his knuckles.) Humans are not just mindless and disgusting. They’re also ungrateful, thoughtless, myopic, and completely unable to recognize greatness when they witness it. I wasted so many years trying to improve their wretched lot. I worked my fingers to the bone trying to find ways to feed them all and keep them from killing each other. Somehow, over and over, my solutions kept getting rejected. //They// kept rejecting //me//. \n\n[[You're hardly an altruist, Gallo. You just wanted that stupid Nobel Prize.|Gallo2 6]]\n[[So hurt feelings are your justification for genocide?|Gallo2 6]]
__STAFF QUARTERS__\n\nThis area has a look of serious everyday use. A couple of tired-looking staff members are taking their breaks on some functional vinyl couches on the left side of the room. A small [[vid screen|vid screen 3]] is showing some sort of game show. <<if (not galloGone) or (act2)>>Muffled clattering and the smell of food waft from the [[kitchen|kitchens]] to the north.<<endif>> The door to the west leads to the [[staff dormitory]]. To the south, a cleaning robot is just coming out of a [[supply closet|supply closet 2]]. The exit to the [[hallway|executive hallway south]] is east.\n\n<<if (act1) and (galloGone)>> You can hear shouting coming from the kitchen. Gallo is giving some poor chef an earful. It's best not to go in there right now. <<endif>>\n <<set myLocation = "staff quarters">>
<<if (act3) and (climaxOver)>>__EXECUTIVE RECEPTION AREA__\n\nThe emergency system seems to have automatically unlocked the door from [[Crystal's office]]. The lobby looks the same as ever, but the security post is deserted. As you watch, a staff member in his pyjamas sprints past you and into the [[connecting hallway|Connecting hallway]]. Behind him, the door to the southern hallway seals itself shut - you hope everyone got out in time.<<endif>>\n<<if (act3) and (not climaxOver)>>If you get down on your hands and knees, you can see the feet of the guard standing directly in front of the doorway. As quietly as you can, you stand back up. You're so close to your goal; you can't afford to give yourself away now.\n\n[[back|Crystal's office]]<<endif>>\n<<if (act1) or (act2)>>__EXECUTIVE RECEPTION AREA__\n\nThe door slides open to reveal a large lobby, tastefully decorated. Soothing music floats down from somewhere overhead. To your right is a waiting area with [[leather chairs]] and a rack filled with [[glossy magazines]]. In front of you is a huge reception desk topped with black marble. Behind it, a [[vid screen|vid screen 2]] is subdivided into dozens of smaller squares, each showing a scene from somewhere in the base. <<if act1>>A [[security guard]] sits behind the desk, scanning the footage and ignoring you completely.<<endif>><<if act2>>The security desk is empty now.<<endif>> The door to the north has a stamped leather sign that reads [["Crystal's office"|Crystal's office]] in curly letters. The [[southern door|executive hallway south]] has a much more discreet plaque that reads "William Gallo" and "Staff Quarters". The double doors opposite the reception desk lead back into the [[connecting hallway|Connecting hallway]].\n<<endif>> <<set myLocation = "executive reception area">>
Yes. He was weak, and unable to do what was necessary. His unreasonable attachment to his nasty little subjects made him a traitor to his own species. \n\n<<display 'Gallo2 threat'>>
(Gallo spins around and puts both hands flat on the table. He smiles at you pleasantly.) Well. Straightforwardness is a virtue, I suppose. Whatever it is that you’re accusing me of, come out and say it so that we can end this charming little tête-à-tête.\n\n[[You murdered Henry Adams so you could steal his research!|Gallo2 9]]\n[[You tried to kill Crystal and make it look like an accident!|Gallo2 10]]\n[[You enslaved an entire species you knew was sentient!|Gallo2 11]]\n[[You're trying to poison the entire human race!|Gallo2 12]]
__KITCHENS__\n\nThe kitchen is hot and steamy and bustles with activity. At the center island, [[three cooks]] are feverishly constructing a complicated dish involving caviar. A fourth cook stands nearby, imploring them to hurry. In one corner, a chef deposits a huge t-bone steak onto a dainty pink plate. In the other corner stand two large [[vats]] marked “Animal Feed” and “Reconstituted Potato Substitute”, respectively. The south door leads back to the [[staff quarters]].\n\n<<if not cellPhonemessage2>>\nYour cell phone starts to vibrate.\n\n''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //A man's worth is shown//\n //In the way he treats those who//\n //Are in his power.//\n<<set cellPhonemessage2 = true>>\n<<endif>>\n <<set myLocation = "kitchens">>
The salamander blinks slowly up at you from inside your pocket. He seems very cozy there.\n\n<<back>>
<<set thumbDrive = false>>The time for words is over. I should have known better than to think I could make you understand.\n\n(Gallo reaches over to the thumb drive and pulls it out of the slot. He crushes it effortlessly between his fingers. You shudder to see the muscles in his forearm bulge unnaturally, thick with glowing blue veins.)\n\n<<continue "No!">>\n\nI pity you, Miss Cama. You were so close to being cured. //So close//. But now you’ll die without ever becoming more than a stupid, dirty, ignorant ape. An evolutionary dead-end. \n\n(Almost casually, he picks up the letter opener. There’s no mistaking the murderous gleam in his eyes.)\n\nBy defying me, you’ve proven that you are not fit to survive. I //am// Darwinism, and I //will// end you.\n\n[[Get away from me!|Gallo standoff]]
Yes. I judged that the benefits outweighed the eventual consequences. As the only human to experience firsthand the drug’s effects, there is no one more qualified to decide this than I. \n\n<<display 'Gallo2 threat'>>
Yes, if you’re naïve enough to believe Henry Adams’ misty-eyed theory. All his prattle of light patterns and hive minds did not interest me. Even if they are sentient, in all the time they’ve infested this moon, they’ve achieved no semblance of culture. They are a justifiable sacrifice for the benefit of a superior species. \n\n<<display 'Gallo2 threat'>>
Yes. She was useless, and growing suspicious. I also suspected that she was gathering evidence against me. The station would have been better off without her.\n\n<<display 'Gallo2 threat'>>
You brush your fingers along the soft down comforter, and think spitefully of your own Spartan twin bed. It occurs to you for the first time that, despite all these conspicuous material comforts, the life Crystal has chosen is a pretty lonely one.\n\n[[back|Crystal’s bedroom]]
You're darn right, honey! Texas born and bred. Ain't no other place like it on Earth, and that's a fact. I see the whole darn planet roll past this window once a month, and it still warms my heart every time that great state comes into view. (Crystal moves to wipe away a tear, but you notice that her finger comes back dry.)\n\n[[So is it like a state law that all Texans have to wear those cowboy hats?|Crystal1 7]]\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]] \n[[Sorry to interrupt your tender moment, but I have to go.|Crystal1 End]]
Why thank you, darlin'! It's just one of the perks of bein' a go-gettin' career gal. (She turns to look out the window.) Whenever I get lonesome, all I have to do is look out this window across the Mare Imbrium here at that big blue ball, and it always cheers me right up. Thank the baby Jesus for geosynchronous rotation!\n\n[[Thank the baby Jesus for...wait, what did you say?|Crystal1 5]]\n[[The view is nice, but I was talking more about the décor.|Crystal1 6]]\n[[I should go.|Crystal1 End]]
(For a split second, Crystal looks alarmed.) Oh…I was just saying that it sure is handy of the moon to spin so that I can always see that big beautiful planet there. I'll have to thank the man in the moon for it- just as soon as I find him! (She laughs loudly.) \n\n[[So what brought you to the moon in the first place?|Crystal1 18]]\n[[Right...I think we should start over.|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[Let me go find him for you.|Crystal1 End]]
Of course! Who needs an intricate corporate chain o' command when you can just march on in to the nearest executive office and ask for a personal favor? (Crystal smiles widely at you, exposing dazzling white teeth.) So what is it I can do for you today, Miss Casey?\n\n[[Um, well...There's this door I really need unlocked.|Crystal1 8]]\n[[You of my test subjects escaped.|Crystal1 9]]\n[[Oh...nothing. Never mind.|Crystal1 End]]
Don't be silly! Texans are free to wear whatever headgear they fancy! (Crystal pats her own rhinestone-encrusted cowboy hat.) It doesn't do to forget your roots, though. Remember that, sweet pea. (Crystal's smile contains the glint of ice.) And also remember that no one messes with Texas. \n\n[[Maybe you should try telling that to Bill Gallo.|Crystal1 14]]\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]] \n[[...I'll be sure to remember that. Goodbye.|Crystal1 End]]
