When in Rome 2: Far from Home — 19 of 22

Emily Short

Release 1

Section 3 - Final scene

Sending is a scene. Sending begins when play begins. Sending ends when Esther is in Reception.

A person has a table-name called conversation.

Instead of asking someone about something:

let the source be the conversation of the noun;

if topic understood is a topic listed in source:

if there is a turn stamp entry:

say "[The noun] has already told you [summary entry].";


change turn stamp entry to the turn count;

say "[reply entry][paragraph break]";


say "[The noun] stares at you blankly."

Definition: a person is other if it is not the player.

Understand "ask [someone] about [something]" as asking it about specified object. Understand "tell [someone] about [something]" as asking it about specified object. Asking it about specified object is an action applying to two visible things. Carry out asking it about specified object: say "[The noun] just shrugs." Asking something about specified object something is useless action.

Instead of asking Esther about specified object something: say "'It's just [a second noun],' Esther says. 'That's not the point.'"

Understand "recap" or "recall" or "review" as recalling conversations.

Recalling conversations is an action applying to nothing.

Carry out recalling conversations:

repeat with speaker running through other people:

let source be the conversation of the speaker;

sort source in turn stamp order;

say "[The speaker] has so far told you: [line break]";

let index be 0;

repeat through source:

if there is a turn stamp entry:

let index be 1;

say " [summary entry][line break]";

if index is 0, say " absolutely nothing[line break]";

say line break.

The conversation of Esther is Table of Esther Conversation.

After reading a command:

while the player's command includes "the", cut the matched text;

while the player's command includes "a", cut the matched text. [1]

Table of Esther Conversation

topicreplysummaryturn stamp
"point/danger/purpose/direction/meaning" or "her point""'Are you working around to a point of some kind?' you ask.

'I don't trust the A. P. boys, that's all,' she says. 'Or rather, I don't like how they don't trust me.'"
"that you would be better off as a detective"a number
"boys/men/agents" or "a p" or "alien protocol""'Let me put it this way,' you say, after thinking a moment. 'Given that they do what they do, could they be any different than they are?'

'They could not look at me like some kind of slug,' she says. Interesting. This sounds like a specific grievance."
"that they are creepy"--
"grievance/specific/story/slug" or "some kind of slug""'Has someone from the A. P. Office done something to you?'

She just frowns more deeply and does not answer. This is evidently not the conversational direction she wanted to take."

Instead of waiting during Final Chat: say "You wait.

'The aliens are dangerous and the Office is worse,' she says finally."

Final Chat is a scene. Final Chat begins when Sending ends. When Final Chat begins:

move the player to Reception, without printing a room description;

say "'I think you should think about quitting.' It's leaving time, a week later; but Esther's hovered around being about to say something just about every afternoon, and you might as well get it over with now.

You turn back. 'I'm not sure the Office of Alien Protocol accepts resignations, Esther,' you say. 'Besides, I thought you hated your previous job.'

'I did,' she says, vigorously marking boxes on a requisition form so as not to look at you. It appears that she is ordering a life-time supply of tinned meats. When she finishes, she folds this and puts it away; then she says: 'All the same, these things are dangerous.'

Presumably she does have a point here, but it's taking her quite a while to get to."

Final Chat ends when the time since Final Chat began is 2 minutes. When Final Chat ends: say "Esther hesitates an even longer time; then she says, 'I was married. Before.'

You blink. 'What brings on this confidence?'

She leans forward. 'The point is, I have lived with people -- one person -- who -- I'm used to people that lie. And these people are lying to us.'

She is so wide-eyed and earnest. You want to tell her not to be so naive, that everyone lies, that government secret agents probably lie in their sleep and on the toilet; but at the same time she is making you a little nervous. All the same, you could tell her a thing or two with living in the presence of lies.

A man from A. P. appears in the doorway: not Max, but one of his lower-browed subordinates. 'Bad news, kids,' he says. 'We have a situation out in the City, and you--' He points at you with gun-fingers, as though he were five years old. '--are going to have to do the dog-catcher scenario we talked about.'

Esther raises her eyebrows and mouths, 'Dog-catcher scenario?'

Yes, this should be good for your dignity..."; end the game saying "To be continued".

A persuasion rule for asking Esther to try doing something:

say "'Funny,' says Esther, brushing you off."

Reception is a room. "This is Esther's area, with its table and typewriter, its lamps and relatively scar-less walls." The small round table, the typewriter, the telephone, and the lamps are scenery. The small round table is in Reception. The typewriter and the telephone are on the table. The lamps are in Reception. Understand "light" or "lamp" as the lamps. The initial appearance of Esther is "Esther is hovering, obviously having something she wants to tell you."


[1]. Again, some trimming for ease of topic-handling.