When in Rome 2: Far from Home — 8 of 22

Emily Short

Release 1

Section 2 - Creature Actions

Procedural rule:

if the person asked is not the player, substitute the animal feeding rule for the can't eat unless edible rule.

Procedural rule:

if the person asked is not the player, ignore the can't take people's possessions rule.

Instead of asking a creature to try doing something when the person asked is in a closed container:

say "The creature watches your mouth move, fascinated, but it obviously cannot hear you."

Before printing the name of the creature:

if a random chance of 1 in 4 succeeds:

if the creature is scaly, say "scaly ";

if the creature is furry, say "furry ";

say "[color of the creature] ".

Rule for printing the name of the creature:

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds, say "creature";

otherwise say "Visitor".

This is the animal feeding rule:

if the noun is not delicious, stop the action.

A person can be active or passive.

[After the creature trying doing something: now the creature is passive; continue the action.]

Before a creature trying taking something: change containment context to the holder of the noun.

Containment context is a thing that varies.

Heart's desire is a thing that varies. Before a creature trying taking something, change heart's desire to the noun.

Report the creature trying taking something:

if the creature is in the containment context and the containment context is a container,

say "[The creature] picks up [the noun], now it is in [the containment context]." instead;

otherwise say "[The creature] [if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds][forcefully] [end if][if containment context is a container]extracts[otherwise]picks up[end if] [the noun] from [if containment context is the location]the floor[otherwise][the containment context][end if]." instead.

Report an acquisitive creature trying taking something:

if the creature is in the containment context and the containment context is a container,

say "[The creature] gleefully picks up [the noun] from [the containment context]." instead;

otherwise say "[The creature] [if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds][forcefully] [end if][if containment context is a container]extracts[otherwise]acquires[end if] [the noun] from [if containment context is the location]the floor[otherwise][the containment context][end if], then recounts its possessions: [number of things carried by the creature in words]." instead.

Report a fidgety creature trying inserting something into something:

say "[The creature] shoves [the noun] hastily into [the second noun]." instead.

Report an athletic creature trying inserting something into something:

say "[The creature] [puts] [the noun] away in [the second noun]." instead.

Report a creature trying inserting something into something:

say "[The creature] [puts] [the noun] into [the second noun]." instead.

To say puts:

choose a random row in the Table of Insertion Words;

say "[word entry]".

Table of Insertion Words

word
"puts"
"sticks"
"tucks"

Report the creature trying dropping something when the creature is athletic:

say "[The creature] tosses aside [the noun]." instead.

Report the creature trying dropping a wearable thing when the number of portable things in the location is greater than 4:

if the creature is in the location,

say "[The creature] drops [the noun] beside [the random fixed in place thing in the location]." instead;

otherwise say "[The creature] sets down [the noun] inside [the holder of the creature]." instead.

Report the creature trying closing the sack:

say "[The creature] rolls up the top of the sack to discourage it from coming open again." instead.

Report the creature trying closing something:

say "[The creature] [if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds]shuts[otherwise]closes[end if] [the noun]." instead.

Report the creature trying closing something which contains the creature:

if the creature is timid, say "With a shy look at you, [the creature] ";

otherwise say "[The creature] ";

say "[if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds]shuts[otherwise]closes[end if] [the noun] on itself." instead.

Report the creature trying opening the probe kit:

if the creature is tall, say "[The creature] opens [the noun], which is almost as tall as it is." instead;

otherwise say "Standing on tiptoes, [the creature] just manages to undo the top flaps of [the noun] and get it open." instead.

Report the creature trying opening something:

say "[The creature] opens [the noun]." instead.

Report the creature trying dropping something:

say "[The creature] puts down [the noun] [if the holder of the creature is not the location]inside [the holder of the creature][otherwise]on the floor[end if][if the gravity of the creature is less than negligible and the creature is not weak], breathing quickly[end if]." instead.

Report the creature trying dropping the pod:

say "[The creature] sets down [the noun][if propulsion is part of the pod], balancing it on its propulsion unit[otherwise], which rocks unsteadily on the floor until [the creature] steadies it with one paw[end if]." instead.

Instead of the creature trying taking something when the number of things carried by the creature is the carrying capacity of the creature:

let the new target be a random thing carried by the creature;

if the creature is hungry and the creature carries a delicious thing (called the target):

while the new target is the target:

let the new target be a random thing carried by the creature;

try the creature trying dropping the new target.

Instead of the creature trying taking something when the creature is in a container (called the playhouse):

if the noun is in the playhouse, continue the action;

otherwise try the creature trying exiting.

Instead of the creature trying taking something when the noun is in an enterable container (called the playhouse):

if the creature is tall:

if the creature is visible and the creature is not in the playhouse:

say "[The person asked] reaches for [the noun] with long arms.";

continue the action;

if the creature is not in the playhouse:

now the creature is passive;

if the creature is visible:

say "[The person asked] tries to reach into [the playhouse], but its arms are a bit short for its purposes. [run paragraph on]";

if the creature carries the playhouse:

try the creature trying dumping out the playhouse;

otherwise:

if the playhouse contains the pod, try the creature trying pushing the playhouse;

otherwise try the creature trying entering the playhouse;

otherwise:

continue the action.