Well, aren't you sweeter than a fly on sugarcane! Don't you just love all my little treasures? (Her eyes sweep across the room, but you notice that they avoid landing on anything in particular.) I brought all these things with me from Texas to make the place seem more homey. After all, just 'cause you live on a space rock doesn't mean you have to feel like you do!\n\n[[Maybe you should take a look at my room sometime.|Crystal1 15]]\n[[And all What about that?|Crystal1 16]]\n[[I know a certain lead scientist who's jealous of this office.|Crystal1 17]]\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]] \n[[Very true. Later.|Crystal1 End]]
(Crystal extends one long hot-pink fingernail and taps a few keys on her computer terminal.) You're workin' with some of the alien specimens, yes? It was certainly careless of you to let one escape. What a silly girl you are! (Crystal is still smiling, but the fingers on her right hand rap the desk in an irritated staccato.) \n\n[[You're not going to tell Bill Gallo, are you?|Crystal1 11]]\n[[I'm sorry. Could you just unlock the door so I can put the stupid thing back in the tank?|Crystal1 12]]
Bill Gallo's white lab coat is spotless and has been meticulously ironed. The round lenses of his glasses gleam in the light from his desk lamp. He is plainly wishing you would go away.\n\nSpeak to him anyway?\n\n[[Yes|Gallo convo 1 start]]\n[[No|Gallo's office]]
<<if climaxOver>>__CRYSTAL'S BATHROOM__\n\nYou are in Crystal's pink, opulent bathroom. Through a door to the east you can glimpse the rest of [[Crystal’s apartment]]. You can just barely see the outlines of the secret door that leads back to the [[escape deck]].\n\nSomewhere in the distance, metal groans. Somehow, the alarms become even more urgent.\n<<else>>__CRYSTAL'S BATHROOM__\n\n<<if firstTimebathroom>>You palm open another sliding panel and emerge into a pink, opulent bathroom.<<else>> You are in Crystal's pink, opulent bathroom.<<endif>> To your left, a large round [[bathtub]] is ringed with scented soaps and candles in an eye-gouging mishmash of colors. Next to it, the vacuum [[toilet|Crystal's toilet]] sports a fuzzy pink cover on the lid. To your right, a countertop of rose-colored marble houses a seashell-shaped sink. Toward the far wall, a velvet-covered stool hunkers in front of a round, frilly-skirted [[vanity table]] like the one some ancient starlet might have used. The amount of money this bathroom represents is staggering. Through a door to the east you can glimpse the rest of [[Crystal’s apartment]]. You can just barely see the outlines of the secret door that leads back to the [[escape deck]].<<endif>>\n<<set firstTimebathroom = false>><<set myLocation = "Crystal's bathroom">>
__BATHROOM__\n\nYou push open the swinging door and enter the bathroom. In contrast with the drab institutionalism of the rest of the lab, it's actually quite pleasant in here. The floor is checkered with black and white ceramic tile, and the walls are painted a nice sky blue. On the left side of the room, two [[toilets]] are encased by white aluminum stalls. On the right are two [[sinks]] with a huge [[mirror]] hanging above them.\n\n<<if not adamsNote>>\nThere's something strange about the reflection in the mirror...\n<<endif>>\n\nThe only exit is back to the [[hallway|Lab hallway 3]].\n <<set myLocation = "bathroom">>
Feeling a bit guilty, you flip open the journal to a random page and read, “Condescending corporate assholes. Executive board treats me like their damn mascot, but that’s good. They think that I’ll be their puppet arm on that precious moon base. If I have to spend five years on some frozen space rock to get out from under their thumbs, I’ll do it. Not even that weevil Gallo can screw this up for me. I built my career on getting people to underestimate me, but even the men I’ve crushed don’t learn. None of them ever learn.” \n\nYou carefully close the journal.\n\n[[back|Crystal’s bedroom]]
It's a roll of duct tape. Silvery, sticky. Duct tape.\n\nTake the duct tape?\n\n[[Yes|take tape]]\n[[No|supply closet 1]]
<<if (not releasedSalamanders) and (not didntReleasesalamanders)>>You haven't yet fulfilled Adams' last wish, but the base is rapidly coming down.<<endif>>\n<<if releasedSalamanders>>You fulfilled Adams' request to free the salamanders. Time to get the hell out of here before the whole place comes down around your ears.<<endif>>\n<<if didntReleasesalamanders>>You chose not to release the salamanders. History will decide if you make the right call.<<endif>>\n\nLaunch the escape pod and leave the base?\n\n[[Yes|launch yes]]\n[[No|launch no]]
__STAFF DORMITORY__\n\nYou find yourself in a room with bunk beds lining the walls. By your estimation, about a dozen people sleep in this room. You wonder why Bill Gallo needs such a large staff detail for such a small, remote installation, especially since robots do all the cleaning. Someone has tried to institute a degree of privacy by hanging some sheets from the ceiling. The bunk nearest you has someone snoring in the [[bottom bunk]]. There is a [[poster|poster 4]] of a glam rock band taped to the ceiling over the top bunk.\n\nThe eastern door leads back to the [[staff quarters]].\n <<set myLocation = "staff dormitory">>
<<if act2>> To your annoyance, Donovan is passed out. You try shaking him a few times, but he's dead to the world. Looks like you won't be able to count on him to help you investigate, but you've never been able to count on him in the past, either.\n\n[[back|Donovan's lab]]\n<<endif>>\n<<if act1>> Donovan looks like hell. His eyes are bloodshot and his dark stubble suggests that he hasn't shaved in days. He's clutching his head and is clearly nursing a massive hangover. Something tells you that you're not likely to get a warm reception today.\n\nTalk to him anyway?\n\n[[Yes|Donovan convo start]] \n[[No|Donovan's lab]] <<endif>>
<<if (act3) and (climaxOver)>>__CRYSTAL'S OFFICE__\n\nThe room is pretty torn up from your fight with Gallo. More importantly, multiple alarms are commanding you to make your way to the escape deck at your earliest possible convenience. The doors to [[Crystal’s apartment]] and the [[reception area|executive reception area]] both appear to be passable. <<endif>>\n<<if (act3) and (not climaxOver)>>__CRYSTAL'S OFFICE__\n\nThe room shows signs of a struggle. A couple of the spindly tables have been knocked over, and broken shards of ceramic knickknacks are strewn across the floor. Luckily Gallo is nowhere to be found and, as Crystal suspected, there’s no guard posted inside the door. Crystal’s [[computer terminal|tom2 1]] sits on her desk. If you can warn Sadler headquarters about Syrenida™’s deadly nature, Gallo’s plan will be foiled.\n\nThe only unguarded exit is back into [[Crystal’s apartment]]. The door into the [[reception area|executive reception area]] is guarded from the outside.\n<<endif>>\n<<if act2>>You try the door to Crystal's office, but it's locked. Even if you press your ear against the door, you can hear nothing but silence.\n\n<<if (thumbDrive) and (not cellPhonemessage7)>>\nYour cell phone starts to vibrate.\n\n''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //In the storage room,//\n //The path to the Underworld//\n //Will reveal itself.//\n\nThe...Underworld? Is that really somewhere you want to go? Still, what other choice do you have?\n<<set cellPhonemessage7 = true>>\n<<endif>>\n\n[[back|executive reception area]] <<endif>>\n<<if act1>>__CRYSTAL'S OFFICE__\n\nThe first thing you notice when you walk into Crystal's office is the view. The entire western wall of the circular room consists of one huge [[curved window]], beyond which a huge and glorious Earth is waxing. The sight is so breathtaking after so many windowless rooms that it takes you a moment to notice the second thing about Crystal's office, which is that it is pink.\n\nIt's not just regular pink. You have nothing against the color pink, in moderation. You might have even owned a few pink items back in the day, when you were young and impressionable. But the décor of this office goes far beyond the normal color spectrum and into a dimension where nothing exists but a huge, headache-inducing pinkness. [[Lacy pink curtains|chintz]] hang at either side of the huge window. On the floor in front of the desk is a plush [[round carpet|chintz]] colored to look like a rosebud, all in different shades of pink, with a border of barbed wire. All around the edges of the room lurk spindly tables covered in doilies and [[small breakable things|chintz]]. Ceramic [[cherubim|chintz]] smile beatifically next to maudlin portraits of Mary and Joseph. There seem to be an awful lot of things made of rawhide. On the northern wall, a large [[jeweled crucifix|chintz]] hangs over the door to Crystal's living quarters.\n\nIn the middle of this chintzy chaos is Crystal's wide wooden desk. In addition to the computer terminal, the desk is also home to a couple more big-eyed statuettes, as well as a picture of the Texas flag in a silver frame. Behind the desk, [[Crystal|Crystal act 1]] sits in a plush pink chair and gives you a bright smile. \n\nThe door to the south leads back to the [[reception area|executive reception area]]. <<endif>>\n<<set myLocation = "Crystal's office">>\n
