When in Rome 1: Accounting for Taste — 20 of 31

Emily Short

Release 3

Chapter 5 - The Limo

Some thugs are a man. Understand "[thugs]" as the thugs. The description of the thugs is "The men in suits seem almost as nervous as you are, but there are more of them and they are obviously prepared to do violence, which puts them at an advantage all the same." Understand "thug" or "blond" or "heavy blond thug" or "men" or "man" or "suits" or "man in suit" or "men in suits" or "agent" or "agents" or "kidnappers" or "mobsters" or "mobster" or "gangster" or "gangsters" as "[thugs]".

The Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine is a room. Some tinted windows are scenery in the Limousine. Understand "window" as the windows. The tinted windows can be openable. The tinted windows are openable. The windows can be open. The tinted windows are closed. Instead of examining the tinted windows, try searching the tinted windows. Instead of searching the tinted windows: say "You can make out little more than the occasional bright lights moving past, but nothing that would give you a clear sense of where you are or in what direction you are traveling." Instead of opening the tinted windows: say "You reach toward the window handle, but are pre-empted by one of the large men."

The seats are scenery in the Limousine. Understand "car" or "seat" or "bucket seat" as the seats. The description of the seats is "Two facing bucket seats upholstered in leather: they've spared no expense here. Whoever these people are."

Instead of singing in the Limousine:

say "You hum a little ditty. One of the men glares at you.

'Just trying to liven things up,' you say.";

Instead of opening the tinted windows for the first time: say "You try leaning across the heavy blond thug to get at the window handle, but he blocks you.

'Sorry,' you say. 'It's just that automobile rides always make me a bit car-sick. Fresh air prevents illness, you know.'

'You won't be ill,' says the man in the black suit coldly."

Instead of exiting when the location is the Limousine for the first time: say "You spring for the door handle, but the blond thug on your side catches you, and the one on Esther's side puts his hand protectively over the lock.

'Sit quietly,' says the man in the black suit. He does not sound as though he has any experience with people disobeying him."

Instead of exiting when the location is the Limousine: say "That is no more likely to work the second time."

Rule for writing a paragraph about a person in the Limousine: say "This is supposed to be a comfortable luxury vehicle, but you do not find it so: you are wedged between two large [thugs], and [Esther] sits across from you in similar comfort. The windows are so heavily tinted that you can't really see out."

Instead of waiting in the Limousine for the first time:

move the paper chart to the player;

say "'Here,' says the man in the black suit, handing you a paper chart. 'You may wish to study this; there will be a test of sorts when we arrive where we are going. No need to memorize it, but familiarity wouldn't hurt.'"

Instead of taking inventory when Limo Ride is happening:

if the player carries the chart, say "You've only got this lunatic chart they gave to you.";

otherwise say "You take stock of your possessions, but they are of course not turning up anything useful in this situation: nothing that could be an improvised weapon, no paper on which to scribble a covert message, not even a convenient matchbook."

Instead of listening when Limo Ride is happening:

say "The growl of the engine is all you hear, most of the time. Rarely, honking from outside -- though that less as the ride goes on."

Instead of attacking the thugs: say "You're too well-trained to think you could win at that. It's fine for the movies, but it won't work here."

Instead of kissing the thugs: say "Though this would doubtless surprise everyone, you can see no advantage in it to outweigh the unpleasantness."

Instead of attacking Esther during Limo Ride:

say "Esther is more or less your only ally at the moment."

Instead of kissing Esther during Limo Ride:

say "Though the idea is not inherently repellent, you have a hard time imagining a less suitable set of circumstances."

Instead of asking Esther about something when Limo Ride is happening:

say "It is not as though you have any privacy here."

Instead of asking Esther to try doing something when Limo Ride is happening:

say "Conspiracies and plans are nearly impossible with both of you flanked by large men (who are, incidentally, not deaf)."

Instead of asking the thugs to try doing something:

say "Unsurprisingly, they do not respond at all."

Instead of asking the thugs about something:

say "You try to start a conversation, but none of them is interested in replying."

Instead of answering someone that something: try asking the noun about it. Instead of telling someone about something: try asking the noun about it.

Procedural rule when Limo Ride is happening:

substitute the rapid advance time rule for the advance time rule. [1]

This is the rapid advance time rule:

increase the time of day by 15 minutes.

The paper chart is a thing. The chart is papery. The description of the chart is

"[fixed letter spacing]Known creatures: Luna, Mars, Asteroids, Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, Nereid.

Strong odor sensitivity: Mars, Ganymede, Europa.

Very slow reflexes: Asteroids, Nereid ('throw' test).

More than two arms: Luna, Asteroids, Callisto.

Friendly disposition: Luna, Mars. Hostile: Asteroids.

Eat cloth: Europa, Nereid, Mars.[variable letter spacing][if Test is happening]

At the bottom it says, in untyped letters, 'shout your answer when you've chosen, and we'll hear'.[end if]"

Instead of giving the chart to Esther:

say "You reach across to hand Esther the mysterious chart, but the man in the black suit puts a hand on your wrist. 'That's for you. We have a different test for her.'

Esther makes a face at you.

The road hums by silently a while."

Note

[1]. During this period of the game, we want a number of minutes to elapse between moments, like a montage of brief scenes in a movie. In addition to indicating this in the description, we have the clock advance at a different rate.