Instead of a creature trying entering something which contains the egg pod when the creature is not tall:

if the noun is available:

try the person asked trying pushing the noun;

otherwise if the creature is visible:

say "[The creature] looks at [the egg] in frustration.".

Instead of the creature trying entering something closed:

try the creature trying opening the noun.

Instead of the creature trying entering something when the creature is not carrying the noun and the noun is not in the location:

try the creature trying taking the noun.

Instead of the creature trying entering something when the noun is not available:

try the creature trying taking the noun.

Instead of the creature trying entering something when the creature has the noun:

try the creature trying dropping the noun.

Instead of a negligible creature trying eating a useful leathery thing:

now the creature is passive;

now the noun is pointless;

if the creature is visible, say "[The creature] bites [the noun], but is too weak to tear off portions of its leathery substance."

Instead of a negligible creature trying eating a pointless leathery thing:

try the creature trying dropping the noun.

Instead of the creature trying eating something which contains something (called the target):

if the creature is not carrying the noun, continue the action;

otherwise try the creature trying taking the target.

Instead of the creature trying eating something portable which is not carried by the creature:

try the creature trying taking the noun.

Carry out the creature trying eating something:

change the last feed time of the creature to the turn count;

if the noun is poisoned and the creature is not wood-pulpy and the creature is negligible, now the creature is poisoned.

Report the creature trying eating a poisoned thing:

say "[The creature] consumes [the noun], ";

if the creature is negligible:

if the creature is wood-pulpy:

say "but even though it is small and light-structured, its unusual metabolism seems capable of dealing with the glue." instead;

otherwise:

say "and immediately its eyes fill with tears and it begins to cough. After a moment or two of this it slumps into an inactive state." instead;

otherwise:

say "but because of the relatively small amount of toxin relative to its body mass and sturdiness it does not suffer any visible ill effect." instead.

Report the creature trying eating something:

say "[The creature] eats [the noun] in small neat bites, turning it in its paws as it goes[if the creature is comfortable]. At last it gives a pleased sigh[end if]." instead.

Report the creature trying eating the fireballs:

say "[The creature] crams all the Fireballs into its mouth at once. Then its eyes go very large and it holds quite still, cheeks bulging, tears sliding down its face.

For a moment you wonder whether you're going to have to get Esther to call the Office for xenotoxicology help. But then it gulps, blinking." instead.

Report a fast creature trying eating something edible:

say "[The creature] gobbles up [the noun], scattering flecks everywhere." instead.

Report a fast creature trying eating something wearable:

say "[The creature] swiftly tears [the noun] into shreds, then consumes the confetti." instead.

Report a lightning creature trying eating something:

say "[The creature] devours the whole of [the noun] in one lightning-fast bolt." instead.

Report a creature trying eating the socks:

if the socks are poisoned, continue the action;

say "[The creature] chows down on your socks. Ew." instead.

Report the creature trying taking something stinky when the odor sensitivity of the creature is strong:

now the creature is passive;

say "[The creature] picks up [the noun]";

let index be 0;

repeat through Table of Stink Disgust:

if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds:

if index is 0, say ", ";

otherwise say " and ";

say "[reaction entry]";

increase index by 1;

if index is 2:

say "." instead;

say "." instead.

Table of Stink Disgust

reaction
"holding it at arm's length[if the gravity of the creature is negligible] (though this appears to tax all its feeble strength)[end if]"
"scowling with all the expression its little face can command"
"making gagging and choking noises"
"waving the other paw in front of its nose"
"giving you a look as though to say it can't believe you have such things on your uncivilized planet"

Report the creature trying taking something stinky when the odor sensitivity of the creature is inverse:

now the creature is passive;

say "[The creature] picks up [the noun] and sniffs it with obvious pleasure." instead.

Report the creature trying closing a container which contains a stinky thing when the odor sensitivity of the creature is strong:

say "[The creature] [if the gravity of the creature is Earthlike]slams[otherwise]closes[end if] [the noun] [forcefully]." instead.

[After creature trying closing a suspect container for the third time:

say "[The creature] shoves [the noun] shut [forcefully], and glares at you for emphasis." ]

Report the creature trying closing the egg pod when the player is in the pod and the pod was closed:

say "[The creature] tsks, and shuts [the pod] again." instead.

Before a creature trying closing something which is not available:

if the creature is in the noun, continue the action;

try the person asked trying taking the noun instead.

A procedural rule: ignore the can't take people's possessions rule.

Instead of taking something which is worn by the creature when the speed of the creature is lightning:

now the creature is passive;

if the creature is visible, say "The creature dodges you with lightning speed and is at the far side of the room in a moment."