<<if cellPhonemessage8>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //In a tight corner//\n //Who will the desperate man//\n //Set his sights upon?//<<endif>>\n<<if cellPhonemessage7>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //In the storage room,//\n //The path to the Underworld//\n //Will reveal itself.//<<endif>>\n\n<<if cellPhonemessage6>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //Where better to find//\n //Proof of a cobra's venom//\n //Than in his own den?//<<endif>>\n\n<<if cellPhonemessage5>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //At dawn, the wise owl//\n //Flies back to his humble tree;//\n //For there, he finds truth.//<<endif>>\n\n<<if cellPhonemessage4>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //In seeking power,//\n //The wise man knows the limits//\n //The fool strains against.//<<endif>>\n\n<<if cellPhonemessage3>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //The peacock knows that//\n //Feathers distract enemies//\n //From sharpened talons.//<<endif>>\n\n<<if cellPhonemessage2>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //A man's worth is shown//\n //In the way he treats those who//\n //Are in his power.//<<endif>>\n\n<<if cellPhonemessage1>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //A door blocks the way://\n //To get to the bottom, just//\n //Go straight to the top.//<<endif>>\n\n<<back>>
(Gallo puts his hand to his head as if momentarily dizzy.) You know, Casey, when I was growing up I thought that the moon was the perfect place. Clean, sterile. Exquisite and unchanging. (His lip curls.) But now I’ve learned that all along, those repulsive little aliens have been here, squirming around underground, reproducing, making it //unclean//.\n\n[[That's not just the salamanders, that's all life! The salamanders aren't any different than we are.|Gallo2 5]]\n[[So...what? You're going to take out your dislike for the salamanders on the entire human race?|Gallo2 5]]
This thing is gigantic. You can’t imagine how Crystal managed to get the Sadler executives to sign off on such a monstrous waste of water and power on a remote installation like this. On second thought, you think, smiling, you have a pretty good idea of how she managed.\n\n[[back|Crystal's bathroom]]
<<if not galloGone>>\nGallo clears his throat loudly. You look up to see his pale blue eyes glaring at you. You're not going to be able to look at any of his stuff while he's sitting there watching your every move.\n<<else>>\nGallo has certainly studied at a lot of schools. As for the news stories, the names of every scientist listed other than Gallo have been carefully inked out. Most of the articles seem to date from the last six months, all linking Gallo's name with Syrenida™.\n<<endif>>\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
You sprint for the door and wrench on the handle desperately, but it's locked. You didn't even know that this door could be locked from the outside. You throw yourself against the door without much hope, but it's sturdier than you are.\n<<set standoffDoor = true>><<set standoffCount += 1>>\n\n<<continue "next">>\n<<display 'Gallo standoff'>>
<<if (not releasedSalamanders) and (not didntReleasesalamanders)>>Not yet. You still have some unfinished business here.<<endif>><<if (releasedSalamanders) or (didntReleasesalamanders)>>This place will be an airless ruin in a minute. What are you waiting for?<<endif>>\n\n[[back|escape deck]]
You've never seen anyone use that testing equipment. Some of it is rather quaint, from back in the days before the whole world converted to metric.\n\n[[back|Casey's lab]]
You throw yourself into the pod and hurriedly strap yourself in. The capsule door closes smoothly. As the launch systems flicker to life, you notice movement through the viewport in the door.\n\n<<continue "next">>\nA salamander sits on the floor in front of the capsule, staring at you through the glass. Even though all salamanders look the same to you, you can somehow tell that it's //your// salamander, the one who saved your life in your fight with Gallo. As it looks at you, a brief vision flashes through your mind - the salamander, tearing pages out of Adams' journal with its little stubby legs. \n\nAnother flash - the salamander dragging the pages through the halls of the station, hiding them in places it thought you might look. \n\nFlash - the salamander, waiting patiently for you in the locked darkness of Adams' decommissioned lab.\n\nIt looks at you levelly. Its face is incapable of holding an expression.\n\n<<continue "next">>\nBefore you can say anything (and really, what would you say?), the pod jerks and disengages from the dock. The propulsion system kicks in, sending your pod rumbling vertically into the lunar sky.\n\nAs you rise, the tiny window gives you a good view of the station below. <<if releasedSalamanders>>Suddenly, the entire station seems to collapse in on itself. Moon dust fountains up as the station sinks into a crater. Tiny points of glowing blue light emerge from the wreck and pool briefly. Then, they're gone.<<else>>The lights go out as the facility loses power. The structure shudders, but the captive salamanders are not strong enough to free themselves. They'll be trapped in the darkness of the dead facility until humans return to study them again.<<endif>> \n\nGazing down at the cracked surface, you are filled with the urge to share your knowledge - people have to know about these amazing, sentient creatures. Screw Sadler's policies. You're going to get some linguists and diplomats up here if it's the last thing you do.\n\n<<continue "next">>\nYour pod exits the moon's thin atmosphere, headed for home. As the crescent of the Earth grows large in your viewport, your cell phone vibrates in your pocket. You pull it out.\n\nThe message is very short.\n\n<<if releasedSalamanders>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //Thank you.//\n<<else>>''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //I'm sorry.//<<endif>>\n\nYou wonder who the message is meant for.\n\n\n\n<html><span style="font-size:30px">The End</span></html>
It's carefully sealed. You're certain that Gallo is the type of person who would notice if you were to try unsealing it.\n\n<<back>>
You poke your head into the bathroom and take a quick look around. It’s spotlessly clean, although you’re quite sure that Gallo has never picked up a scrubbing brush in his life. You chuckle at the idea of a cleaning robot having to open that ridiculous secret entrance every day.\n\nOther than that, it appears to be a perfectly normal bathroom, although it’s a lot nicer than the bathroom you’re used to. You give a cursory rifle through the cabinets, but you only find evidence of his vanity, not of his killings.\n\n[[back|Gallo's apartment]]
__EXECUTIVE HALLWAY SOUTH__\n\nYou emerge into a short hallway. To the west is the swinging door that leads to the [[kitchens and the staff dormitory|staff quarters]]. To the south is a door with the words [[“William Gallo, Head of Internal Research”|Gallo's office]] printed in large gold letters. The [[executive reception area]] is north.\n<<set myLocation = "executive hallway south">>
Ew. The surface drags at your hand with the sticky suction of alcohol. You feel like you could really use a shower.\n\n<<if not journalEntry1>>\nYou notice the jagged corner of a piece of paper peeking out from behind the computer monitor. You reach out, careful not to disturb Donovan, and remove it. Someone has taped a notebook page to the back of the monitor. You pocket it. (Journal entry 1/5 added to inventory.) \n<<silently>>\n<<set journalEntry1 = true>> \n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>> \n<<endsilently>>\n<<endif>>\n\n[[back|Donovan's lab]]
Puzzled, you look up to see Gallo, expressionless, with the terminal’s plug in his hand. His pale, reptilian eyes bore into yours, as you stand up uncertainly. His complexion has a bluish tint that makes you feel nauseous. He tosses the plug to the floor, sighing, and starts toward you. You scurry around the heavy wooden desk, feeling a bit safer with it between the two of you. He smirks slightly at your expression and takes possession of the chair you just vacated. He puts his feet up on the desk and stares at you.\n\n[[Y-you don't scare me.|Gallo2 1]]
<<if act3>>The airlock looks totally unassuming. You'd never know a woman almost died there.\n\n[[back|storage facility]]<<endif>>\n<<if not storageRoomguarded>>This is the only way on or off the base. It consists of two huge steel doors with a compression chamber between them. On your side, a [[control panel|airlock control panel]] stands next to a locker full of [[space suits]]. One of them is pink.\n\n[[back|storage facility]] <<endif>>\n<<if (storageRoomguarded) and (act2)>><<set act2 = false>><<set importantSequence = true>><<update>>As you move closer to the airlock, you can see that something is very wrong. Several of the space suits have been knocked over, and there is a pink cowboy hat lying crushed on the floor. The control panel is displaying a countdown of less than a minute.\n<<continue "next">>\nAs you look at the countdown in puzzlement, a faint thumping noise catches your attention. You look up to see Crystal through the window of the airlock door, pounding frantically at the glass. She's not wearing a space suit. Her eyes are wide with fear.\n\n\n''END OF ACT II''\n\n\n[[Begin Act III|act 3 start]]<<endif>>