Instead of taking something worn by the creature when the creature is fast:

now the creature is passive;

if the creature is visible, say "You don't get close enough to the creature -- it moves away too fast."

Before taking something worn by the creature when the speed of the creature is moderate and the creature is friendly:

now the creature is passive;

say "The creature looks as though it might move away, but then decides to allow you to go ahead.";

continue the action.

Instead of taking something which is carried by the creature when the speed of the creature is lightning:

now the creature is passive;

say "You are no match for the creature's lightning reflexes, and never even get close to [the noun]." instead.

Instead of taking something carried by a slow creature:

move the noun to the player;

now the creature is passive;

say "[The creature] tries to evade you, but its movements are really too slow." instead.

Instead of taking something carried by the creature when the speed of the creature is moderate:

now the creature is passive;

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

move the noun to the player;

say "It's an even thing, with the creature's moderate reflexes, whether you're going to succeed or not, but you do manage to snatch [the noun] from it." instead;

otherwise:

say "You make a move towards [the noun]; [the creature] dodges. But not terribly quickly; with another try you might succeed. Moderate reflexes at best." instead.

Instead of taking something carried by a fast creature:

now the creature is passive;

if the creature is playful, say "You reach for [the noun], but the creature tosses it to another hand, winking at you. It's a quick thing, at least.";

otherwise say "You try to retrieve [the noun], but the creature deftly moves it out of your reach. Fast reflex, there.".

[Instead of the passive creature trying doing something:

stop the action.]

Definition: a container is suspect if the odor sensitivity of the creature is strong and it contains a stinky thing.

Before the hostile smart creature trying taking something which is not available when the creature can see a papery available thing (called the target):

if the creature can see the player, try the creature trying threatening the target for the noun instead.

A thing can be threatened or unthreatened. A thing is usually unthreatened.

Threatening it for is an action applying to two things.

Instead of a creature trying threatening an unthreatened thing for something:

now the noun is threatened;

now the creature is passive;

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds,

say "[The creature] gestures dire things it will do to [the noun] if it does not receive [the second noun].";

otherwise

say "[The creature] mimes tearing [the noun] to bits, then points at [the second noun].";

Carry out a creature trying threatening something for something:

try the person asked trying attacking the noun instead.

[Must be a before or it will fail the basic accessibility rule]

Before the creature trying taking something which is in a closed container (called the protection):

if the creature can touch the noun, continue the action;

try the creature trying opening the protection instead.

Instead of the starving creature trying crying for the first time:

now the creature is passive;

if the creature is visible:

if the creature can see a delicious thing (called target),

say "[The creature] settles in one place, no longer strong enough to beg for [the target].";

otherwise say "[The creature] settles in one place, no longer strong enough to beg for food.".

Instead of the starving creature trying crying:

if the person asked is visible:

if the creature can see a delicious thing (called target) and the creature is visible:

if the target is the player:

say "[The creature] stares hungrily in your direction.";

otherwise:

say "[The creature] eyes [the target][if the gravity of the creature is less than Earthlike] weakly, but does not move towards it[otherwise] wistfully[end if].";

otherwise:

say "[The creature] whimpers in hunger.";

now the creature is passive.

Before a fidgety hostile smart creature trying taking something which is carried by the player :

silently try dropping the noun;

if the player is not carrying the noun,

say "[The creature] distracts you, causing you to drop [the noun]."

Instead of the creature trying taking something which is not available:

try the creature trying begging for the noun.

Reading is an action applying to one thing.

Carry out a creature trying reading:

now the noun is explored.

Report a creature trying reading:

say "[The person asked] [if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds]peruses[otherwise]thoughtfully studies[end if] [the noun]."

Report a creature trying reading the instruction booklet when the person asked is smart:

say "[The person asked] studies the instruction booklet, taking in all the stages of assembly and pausing particularly at the diagram of the smiling alien sitting inside the pod.

It taps this image several times with one claw." instead.

Report a creature trying reading the paperwork:

now the noun is unexplored;

choose a random row in the Table of Alien Characteristics;

if moon entry is Neptune:

say "[The person asked] reads the report on Neptune, frowning. Then it reads again, looking from the report to you and back again. [italic type]Your reports are startlingly incomplete, Earthling[roman type], it thinks.";

otherwise:

say "[The person asked] studies the report on [moon entry][if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds], occasionally licking its lips thoughtfully[end if][if a random chance of 1 in 4 succeeds]. Softly it laughs at what it sees there[end if]." instead.

Forcing drop of is an action applying to one thing.

Instead of a creature trying forcing drop of something when the number of things carried by the person asked is 0:

let the target be a random portable available thing which can be seen by the person asked;

if the target is a thing, try the person asked trying taking the target instead.

Carry out a creature trying forcing drop of something:

let the target be a random thing carried by the person asked;

if the target is not a thing, stop the action;

try the person asked trying forcing drop of the noun with the target.

Forcing drop of it with is an action applying to two things.

Carry out a creature trying forcing drop of something with something:

move the second noun to the player;

move the noun to the person asked

Report a creature trying forcing drop of something with something:

say "[The person asked] chucks [the second noun] in your direction, causing you to drop [the noun]." instead.

Begging for is an action applying to one thing.

Carry out a creature trying begging for something: do nothing.

Before a creature trying begging for the player:

if the player is in the pod, try the person asked trying entering the pod instead.

Report a meaty creature trying begging for the player:

if the holder of the person asked is the holder of the player,

say "[The person asked] sneaks up close and [if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds]tries to take a bite from your calf[otherwise]licks your wrist[end if]." instead;

otherwise say "[The person asked] [if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds]makes bitey faces in your direction[otherwise]watches your movements with an unpleasant sort of hungry anticipation[end if]." instead.

Report a creature trying begging for something:

if the noun is the person asked, say "[The person asked] squirms." instead;

if the person asked is not in location, say "From [the holder of the person asked], [the person asked] reaches toward [the noun]." instead;

if the person asked is timid, say "[The person asked] looks at [the noun] with large eyes but does not move, speak, or gesture." instead;

choose a random row in the Table of Object Requests;

if the creature is friendly or the creature is secretive, say "[template entry][paragraph break]";

if the creature is curious, say "[curious request entry][paragraph break]";

if the creature is hostile, say "[unfriendly request entry][paragraph break]";

now the creature is passive.

Before a creature trying begging for something when the person asked lies within the noun:

now the creature is passive;

say "[The creature] looks queasy and gestures for you to set it down." instead.

Instead of a smart creature trying begging for something which is carried by the player:

try the person asked trying forcing drop of the noun.

Instead of a fidgety creature trying begging for something when the player carries more than 4 things and the player carries the noun:

if the person asked is not visible, stop the action;

if the person asked is timid, continue the action;

if the number of things carried by the person asked is the carrying capacity of the person asked, try the person asked trying dropping a random thing carried by the person asked instead;

if the noun is the first thing held by the player, continue the action;

move the noun to the person asked;

say "[The person asked] extracts [the noun] from among your possessions, since you are holding so much and its reflexes are so good."

Instead of a vast creature trying begging for something:

if the person asked is not visible, stop the action;

now the person asked is passive;

if the player wears the noun, say "[The person asked] tears [the noun] off of you. Gentle it isn't.";

otherwise say "[The person asked] pulls [the noun] away from you[if the noun is papery], nearly ripping it in the process[end if].";

move the noun to the person asked.

Instead of a vast creature trying begging for something for the first time:

if the person asked is not visible, stop the action;

now the person asked is passive;

if the player wears the noun, say "[The person asked] strips [the noun] from your body in one rapid movement. Well. Pity Esther isn't in here.";

otherwise say "[The person asked] unceremoniously wrests [the noun] from your grasp, being quite a lot stronger than you are.";

move the noun to the person asked.

Table of Object Requests

templateunfriendly requestcurious request
"[The creature] looks mournfully at [the noun].""[The creature] fixes its glare on [the noun].""[The creature] looks curiously at [the noun]."
"[The creature] points to [the noun] and then presses its... paws? together wistfully.""[The creature] fixes its glare on [the noun].""[The creature] [if gravity of the creature is Earthlike or the gravity of the creature is vast]makes a spring for, and nearly catches, [the noun][otherwise]springs at [the noun], but not with nearly enough force[end if]."
"[The creature] begs for [the noun].""[The creature] growls, biting at [the noun].""[The creature] makes a motion as though to beg for [the noun]."
"[The creature] circles you slowly, pointing at [the noun].""[The creature] circles you angrily, pointing at [the noun].""[The creature] circles you, trying to get a clearer view of [the noun]."
"[The creature] extends its claws towards [the noun] beseechingly.""[The creature] snatches at [the noun].""[The creature] reaches eagerly towards [the noun]."

Report a slothful creature trying begging for something:

say "[The creature] whines for [the noun]." instead.

Growling is an action applying to nothing.

Carry out a creature trying growling: do nothing.

Report a creature trying growling: say "[The creature] growls."

After a creature trying growling for the first time:

if the player is in the Office,

say "[The person asked] growls suddenly and savagely. You jump backward, banging into your desk.

'Good to know you kids are getting along,' shouts Esther from the other room.";

otherwise say "[The person asked] growls at you. Hostile, then. You back off warily.";

now the creature is passive;

stop the action.

Report a friendly creature trying growling:

say "[The noun] shows teeth, but in such a way that you know it doesn't mean anything serious by it."

Shivering is an action applying to nothing.

Carry out a creature shivering: now the person asked is passive.

Report a creature shivering:

if the creature can see a lit thing (called the target),

say "[The creature] shivers and draws closer to [the target].";

otherwise

say "[The creature] [if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds]rubs its paws over its arms[otherwise]shivers[end if]."

Rejecting is an action applying to one thing.

Carry out a creature trying rejecting something: now the noun is explored.