"It can't possibly be this easy," you think to yourself as you prod at various bits of carving on the frame. Sure enough, one of the grape bunches gives way under your fingers, and a section of the wood-paneled wall swings silently open. You can't imagine Gallo having a sense of humor; he must really think that this is a shrewd and totally non-laughable way to hide the entrance to his apartment. <<set foundGallosapartment = true>>\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
<<if otherWindow_open>>No thanks. You don't feel like plummeting to your death today. You need to find some way to bridge the gap before crossing over.\n\n[[back|square window]] <<endif>>\n<<if not otherWindow_open>>You slide open your window and poke your head out into the channel. Moving cautiously, you take a firm grip on the sill and lean out, groping with your fingertips. If you really stretch, you can reach the window on the other side. You manage to jerk it open before nearly losing your balance. You hurl yourself back into the room in a panic. \n\n[[I did it!|square window]] <<set otherWindow_open = true>> <<endif>>
__FOYER__\n\n You find yourself in the research wing's foyer. A sweeping [[reception desk]] takes up most of the right-hand wall. A dusty [[vid screen|vid screen 1]] hangs over it. Next to it stands a row of [[plush red chairs]] and a [[magazine rack]]. To the left, a set of [[double doors|Connecting hallway]] leads to the tunnel to the newer part of the base. Straight ahead, a set of [[magnet lifts up]] leads up to the research team's living quarters. If you go west, you'll find yourself in the [[laboratory hallway|Lab hallway 3]].\n\n<<if (cellPhone) and (not heardMessage1)>>\nAs soon as you step foot into the foyer, a familiar chime sounds over the intercom. A soothing, prerecorded voice says, “Attention, please. Attention, please. The work cycle has ended. Employees are now permitted to move freely about the base. Have a pleasant rest cycle. Thank you.”\n\nYou hear a click from the double doors to your right. Looks like you can pass through to the new part of the base now.\n<<set heardMessage1 = true>>\n<<endif>>\n<<if (not act1) and (not heardMessage2)>>\nAs soon as you step foot into the foyer, a familiar chime sounds over the intercom. A soothing, prerecorded voice says, “Attention, please. Attention, please. Sanitation processes are now complete. Employees are now permitted to access their habitation quarters. Have a pleasant rest cycle. Thank you.”\n\nThe panel next to the magnet lifts lights up. It looks like you can finally access the apartment level. <<endif>>\n <<set myLocation = "foyer">>
<<if (act3) and (climaxOver)>>__ESCAPE DECK__\n\nColored tracking lights set into the floor light up as you step through the door, pointing you toward an [[escape pod]] on your left. Most of the other pods have already been ejected. Glancing at one of the monitors, you can see that Crystal and Gallo have already left the base. \n\n<<if (not releasedSalamanders) and (not didntReleasesalamanders)>>The [[secret tunnel|escape tunnel]] back to Crystal's apartment is still accessible, and so is the route back to the [[storage facility]]. You're not sure how much longer it will be until those areas are breached, though...<<endif>> <<endif>>\n<<if (releasedSalamanders) or (didntReleasesalamanders)>>The door slams shut behind you just as the scream of bending steel reaches your ears.<<endif>>\n<<if (act3) and (not climaxOver)>>__ESCAPE DECK__\n\nThe florescent lights come on as you step through the door, revealing the squat silver escape pods. As you walk by, a control panel lights up next to each one, each with a frantically red “LAUNCH” button. If things take a wrong turn, it’s good to know that at least the escape pods are functional.\n The [[“LAUNCH”|escape tunnel]] button on the display of the second to last escape pod is bright pink.\n\nThe door back to the [[storage facility]] is south.<<set myLocation = "escape deck">><<endif>>\n\n<<if (act1) or (act2)>>You walk over to the escape deck. Through the window in the thick door, you can see three of the round, silvery escape pods nestled in their docks. You've never had to use one of them, but your employee training video told you when you first came here that there are more than enough pods to accommodate everyone on the base.\n\n[[back|storage facility]] <<endif>>
<<if apartmentEscape>>__HABITATION HALLWAY EAST__\n\nThis section of the hallway looks just the section before it, with a metal door on either side. To the north is [[Adams' apartment]], and to the south is [[Donovan's|Donovan's apartment]]. You've never seen either of them, but you have to assume that they look pretty much the same as yours. There is another [[poster|poster 2]] on the dead end wall in front of you. The only way back is [[the way you came from|Habitation hallway west]]. <<set myLocation = "Habitation hallway east">><<endif>>\n<<if myLocation neq "Adams' apartment">><<if not apartmentEscape>>__HABITATION HALLWAY EAST__\n\nThis section of the hallway looks just the section before it, with a metal door on either side. To the north is [[Adams' apartment]], and to the south is [[Donovan's|Donovan's apartment]]. You've never seen either of them, but you have to assume that they look pretty much the same as yours. There is another [[poster|poster 2]] on the dead end wall in front of you.\n\nThe only way back is [[the way you came from|Habitation hallway west]]. <<set myLocation = "Habitation hallway east">><<endif>><<endif>>\n<<if myLocation eq "Adams' apartment">> <<if not checkedApartmentdoor>>You don’t want anyone to know that you were able to get in here. It’s best to use your own door to leave.\n\n[[back|Adams' apartment]]<<endif>> <<endif>>\n<<if myLocation eq "Adams' apartment">> <<if lockedInapartment>> <<if checkedApartmentdoor>>To your relief, security has not bothered to lock Adams’ door from the inside. You slip out and stand in the corridor, pondering your next move. \n\n[[Okay!|Habitation hallway east]] \n<<set apartmentEscape = true>><<endif>><<endif>><<endif>>
Shove your desk out the window?\n\n[[Yes|shove desk]]\n[[No|your apartment]]
<<set didntReleasesalamanders = true>>You take your hand off the switch. Instantly, the salamanders begin to hiss at you. The sound is angry and heartbreaking at the same time. You find yourself trying to justify your actions to them, but the noise quickly rises to an unbearable pitch. The ground pitches violently beneath your feet. You run for the stairs, hoping you did the right thing.\n\n[[To the escape pods!|storage facility]]
The toilet and stall are sparkling clean. The toilet is vacuum-powered: a reflection of the cost of shipping heavy tanks of water to the moon. It would be a very bad idea to flush it before getting up.\n\n<<if (adamsNote) and (not toilet_checked)>>\nBehind the tank, huh? Checking behind the toilet, you find a piece of paper taped behind the tank. One side is torn, and it looks like it's been ripped out of a notebook. You pocket it. (Journal entry 2/5 added to inventory.)\n<<silently>>\n<<set journalEntry2 = true>>\n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>>\n<<set toilet_checked = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if not cellPhone>>As you are examining the toilet, you notice [[something shiny|cell phone]] on the floor near the back of the stall.<<endif>>\n\n\n[[back|bathroom]]
Sweet patch job. There's no way any of the other salamanders are getting out now.\n<<set ductTapeused = true>>\n\n[[back|Casey's lab]]
Man, these chairs are sweet. You feel like you could lounge here all day.\n\n[[back|executive reception area]]
The shrub has leaves like wide strips of dark green leather, and smells like something dead. You're sure it must be real, because no one could possibly set out to make a plant this ugly on purpose.\n\n[[back|Habitation level]]\n
You sidle over and peek under the lids of the potato vat. Sure enough, it's the same pale slop you've eaten every single day since you came here. Strangely, the stuff in the animal feed vat looks and smells exactly the same. You wonder what you have to do to get one of those steaks.\n\n[[back|kitchens]]
<<set act1 = true>>\nYou find yourself standing in an empty, featureless room. A bright light beats down pitilessly from somewhere overhead. Where am I? you wonder. You try to turn your head to look for an exit, but pain crackles through your neck. Reaching up carefully, you discover a huge needle with a tube attached is lodged hideously deeply in your brainstem. As sickening panic begins to rise, you hear voices.\n\n"What's taking so long?" demands the first voice. It sounds just like Bill Gallo, the head scientist and chief of security at the moon base where you live. Sure enough, through an observation window you somehow hadn't noticed, you can see Gallo's thin face glaring at you. Next to him stands Henry Adams, the base's lead researcher, whose gaze flickers worriedly between your face and the readout in his hand.\n\n<<replace "Try to pull out the needle.">>You do your best to pull out the horrible needle, but the pain is crippling. You are forced to stop.<<endreplace>>\n\n<<continue "next">>\n"Well?" snaps Gallo, redirecting his scowl to Adams. "We're already months behind schedule. This thing should have been harvested and disposed of long ago." He's talking about you - you're the thing to be harvested.\n\n"It's not really that simple," says Adams uneasily. He's tapping his pen against the side of his clipboard, a sure sign that he's nervous. "Some of these readouts are...Vital signs are normal, but these brain wave patterns are strange. It's almost as if-"\n<<continue "next">>\n"Spare me, says Gallo coldly. "It's a waste of time to conduct brain scans on the living creature. I'm not interested in its thoughts, only in results."\n\nThey are talking about you like you're not even there, like you're not even human.\n\n<<replace "Call to them through the glass.">>You open your mouth to scream at them, but you can't choke out even a whimper. Your lungs don't seem to be working right.<<endreplace>>\n\n<<continue "next">>\nGallo is looking at you with contempt. "Enough stalling," he says. "Do it now, before the wretched creature manages to pull itself free."\n\nThrough the haze of pain, you can see Adams' anguished face. His lips move silently. "I'm sorry," he mouths.\n\nHe pushes a button, and suddenly all you know is electric blue agony.\n\n[[Scream.|Casey's lab]]
<<if not adamsNote>>\nLooking closely, you realize that you have a post-it note stuck to your face. It must have gotten stuck there when you passed out at your desk. Feeling embarrassed, you peel it off your cheek. The note reads, “Check behind the tank. -Adams.”\n\nWeird, you think. Adams left three months ago, so where the hell did this note come from? You shove it in your pocket. (Adams' note added to inventory.)\n<<silently>>\n<<set adamsNote = true>>\n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>>\n<<endsilently>>\n<<else>>\nA round face framed by a messy black ponytail smiles back at you. You make a mental note to look more serious. Also, you should probably fix your hair.\n<<endif>>\n\n[[back|bathroom]]
Ew. This place looks like a war zone. If Adams killed himself, why would he have trashed his own apartment first?\n\n[[back|Adams' apartment]]
<<if climaxOver>>__UNDERGROUND ROOM__\n\nThe tremors are so bad here that you almost fall down the stairs. The room is blindingly bright - every salamander glows white-hot. The air feels heavy, and your head starts to pound.\n\nThe salamanders are staring at you. The shaking eases a little. You can feel that they are waiting for something.\n\nYou notice a panel on the wall slide open. Under a glass cover, there is a huge mechanical switch labeled [["EMERGENCY MASS RELEASE - DO NOT TOUCH."|salamander release]].\n\nThe door back to the [[storage facility]] is behind you.<<endif>>\n<<if not climaxOver>><<if firstTimeundergroundRoom>> Glancing around, you try the handle. To your surprise, it’s not locked.\n<<endif>>\n\n__UNDERGROUND ROOM__\n\n<<if firstTimeundergroundRoom>>The door leads to a flight of stairs that take you deep underground. You move carefully so as not to fall down the stairs in the dim light: as you go deeper, it gets darker and colder. When you first step into the room below, it’s pitch black. You grope blindly in the darkness. After a few seconds, a blue light begins to glimmer. It quickly grows blindingly strong, seemingly coming from every corner of the room at once, then fades. After a few such cycles, your eyes finally adjust enough to make sense of what you are seeing.<<endif>>\n \nThe cavernous room is filled with a grid of hundreds of small glass boxes, each containing a salamander. A long, cruel needle is planted into each one, with a thin tube that carries glowing blue toxin up to a giant holding tank set into the ceiling. \n\nEvery salamander is pulsing angrily in perfect sync with one another. The pattern looks, to you, remarkably like an SOS, just like it did to Adams. The slow strobe of the aliens is the room’s only light source, which lends a surreal, haunting impression to the scene. You feel movement in your pocket. You fish out your escaped salamander buddy to find that he is also glowing with this exact same pattern. He gives you an accusing look. You’d like to help the salamanders, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to break them out of their cages.\n\n<<if not journalEntry11>>There is a [[piece of paper|pick up paper]] lying on the floor near your foot.<<endif>>\n\nThe only exit is the door back to the [[storage facility]].<<endif>><<set firstTimeundergroundRoom = false>>\n <<set myLocation = "underground room">>\n
<<if act2>><<if not deskBridge>>Compared to the rest of the room, the window is pretty big. Instead of placing it on the wall that opens up to the infinite starry sky, however, the designer opted to place it so that it looks directly into the window of the neighboring apartment. With such a crappy design choice, you’re surprised the room has a window at all.\n\nThe dome over this section of the station means you can open the window without dying. The space between the two windows is so narrow that you can almost reach out and touch the other wall. <<endif>> <<if not otherWindow_open>>The [[other window]] is closed and shuttered, but there is a tiny gap between the window and the frame. \n\n[[back|your apartment]]\n<<endif>><<if otherWindow_open>><<if not deskBridge>>The [[other window]] is open now, but you can’t just hurdle across. If you want to avoid falling to your death, you’ll have to find some way to bridge the gap.\n\n[[back|your apartment]]<<endif>><<endif>> \n\n<<if deskBridge>> Crawl carefully across the desk bridge to the other apartment?\n\n[[Yes|Adams' apartment]]\n[[No|your apartment]] <<endif>> <<endif>>\n\n<<if act1>>Compared to the rest of the room, the window is pretty big. Instead of placing it on the wall that opens up to the infinite starry sky, however, the designer opted to place it so that it looks directly into the window of the neighboring apartment. The dome over this section of the station means you can open the window without dying. The space between the two windows is so narrow that you can almost reach out and touch the other wall. The ground is pretty far, though, so it might not be a good theory to test.\n\nThe other window is closed and shuttered, but there is a tiny gap between the window and the frame.\n\n[[back|your apartment]] <<endif>>\n
<<set releasedSalamanders = true>>You pull the switch. Machinery grinds to life as hundreds of extraction needles begin to retract. The movement of the salamanders in their boxes increases tenfold as the cruel spikes are finally removed. After a moment, there is a pop and a hiss as the entire grid of glass holding cells simultaneously unlatch.\n\nA ferocious free-for-all ensues, as all the salamanders scrabble for freedom. They pour out in all directions, streaming around you. They reach the walls and disappear into cracks you would have sworn were much too small.\n\n<<continue "next">>\nIn no time at all, the room is dark and empty. The shaking intensifies as the salamanders spread through the walls of the facility. You run for the stairs, hoping you did the right thing. \n\n[[To the escape pods!|storage facility]]
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You need access to the decommissioned laboratory in the research wing? Whatever for, sugar?\n\n[[Well, I think there may be an escaped salamander in there.|Crystal1 9]]\n[[I, uh, thought I heard a noise in there. Ghosts. Or something.|Crystal1 10]]
It's about time.\n\n[[back|Donovan's lab]]
<<if act2>>__ADAMS' LAB__\n\nThis room is coated in dust. Three specimen tanks are pushed up against the counter, empty. A [[computer]] sits blankly on the unused desk. You try to avoid looking at the large [[chest freezer]], where your friend Henry Adams lies frozen like a popsicle with a rope burn around his neck. You intend to get to the bottom of his ‘suicide’ as soon as possible. His apartment upstairs is a good place to start.\n\nThe only door leads back to the [[hallway|Lab hallway 2]]. <<endif>><<if adamsDoor_locked>>The door is firmly locked. You'll have to come back later. \n\n[[back|Lab hallway 2]]<<endif>> <<if not adamsDoor_locked>> <<if firstTimeadamsLab>> <<if crystalsNote2>>When you try the door this time, it opens smoothly. True to her word, Crystal has unlocked it for you. \n\n<<else>>Huh. Even though Gallo threw the Crystal's note away, the door is suddenly unlocked. Did Crystal open it for you anyway? <<endif>> <<endif>> \n\n<<if act1>>\n\n__ADAMS' LAB__\n\n<<if firstTimeadamsLab>>The unaccustomed darkness makes you grope for the light switch. Once the florescent lights flicker on, it reveals a room coated in dust.<<set firstTimeadamsLab = false>><<endif>> It looks like no one has been in here in months, not even the domestic robots. Three specimen tanks are pushed up against the counter, empty. The desk is also completely empty of everything except the ever-present [[computer terminal|computer]]. There is a large white [[chest freezer]] against the back wall. <<if not salamander>>On the floor in front of it, your elusive [[salamander]] is on its hind legs, patiently trying to climb its way to the top of the freezer.<<else>>You can still see the marks that the salamander left in the dust near the freezer. You wonder what it wanted in there.<<endif>>\n\nThe only door leads back to the [[hallway|Lab hallway 2]].\n<<endif>> <<endif>>\n<<set myLocation = "Adams' lab">>\n