Report a creature trying rejecting: say "[The person asked] turns its head away." instead.

Report a strong creature trying rejecting a stinky thing: say "[The person asked] covers its nostrils and draws back." instead.

Report an inverse creature trying rejecting a stinky thing: say "[The person asked] sniffs wistfully, obviously drawn by the smell, but then shakes its head." instead.

Instead of a playful creature trying rejecting an unexplored papery thing which is not the sack:

try the person asked trying accepting the noun;

try the person asked trying playing with the noun.

Report a playful creature trying rejecting an explored papery thing which is not the sack:

say "[The person asked] rolls its eyes and, with an exaggerated show of patience, looks over [the noun] again, muttering to itself. Apparently it has already committed to memory everything it finds interesting here." instead.

Report a playful creature trying rejecting when the person asked carries something (called distraction):

say "[The person asked] giggles, and holds up [the distraction] for you to see in exchange, as though this were some kind of show-and-tell game." instead.

Report a timid creature trying rejecting: say "[The person asked] scoots out of the way." instead.

Report a hostile creature trying rejecting: say "[The person asked] spits on [the noun]." instead.

Showing temper is an action applying to nothing.

Carry out a creature trying showing temper: do nothing.

Report a creature trying showing temper:

if the creature is in the egg and the egg is closed, say "[The creature] struggles against the walls of [the pod]." instead;

say "[The creature] grumbles to itself." instead.

Crying is an action applying to nothing.

Carry out a creature crying: do nothing.

Report a creature crying: say "[The creature] sobs."

Report a stupid creature crying:

say "[The creature] [if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds]lies curled on the floor, keening softly[otherwise]rocks itself back and forth[end if]." instead.

Report hostile smart creature crying:

say "[The creature] is too weak to do much at this point, but it watches you angrily, and occasionally makes a gesture at you that it must have learned from taxi drivers." instead.

Report the creature crying when the creature is in a container (called the trap):

say "[The creature] curls up in [the trap], weeping." instead.

Hiding oneself is an action applying to nothing.

Check a creature trying hiding oneself:

if the person asked is not in a container, stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying hiding oneself:

if the person asked is in a container (called the shelter):

if the player is in the shelter:

try the person asked trying exiting;

otherwise:

if the shelter is closed and the player can see the person asked:

say "[The person asked] [if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds]squinches its eyes shut, on an ostrich-like principle of mutual ignorance[otherwise]avoids looking at you[end if].";

otherwise:

try the person asked trying closing the shelter instead.

The last location is a room that varies.

Before a creature trying hiding oneself when the person asked can see a door (called escape route):

if location is not last location:

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] presses itself against the wall and tries to creep past you towards [the escape route]." instead;

otherwise:

try the person asked trying entering the escape route instead.

Before a creature trying hiding oneself when the person asked is not in a container and the player is not in a container:

if the person can see an enterable sheltering container:

let the shelter be a random enterable sheltering opaque container which can be seen by the person asked;

if the shelter is not a container, let the shelter be a random enterable sheltering container which can be seen by the person asked;

try the person asked trying entering the shelter instead.

Definition: a container is sheltering if it is open or it is openable.

Before a creature trying entering the kit when the kit contains the pod:

now the creature is passive;

try the person asked trying taking the pod instead.

Before a creature trying entering the kit when the noun carries the pod:

now the creature is passive;

try the person asked trying dropping the pod instead.

Dressing oneself is an action applying to nothing.

Before a creature trying dressing oneself when the person asked is not carrying something wearable:

if the person asked can see an available wearable thing (called target) which is not worn by the person asked:

try the person asked trying taking the target;

otherwise if the person asked can see a wearable thing (called target) which is not worn by the person asked:

try the person asked trying taking the target.

Check a creature trying dressing oneself:

if the person asked is not carrying a wearable thing, stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying dressing oneself:

if the person asked is carrying a wearable thing (called target), try the person asked trying wearing the target.

Report a cold creature trying wearing something:

say "[The creature] puts on [the noun] and pulls it as tight as possible to conserve warmth." instead.

Report a cold creature trying wearing the jacket:

say "[The creature] pulls the jacket awkwardly over its arms and gathers the front shut." instead.

Dining is an action applying to nothing.

Before a meaty creature trying dining when the person cannot see the player:

if the person asked is in an adjacent room and the person asked can see a door (called the appropriate exit):

try the person asked trying entering the appropriate exit instead.

Before a creature trying dining when the person asked is wearing a delicious thing (called lunch) and the person asked is not carrying a delicious thing:

try the person asked trying taking off the lunch instead.

Instead of a creature trying dining when the person asked does not have a delicious thing:

if the person asked can see an available useful delicious thing (called target):

try the person asked trying taking the target;

otherwise:

if the person asked can see a delicious thing (called target):

try the person asked trying taking the target;

otherwise if the person asked is smart:

try the person asked trying exploring.