It's amazing what your forefathers had to put up with for the sake of cleanliness.\n\n[[back|supply closet 1]]
The final tank is home to a half-dozen green lizards, who blink enigmatically at you. They don't appear to be any different from regular reptiles; if the drug has given them super-lizard powers, then they are hiding it well.\n\n[[back|tanks]]
Nope. That’s straight outta the Book of Crystal. Hell, maybe I’ll get into the publishing business once this all settles down. The baby Jesus knows that my story could fill a chapter or two.\n\n<<display "tom3 16">>
I always thought of myself more like a mama bear, Casey. Never had any kids, though, so I’ve had to find other things to fight for instead.\n\n<<display "tom3 16">>
(Sure enough, when you turn back to the computer screen, there’s a waiting prompt that says, “Casey.” Crystal leaves the room with Gallo as you begin to type.)\n\n[[What is it, Tom?|tom3 18]]
(Gallo stirs slightly and groans. Crystal looks at him as if she’d forgotten he was there, then produces a roll of cable from her pocket and expertly ties him up like a calf at a rodeo. She hoists him over one shoulder with relative ease – you had no idea she was so strong.) \n\nI’ll take Gallo to the escape pods and wait for you there. It looks like Tom has something he wants to talk to you about.\n\n[[Huh?|tom3 17]]
(The screen goes blank. Crystal sighs.)\n\nThose snakes. It’s clear that they’re setting Gallo up to take the fall. I almost feel sorry for him.\n\n[[I's not exactly a set-up. He DID do all those things.|tom3 12]]
(There’s some quiet muttering coming from off-screen – the President seems to be listening to someone else in the room. You can’t make out everything, but you do catch the words “escape pod” and “emergency contingency.” He brightens up a bit.)\n\nYes, I understand. Well done, Miss Barrett, Miss Cama. I didn’t mean to imply that your efforts were unappreciated. With everything that’s happened, I might have gotten a little...carried away. Why don’t you take one of the escape shuttles back to Earth and we can discuss – \n\n<<continue "next">>\n(Crystal interrupts, as if he hadn’t even been speaking.)\n\nOh, there’s one thing I forgot to mention, sir. I’ve been recording this conversation – in fact, I’ve recorded //every// conversation we’ve had over this terminal in the past six months. If something...//unfortunate//...were to happen to our shuttle on the way back to Earth, every scrap of data I’ve collected on this forsaken hunk of rock will be released to every press outlet worldwide within 24 hours. My, wouldn’t that be a shame for Sadler? I can’t imagine your investors would be very happy with what I’ve seen here! Not to mention the Feds...and your family...everyone, really. Of course, I know there’s no way you’d intentionally sabotage a shuttle carrying such //valued// crew members, right?\n\n<<continue "next">>\n(This time, the muttering is more urgent. The President’s face is waxy.)\n\nI...see. How prudent of you. Of course, we’d never dream of sabotaging our own equipment. I’m sure that the events of the past few days are solely the workings of...of a lone madman, yes, and can’t possibly reflect poorly upon you. Or upon this corporation. After all, Sadler cares about you and your family.\n\n(The President’s grin is stapled to his face.)\n\nYes, thank goodness you were able to foil Gallo’s terrible and totally self-interested plans. Please, do come back to Earth so that we can talk more about this face-to-face. Bring the, er, prisoner with you. I’m...I’m sure that such selfless acts deserve to be amply compensated. It’s clear that there’s a bright future for both of you in the upper ranks of Sadler Pharmaceutical.\n\n[[Yeah, I just bet there is.|tom3 11]]\n[[Hahahaha wow, owned.|tom3 11]]\n
It’s in a corporation’s nature, Casey. They can only be counted to on to do what will make them the most money.\n\n(She winks at you.)\n\nFortunately, it’s in //my// nature not to take hush money from corporate scumbags. Those videos will go live in twenty four hours no matter how much they offer me. Hopefully, a nice long trial, seizure of assets, and universal condemnation will be enough to ensure that Syrenida™ never comes out.\n\n[[You sly fox!|tom3 14]]\n[[Is that something that Sun Tzu taught you?|tom3 15]]
Yeah, but Sadler’s not exactly blameless. No way could he have gotten away with it for so long if they hadn’t been so eager to make a boatload of money off Syrenida™. And the worst part is…they’ll probably still do everything they can to release the drug, after some more refining. There’s too much money to be made.\n\n[[But that's horrible!|tom3 13]]\n[[So everything we did was for nothing?|tom3 13]]
Now that the flagged data files have been transmitted to Earth via the external connection, an encrypted video file from my archives has been unlocked. This video is dated 3 months 6 days ago. Would you like to view it?\n\n[[Show it to me.|adams video]]
The members of the band are clad head to toe in black leather, and two of them are clutching flying V guitars. They all have their faces painted black and white, although you can't imagine why. You vaguely remember hearing that they're a revival of a famous band from the 1970s, although you never really went in much for classical music.\n\n<<if not journalEntry3>>\nYou notice a corner of white paper sticking out from behind the poster. Moving carefully, you climb up to the top bunk and retrieve it. You manage to climb back down without waking the sleeper, although with all the noise he/she is making, you could probably have bounced up and down a couple times for fun. (Journal entry 3/5 added to inventory.)\n<<silently>>\n<<set journalEntry3 = true>>\n<<set inventoryEmpty = false>>\n<<endsilently>>\n<<endif>>\n\n[[back|staff dormitory]]
The computer screen flickers to life as you plug it back in. After a few seconds, Tom's familiar start-up screen appears.\n\n\nToM Version 8.1.6 (Stable)\n\nGood evening! I am ToM, the Sadler Corporation’s proprietary AI research database and assistant. How may I assist you?\n\n[[The thumb drive! The data! Did it go through?|tom3 2]]
Electricity crackles along the jagged edges of several broken bulbs. Below, shards of florescent tubes mix with the thicker brown glass of whiskey bottles. Evidently, Donovan used some of his dead soldiers to smash the lights, though you're not sure why.\n\n[[back|Donovan's lab]]
Data transfer from the thumb drive was interrupted at 82% completion. However, the bulk of the data was successfully transferred to the requested corporate party or parties with minimal corruption. \n\n<<continue "Thank goodness.">>\nIt seems that the arrival of the data has caused some disruption - twelve attempts have been made to contact this system during the time this terminal was without power. In fact, there is currently a video call waiting from the Sadler CEO. Shall I patch him through?\n\n[[Do it.|tom3 3]]\n[[This ought to be good.|tom3 3]]
The files. Yes, I looked at the damn files. I couldn't care less about whatever gumshoe crime scene fantasy you've been carrying out. What I want to know is how in the //hell// we've managed to spend so much goddamn money on a drug that was never viable in the first place?\n\n[[It's probably because you put a psychopath in charge of the facility.|tom3 6]]\n[[I guess you've never heard of independent clinical trials?|tom3 7]]
The //prisoner//? You can't possibly mean that //Gallo//-\n\n(The CEO pinches the bridge of his nose, as if you were a headache he could will out of existence.)\n\nLook, sweetie, I don't have time to talk to interns. Just get Crystal here, right now. There's a lot of money riding on this, do you understand?\n\n[[(Beckon Crystal over.)|tom3 6]]\n[[A lot of lives, too. But I'm sure that's what you meant.|tom3 7]]
(The barest flicker of guilt passes across the President’s face.)\n\nYes. Well. //If// these garbled reports are true, then the formula certainly merits further study before release. So. Well done. But these //other// reports – murder, sentient aliens...I’m afraid these things can never be released to the general public. Do you know what kind of outcry there would be if this were to get out?\n\n[[Oh, you mean the fact that you hid evidence of first contact with an alien race so that you could harvest them for money?|tom3 8]]\n[[Oh, you mean the fact that you helped cover up the murder of a famous and well-loved scientist so that it wouldn't interfere with your release schedule?|tom3 8]]
(Crystal pops into view, smiling cheerfully.)\n\nHello there, sugar pie!\nWe had ourselves a bit of a //situation// up here with your security chief. Seems he’s been destroying files and murderin’ folks to hide the fact that your big breakthrough drug is just a steaming kettle of poison! No need to fret, though – we managed to stop him.\n\n(She hauls Gallo’s unconscious body into frame as proof. There’s an audible gasp from the other end of the video feed as Gallo’s deathly complexion becomes apparent.)\n\n[[Yeah, no need to thank us. But you still probably should.|tom3 7]]\n[[Also, I nearly died. Just putting that out there.|tom3 7]]\n
Suddenly, a loud CRACK causes Gallo's grip to jerk and loosen. Hot pink fingernails pull Gallo's hands away from your throat. Like an avenging rodeo angel, like an expansive goddess of victory, Crystal comes into view. She shoves Gallo's still body off to the side with contempt. Her frizzy orange hair is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.\n\n<<continue "next">>\nThe sudden rush of air into your starved lungs causes you to start gasping and hacking uncontrollably. Crystal helps you to your hands and knees and makes sympathetic noises until you catch your breath.\n\n[[ saved my life.|Crystal3 1]]\n[[How did you do that?|Crystal3 2]]
(The president glares at you.) That is privileged information to which you never should have had access. Sadler is permitted to protect its trade secrets through any means at our disposal.\n\nI can’t even begin to count how many contractual obligations and corporate secrets you violated in the course of your little investigation. Not to mention assault on a high-ranking official! I’m afraid that there’s no way I can allow knowledge of these events to become public. You’ve done us a small service, but...\n\n[[I did mention that he was trying to kill me, right?|tom3 9]]\n[[Are you freaking serious? We just saved everyone!|tom3 9]]
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The cleaning robots are small silver half-spheres, with two red sensors on the front for detecting dirt and messes. Two hatches on the back retract to reveal telescoping arms, perfect for dusting and other fine work. The robots are in sleep mode. One of the robots has a battery life indicator much lower than its companions, and it's covered with dents and scratches. You suspect that this unlucky robot is assigned to clean Donovan's lab.\n\n[[back|supply closet 1]]
<<if (myLocation eq "your apartment") or (myLocation eq "Adams' apartment") or (apartmentEscape)>>\n__ADAMS' APARTMENT__\n\nThis room must have started out looking exactly like yours, but now it looks like a [[hurricane]] blew through it. Plastic dishes are strewn across the floor, and the fridge is overturned. The room stinks like spoiled milk. In the center of the room, the desk lies kicked over onto its side. The computer lies in shards and chunks of plastic and circuitry. Directly above it, a [[water pipe]] runs the length of the ceiling. \n\nTorn scraps of paper are scattered like snow. Bending down, you catch a few word fragments: “Increase dosage” “Test progress” “Showing signs of neu-”. These appear to be Adam’s lab notes. <<if not adamsJournal>>They are thoroughly destroyed, but out of the corner of your eye you see [[something white|Adams' journal start]] sticking out from under a corner of the mattress. <<set myLocation = "Adams' apartment">><<else>>They are thoroughly destroyed.<<set myLocation = "Adams' apartment">><<endif>>\n\nExits are the [[door|Habitation hallway east]] and the [[window|your apartment]].<<endif>>\n<<if (act2) and (myLocation eq "Habitation hallway east")>>The door to Adams’ apartment is locked. You can’t say you’re surprised, but you’re not giving up. There’s got to be another way in. \n\n[[back|Habitation hallway east]]<<endif>>\n<<if act1>>It's rude to enter someone else's apartment without permission. Besides, it's firmly locked.\n\n[[back|Habitation hallway east]] <<endif>>\n\n
You allow Gallo to stumble away, clutching his head and moaning. The sudden change in his demeanor is shocking; he was so poised a second ago, and now he is visibly shaking. You circle cautiously around the outside of the room, the salamander held out in front of you like a talisman. If you can just get to Crystal's apartment door...\n\n<<continue "Almost th-">>\nThe savage backhand blow hits you like a bullet. You barely even saw Gallo close the distance.\n\n[[Shit!|Gallo fight end]]
(UNKNOWN ERROR: ERROR UNKNOWN)I apologize for being unable to fully answer your inquiries. I hope that our next interaction proves more fruitful.\n\nIn the meantime - \n\n(You lose track of the words as a sudden tremor shakes the screen. The distant grind of metal on metal is awfully forboding. A klaxon alarm begins to blare.)\n\nIn the meantime, perhaps you might consider fulfilling Dr. Adams' final wish?\n\n[[ set the salamanders free, right?|tom4 11]]\n[[What was THAT?!|tom4 12]]
Correct. I believe his close observations of the creatures led him to sympathize with their plight. I also believe that he considered them to be possessed of some kind of potent emotional energy when gathered in numbers. This could explain the current seismic activity. \n\n(The floor rumbles again. The plastic window creaks.)\n\nMight I suggest you hurry?\n\n[[I've got to get out of here!|tom4 end]]
My sensors indicate that the harvesting chamber has suddenly come under an extraordinary deal of unexplained stress. If this continues, the atmospheric integrity of the facility will not hold. Henry Adams theorized that the creatures to be possessed of some kind of potent emotional energy when gathered in numbers, which could explain the current seismic activity.\n\n(The floor rumbles again. The plastic window creaks.)\n\nMight I suggest you hurry?\n\n[[I've got to get out of here!|tom4 end]]
The waiting area chairs were once plush, but now they've become a bit faded. They still look pretty comfy, though.\n\nSit down?\n\n[[Yes|sit on chair]]\n[[No|foyer]]
You advance on Gallo, the salamander held out in front of you like a talisman. He stumbles backward, clutching his head and moaning. The sudden change in his demeanor is shocking; he was so poised a second ago, and now he is visibly shaking. The salamander strains forward eagerly. Whatever it's saying to him, it's working.\n\n<<continue "Yeah, all-">>\nThe savage backhand blow hits you like a bullet. You barely even saw Gallo's arm move.\n\n[[Shit!|Gallo fight end]]
__LAB HALLWAY 2__\n\nThe hallway stretches away to the [[north|Lab hallway 3]] and [[south|Lab hallway 1]]. To the east is the [[laboratory|Adams' lab]] Adams used to use. There is a huge electronic lock on the door. <<if not salamander>>If you listen carefully, you can hear a faint scrabbling noise coming from the other side. Could it be your escaped subject?<<endif>>\n\n
__LAB HALLWAY 3__\n\nThe hallway turns a corner here and empties out into a large [[foyer]] to the east. To the west is the [[supply closet|supply closet 1]]. Straight ahead is the laboratory's [[bathroom]]. At the [[south end|Lab hallway 2]] of the long hallway are the laboratories.\n <<set myLocation = "Lab hallway 3">>
<<if caseysDoor_locked>> Huh? The door is locked. That's weird. Maybe the computer knows something about it. <<set caseysDoor_checked = true>> \n\n[[back|Casey's lab]]\n<<endif>>\n<<if not caseysDoor_locked>> <<if salamander_firstLook>>\nHmm...before you go, you should really check on your specimens. It would be a pain to get reprimanded for something so trivial. \n\n[[back|Casey's lab]]\n<<endif>> <<endif>>\n<<if not caseysDoor_locked>> <<if not salamander_firstLook>>\n__LAB HALLWAY__\n\nYou exit into a drab hallway, painted off-white, with a black linoleum floor. More overhead florescent tubes stretch away [[to the north|Lab hallway 2]]. To the west, there is a door to [[Donovan's laboratory|Donovan's lab]]. [[Your own lab|Casey's lab]] is to the south. In an attempt to make the space more human, someone has taped a [[poster|poster 1]] to the eastern wall. <<endif>> <<endif>>\n<<set myLocation = "Lab hallway 1">>
Don't be a stranger!\n\n<<if not cellPhonemessage3>>\nYour cell phone starts to vibrate.\n\n''New message from: Henry Adams''\n //The peacock knows that//\n //Feathers distract enemies//\n //From sharpened talons.//\n<<set cellPhonemessage3 = true>> <<endif>>\n\n[[back|Crystal's office]]
\n\nTo save your game, just bookmark the game at any time. Clicking on the bookmark will load your game where you left off!\n\nNOTE: This engine uses cookies to track your progress, so you'll need to use the same device you used previously to continue your game. If that sucks, you can always use the Act shortcuts on the start page to jump to the beginning of any act!\n\n<<back>>
Despite the splintering sound of broken glass you make with every step, Donovan still doesn't look up.\n\n[[back|Donovan's lab]]