Check a creature trying dining:

if the person asked is not carrying a delicious thing, stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying dining:

if the person asked is carrying a delicious thing (called target), try the person asked trying eating the target.

Playing with is an action applying to one thing.

Carry out a creature trying playing with something: now the noun is explored.

Report a creature trying playing with something:

say "[The person asked] [if the person asked is playful]toys with[otherwise]pokes at[end if] [the noun]";

if the person asked has the noun, say "." instead;

if the noun is in location:

say "." instead;

otherwise:

if the holder of the noun is not the holder of the person asked:

say " [if the holder of the noun is a container]in[otherwise]on[end if] [the holder of the noun]." instead;

otherwise:

say " in a bored manner." instead.

Definition: a person is fidgety if it is fast or it is lightning.

Report a smart person who is wearing something trying playing with the pod:

say "[The person asked] inspects its reflection in the surface of [the pod], and adjusts [the list of things worn by the person asked]." instead.

Report a vast creature trying playing with something when the noun is fixed in place and a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds:

say "[The person asked] casually lifts [the noun] a few inches, then sets it back down." instead.

Report an athletic creature trying playing with something when the noun is fixed in place and the noun is in the location:

if the person asked is vast, continue the action;

say "[The person asked] climbs up one side of [the noun] and down the other." instead.

Report a creature trying playing with the window:

say "[The person asked] stares out the window." instead.

Report a hostile creature trying playing with the window:

say "[The person asked] presses its nose to the window and growls deep in its throat." instead.

Report a meaty creature trying playing with the window:

say "[The person asked] looks out the window at the pedestrians down on Fifth Avenue, and licks its teeth slowly." instead.

Report a fidgety creature trying playing with something:

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds,

say "[The person asked] taps [the noun] all over." instead;

otherwise say "[The person asked] beats a rapid rhythm with its claws on [the noun]." instead.

Report a smart creature trying playing with the glue:

say "[The person asked] squeezes the tube of glue, rolling up from the bottom, until it looks tidy." instead.

Report a fidgety creature trying playing with a container:

say "[The person asked] taps [the noun]";

if the noun is papery, say ", which rustles." instead;

otherwise say ", which thunks hollowly." instead.

Report a fidgety creature trying playing with a papery thing:

say "[The person asked] rustles [the noun]." instead.

Report a smart curious creature trying playing with a papery thing:

if the noun is the sack, continue the action;

if the person asked is homebound and the noun is the booklet:

say "[The person asked] reads [the noun] through, then looks at you[if a visible thing fits the pod]; then at [the list of visible things which fit the pod][end if]. It bites its lower lip thoughtfully." instead;

otherwise:

if the noun is the blank label:

say "[The person asked] squints studiously at [the blank label].";

otherwise:

say "[The person asked] reads [the noun] through, following the words with one claw and subvocalizing as it goes." instead.

Instead of a vast creature trying playing with something which is not the pod:

try the person asked trying attacking the noun.

Carry out a vast creature trying attacking an openable container:

now the noun is open;

now the noun is damaged;

now the noun is unopenable.

Report a vast creature trying attacking a container:

if the noun is papery, say "Apparently by accident, [the creature] rips a big hole in the side of [the noun].";

otherwise say "[The creature] so mauls [the noun] that it is now in a permanent state of openness." instead.

Before a vast creature trying attacking the whole file drawer:

now the noun is open;

now the noun is unopenable;

now the noun is damaged; now the noun is explored;

now the creature is passive;

say "[The creature] casually puts a deep dent in the side of the file drawers, leaving them permanently open.

'Need any help?' Esther calls from the outer office.

'Not at all,' you assure her." instead.

A thing can be damaged or whole. A thing is usually whole.

Instead of a vast creature trying attacking a whole wheel:

now the noun is explored;

now the noun is damaged;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] bites down hard on [the noun], but seems disappointed by the experience."

Instead of a vast creature trying attacking the window:

now the window is explored;

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] bangs [forcefully] on the window, but, to your considerable relief, the glass holds up. You'll have to thank the lab boys for whatever they did to reinforce it: you sometimes have your doubts that it's really glass at all."

Instead of a vast creature trying attacking an unopenable papery container:

let space be the holder of the noun;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The creature] finishes dismantling [the noun], leaving [the list of things in the noun] behind.";

now every thing in the noun is in the space;

now the person asked is passive;

remove the noun from play.

Instead of a vast creature trying attacking the lamp:

let space be the holder of the lamp;

remove the lamp from play;

move shattered bits to the space;

now the shattered bits are explored;

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The creature] takes exception to the lamp: after crushing the bulb, it dismantles the cord and the lampshade until what remains is nearly unrecognizable."

Some shattered bits are a fixed in place thing. The printed name of the bits is "shattered bits of lamp". Understand "lamp" or "shattered bits of lamp" or "bits of lamp" as the bits. Instead of doing something other than examining to the shattered bits, say "The remains look sharp." The shattered bits are damaged. The description of the shattered bits is "This was no Tiffany -- it would've taken some considerable force to break this old thing. More for Esther's expense account, perhaps."

Instead of a vast creature trying attacking an edible thing:

remove the noun from play;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] tears apart [the noun], scattering bits everywhere.";

now the person asked is passive.

Instead of a vast creature trying attacking the desk:

now every thing on the desk is in the location;

remove the desk from play;

move abstract sculpture to the location;

now the sculpture is explored;

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible:

change Esther's utterance to "'Keep it down,' Esther yells. 'Some of us are trying to hear ourselves think.'";

say "[The creature] hammers at your desk with its meaty fists and effectively reduces it to a work of modern art. Your possessions will have to live elsewhere from now on." instead.

Carry out a creature trying attacking something papery:

remove the noun from play.

Report a creature trying attacking something papery:

say "[The person asked] rips [the noun] to tiny shreds.";

Report a creature trying attacking the picture:

say "Before you can take action, [the person asked] has rendered [the picture] into a black and white confetti[if the creature is smart].

Then it gives you a horrible mocking look. Right. Hostile it is, then. No question there[end if]." instead.

Instead of attacking a papery thing:

remove the noun from play;

if the noun contains something:

say "You tear up [the noun], leaving behind [the list of things in the noun][if the creature is in the noun]. [The creature] blinks in surprise[end if].";

now every thing in the noun is in the location;

otherwise:

say "You rip [the noun] to bits.".

Carry out a vast creature trying attacking the chair:

remove the chair from play;

now the molded seat is in the location;

now the molded back is in the location;

now every wheel is in the location.

Report a vast creature trying attacking the chair:

say "[The creature], growling, dismantles your chair entirely: wheels, back, seat go flying in all directions, leaving only a stripped down frame." instead.

Report a vast creature trying attacking a damaged thing:

if the creature has the noun,

say "[The creature] bends [the noun] in imitation of a strong-man demonstration at a fair.";

otherwise say "[The creature] jumps up and down on [the noun], but does not cause any more harm." instead.

The molded plastic seat is an explored thing. The molded plastic back is an explored thing. A wheel is a kind of thing. A wheel is usually explored. Four wheels are on the molded plastic seat. The description of the wheel is "Nothing but a round plastic part, now." The description of the back is "It used to be moderately comfortable, and now certainly is not." The description of the seat is "Of almost no use now that it's detached." The frame is a thing. The description of the frame is "A structure of metal and plastic that used to support the other chair components.". The printed name of the frame is "chair frame". Understand "chair" as the frame. The molded seat is damaged. The molded back is damaged.

The abstract sculpture is a fixed in place thing. "A hunk of twisted grey metal adorns your floor." Understand "twisted" and "hunk" and "grey" and "gray" and "metal" and "twisted hunk of grey metal" as the sculpture. The sculpture is damaged. The printed name of the abstract sculpture is "abstract sculpture that was your desk".

Instead of a curious wood-pulpy creature trying playing with something which is stuck to the egg:

if the noun is the egg, continue the action;

now the noun is not stuck to the egg;

move the noun to the person asked;

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] licks and licks at [the noun], and somehow with its alien spit dissolves the holdall glue. [The noun] comes free in its hands. ";

if the noun outweighs strength:

silently try the person asked trying dropping the noun;

if the person asked is not carrying the noun and the person asked is visible, say "Then, of course, [the person asked] drops it, since [the noun] is much too heavy." instead;

say paragraph break.

Report a stupid creature trying playing with something which is stuck to the egg:

if the noun is the egg, say "[The person asked] tries to take apart [the egg], without any luck." instead;

otherwise say "[The person asked] tries to peel [the noun] from the egg, without success." instead.

Instead of a smart curious creature trying playing with an unexplored switched off device:

if the person asked is slothful, continue the action;

now the noun is explored;

try the person asked trying switching on the noun.

Instead of a slothful creature trying switching on something:

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] fumbles painfully at [the noun], but cannot manage to flip the switch."

Instead of a slothful creature trying switching off something:

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] fumbles painfully at [the noun], but cannot manage to flip the switch."

Instead of a slothful creature trying switching off something for the first time:

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] runs its claws over the surface of [the noun], seeking to switch it off but without success."

Report a light-sensitive creature trying switching off the lamp:

say "Squinting and fumbling at the base of the appliance, [the person asked] manages to switch off [the lamp] again." instead.

Report a light-sensitive creature trying switching on the lamp:

say "[The person asked] manages to turn on the lamp, and immediately cowers from the horrible force of its brilliance." instead.

Report a curious creature trying playing with something when the noun is fixed in place:

if the person asked is vast and a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds, continue the action;

say "[The person asked] cranes its head around, trying to see under and behind [the noun]." instead.

Report a smart hostile creature trying playing with something when the noun is fixed in place:

say "[The person asked] runs its claws around the edges of [the noun], as though seeking a way to take it apart." instead.