The counter and sink look exactly like the counters and sinks in the lab downstairs. You feel like you're still at work.\n\n[[back|your apartment]]
Are you feeling all right, honey? Seems to me like you're starting to hear things! Maybe you should go for a nice lie-down, what do you say? (Crystal never stops smiling, but her eyes flash a warning at you.)\n\n[[Wait, let's just start over.|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[Yeah...maybe I should|Crystal1 End]]
Did I say that? (Crystal smiles serenely.) The way I see it, this whole Syrenida™ business is all Bill's baby. If everything goes right, then he'll get all the fame and glory that he feels he deserves. If not…(Crystal shrugs.) No one can blame little old me, can they?\n\n[[Gallo didn't create Syrenida™. He stole all his work from Henry Adams!|Crystal1 23]]\n[[That sounds...ominous.|Crystal1 22]]\n[[Wait, can we start over?|Crystal convo 1 start]]\n[[Yeah...I just remmebered something I have to do.|Crystal1 End]]
What a thing to say! (Crystal smiles at you with her mouth only.) I think you might be tuckered out after all that running around the base unsupervised. Why don't you go back to your apartment and take a nice nap? (She picks up a pen meaningfully.) I'm sure you'll feel right as rain after some sleep. I'm awful busy, what with the running of an entire scientific installation and all. Feel free to let yourself out, sugar.\n\n[[Goodbye, then.|Crystal1 End]]
Henry Adams? (Crystal taps a few keys on her terminal.) Oh, yes. A mid-level researcher whose contract was terminated three months ago. It says here that he suffered a nervous breakdown. (She looks at you quizzically.) Sugar, if Bill really is trying to take credit for someone else's work, surely this Henry Adams would come forward and contest it. It's only the most talked-about drug of the past fifty years, after all.\n\n[[That's just it! I think it's because Gallo has him locked up in an institution somewhere.|Crystal1 22]]
The force of the blow send you flying across the room. The salamander is knocked from your hand and spins out of sight. You crash into a table full of knick-knacks, which splinters under your weight. Your head encounters something sharp.\n\nThrough the haze of pain, you see Gallo advancing. His face is purple; the capillaries in his bulging eyes are a web of neurotoxin.The reek of necrotic flesh overwhelms you - Gallo smells like he's rotting from the inside out. Wordlessly, he wraps his cold fingers around your neck.<<set salamander = false>>\n\n<<continue "Struggle!">>\nAll the self-defense you've ever learned spins wildly through your head. You try to pry his thumbs apart, but his grip is inhuman. You claw at his face with your fingernails, but he doesn't react in the slightest; slow blue blood oozes uselessly down his cheek.\n\n<<continue "Struggle.">>\nYou can't move. You can't breathe. Your heels drum uselessly against the floor. Desperately, you strike out at all the vital points you can remember: the nose, the eyes, the ears, the Adams' apple, the collarbone. Nothing's working; Gallo might as well be made of stone. Your blows become weaker as your muscles start to starve of oxygen.\n\n<<continue "Struggle...">>\nAs your brain begins to shut down, one thought remains: at the very least, you finally caused Gallo to lose that insufferable composure. Maybe this counts as a hero's death. Yeah, that would be nice...\n\n<<timedcontinue 4s>>Out of the corner of your fading vision, you catch movement. "Weird," you think to yourself dreamily. "I thought everything in here was pink. What's that [[flash of orange|Crystal saves you]]?"
I'm sorry, I don't understand. ((Clarification attempt 01))Please clarify.\n\n[[You know, the pieces of paper I kept finding around the facility?|tom4 9]]\n[[The pages from Adams' research journal. You know?|tom4 9]]
I'm sorry, I don't understand. ((Clarification attempt 02))The distribution of physical evidence was at no point a part of Dr. Adams' instructions to me. Lacking a motile form, I can only disseminate digital files.\n\n[[You didn't send the cleaning robots to hide the entries, or something?|tom4 10]] \n[[You know, Tom, this isn't really the way jokes are meant to work.|tom4 10]]
Henry Adams was never a great judge of character, but he expected others to act as he acted: with honor, and after carefully weighing the options. In your case, he was correct. In Gallo's case, incorrect.\n\nThe secrecy was necessary. The only reason the plan worked was because Gallo consistently dismissed and underestimated you. He also counted on the messages piquing your sense of curiosity.\n\n\n[[Sounds like you knew Henry Adams pretty well, Tom.|tom4 7]]
Yes. Dr. Adams and I worked together often. ((Uncaught exception: thread overflow. Please reinstall relationship engine and restart)) Henry Adams was my friend.\n\n[[So I guess those journal entries were your doing, too?|tom4 8]]
I don't know what you mean. Error: NO ERROR FOUND: ERROR CODE BSOD\n\n[[I guess all these errors are because Adams was using you to send me those text messages...|tom4 3]]
The secrecy was necessary. The only reason the plan worked was because Gallo consistently dismissed and underestimated you. He also counted on the messages piquing your sense of curiosity.\n\nHenry Adams was never a great judge of character, but he expected others to act as he acted: with honor, and after carefully weighing the options. In your case, he was correct. In Gallo's case, incorrect.\n\n[[Sounds like you knew Henry Adams pretty well, Tom.|tom4 7]]
I'm sorry. Gallo's filter program was extremely sensitive, and would have alerted him and put you in danger. It was all I could do to mask your input terms from the scan. Now that Gallo has been removed, the security blocks put in place by Henry Adams have been lifted. We may converse freely. \n\n{{Small talk: is a directory}} ((Compliment attempt:)) You are looking quite [Null reference exception at {compliments}(2)] today!\n\n[[So it was you sending me those text messages all along?|tom4 3]]\n[[So it was Adams' hacking that's making you act all weird?|tom4 4]]
Yes. It was relatively trivial to transmit an SMS signal to your mobile device. Dr. Adams wrote the messages as a precaution before his death, as he sensed Gallo was becoming more aggressive and unstable. He created a database of possible messages to cover most eventualities you'd encounter. He seemed to take some pleasure in it. He was also relatively certain that you'd have your device charged and on-hand, despite its apparent uselessness. He knew you were lonely.\n\n[[That 'message from beyond the grave' thing was really starting to freak me out.|tom4 5]]\n[[I guess he knew me better than he knew Gallo.|tom4 6]]
RESEARCHER 004 Casey Cama, are you all right? You seem emotionally distressed.\n\n[[I'm fine, Tom. Just...wasn't expecting that.|tom4 2]]\n[[Why didn't you tell me any of this earlier?|tom4 2]]
There is a sign on the door which reads: “Temporarily out of order. Thank you for your patience. -Your robotic maintenance crew.” Great. Where are you supposed to shower?\n\n[[back|Habitation hallway west]]
You pause with your hand on the switch. The salamanders are silent, waiting. The ground trembles slightly - somehow you know that, even with their psychic powers, the salamanders are not strong enough to break themselves out.\n\nOne one hand, it's wrong to keep sentient beings enslaved. Their pain is an almost tangible thing. Adams valued their freedom above his own life, and you might be their only chance.\n\nOn the other hand...Sylio™ has done so much good for humanity. Someday, Syrenida™ might, too... You have a feeling that, once you let the salamanders go, they'll never let themselves be caught again. Many, many sick and injured people will die if you do this. Not only that, but learning to communicate with a sentient alien species might be the most important undertaking in human history. Is it right to just let the salamanders disappear, and rob the human race of this chance?\n\n<<continue "next">>\n\nWill you release the salamanders?\n\n[[Yes. Their freedom trumps our comfort.|salamander yes]]\n[[No. The salamanders are too important.|salamander no]]
You scream for help at the top of your lungs. The sound bounces off the curved window and ricochets around the room, filling it with earsplitting sound. Gallo waits patiently until your voice gives out, but no one comes to help. The smug look on his face makes you wish you still had breath to scream.\n<<set standoffSoundproof = true>><<set standoffCount += 1>>\n\n<<continue "next">>\n<<display 'Gallo standoff'>>
Finally.\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
You pocket the hair dye. That'll show him. Maybe Bill Gallo won't be so high and mighty with his gray roots showing. (Hair dye added to your inventory.) <<set hairDye = true>>\n\n[[back|Gallo's office]]
Crystal disappears. She can really move silently, for someone who dresses so loud.\n\n[[Let's get to work.|storage facility]]\n<<set crystalRescued = true>><<set importantSequence = false>><<update>>