Report a smart hostile creature trying playing with the lot of paperwork:

say "Chuckling impishly, [the person asked] takes out a few files and sorts them back in random locations." instead.

Report a hostile creature trying playing with something when the noun is fixed in place:

say "[The person asked] bangs its head against [the noun] repeatedly." instead.

After a hostile creature trying playing with something when the noun is fixed in place for the first time:

if the player can see the person asked and the player is in the Office, say "[The person asked] bangs its head against [the noun], raising a bit of a racket.

'I hope everything is all right in there,' Esther shouts from the other room.

'Swell!' you assure her.";

otherwise continue the action.

Report a playful creature trying playing with something which is worn by the person asked:

say "[The person asked] adjusts the fit of [the noun]." instead.

Report a playful creature trying playing with the fedora when the person asked is wearing the fedora:

say "[The person asked] tilts [the fedora] at a more rakish angle." instead.

Report a hostile stupid person trying playing with the fedora when the person asked is wearing the fedora:

say "With a guttural gurgle, [the person asked] pulls [the fedora] down more tightly over its ears." instead.

Report a creature trying playing with the jacket when the jacket is worn by the person asked:

if the person asked is playful, say "[The person asked] turns up the collar of the jacket, making itself like an unearthly gangster or hoodlum." instead;

otherwise say "[The person asked] rolls up the sleeves of [the jacket]." instead.

Report a creature trying playing with the collar when the collar is worn by the person asked:

say "[The person asked] twists the collar around its neck[if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds] uncomfortably[end if]." instead.

Report a creature trying playing with something edible:

say "[The person asked] prods [the noun] into interesting shapes." instead.

Report a playful creature trying playing with something edible:

say "[The person asked] mimes wearing [the noun] as a hat, watching you slyly." instead.

Report a smart creature trying playing with the slide:

let X be a random number between 1 and 3000; let Y be a random number between 1 and 3000;

let Z be X + Y;

say "[The person asked][quickly] adds [X] to [Y], and cocks its head in interest at the answer." instead.

Report a smart creature trying playing with the ballpoint pen when the person asked is carrying the pen and the person asked is carrying a papery thing (called the target):

say "[The person asked][quickly] draws an inscrutable symbol on [the target] with [the pen]; then, glancing at you, rubs it out again." instead.

Report a creature trying playing with the ballpoint pen:

say "[The person asked][quickly] clicks the ballpoint pen. ";

let X be a random number between 1 and 5;

repeat with Y running from 1 to X:

if Y is 1, say "Click";

otherwise say " click";

if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds, say "ety";

say "." instead.

Report a creature trying playing with the slide:

say "[The person asked] slides the center of the slide-rule all the way out, then all the way back. And again, and again..." instead.

Report a smart creature trying playing with the picture when the person asked is not carrying the picture:

if the person asked is playful, say "[The person asked] studies [the picture], then tries mimicking the stance and swing." instead;

otherwise say "[The person asked] rotates [the picture] ninety degrees, then sets it back down, satisfied." instead.

Instead of a smart creature trying playing with the picture when the person asked is carrying the picture:

if the person asked is playful, continue the action;

try the person asked trying dropping the picture.

Report a smart creature trying playing with the paperwork:

say "[The person asked] flips through the paperwork, occasionally cocking its head in interest at what it finds." instead.

Report a creature trying playing with the paperwork when the food of the person asked is wood-pulpy:

say "[The person asked] paws through the paperwork, its tongue flicking in and out of its mouth." instead.

The inaction rule is listed after the check stage rule in the specific action-processing rules.

This is the inaction rule:

now the person asked is passive.

Report a fidgety creature entering something:

say "[The creature] [if the creature is timid]creeps[otherwise]hops[end if] into [the noun][if the player is in the noun] with you[end if][if the heart's desire is not the creature] in search of [the heart's desire][end if]." instead.

Report a slow negligible creature entering something:

say "[The creature] hauls itself into [the noun][if the player is in the noun] with you[end if][if the heart's desire is not the creature] in search of [the heart's desire][end if]." instead.

Report a creature entering the pod for the first time:

say "[The creature] clambers into [the noun], a little awkwardly through the curved door";

if the pod is not in the location, say "[if the heart's desire is not the creature], in search of [the heart's desire][end if]";

say ". The pod rocks ominously but does not tip over." instead.

Report a creature entering the pod when the person asked is suffocating:

say "[The creature], rasping desperately, climbs into [the noun] in search of a more breathable environment."

Report a creature entering something:

say "[The creature] climbs into [the noun]." instead.

Report a creature exiting:

say "[The creature] gets out again." instead.

Report a creature going through a door (called the escape route):

say "[The creature] slips out through [the escape route]." instead.

Report a timid creature going through a door (called the escape route):

say "Glancing at you apprehensively, [the creature] tiptoes out [the escape route]." instead.

Report a creature closing the egg pod when life-support is switched on:

now the person asked is passive;

if the creature is in the pod, say "[The creature] pulls [the pod] shut from the inside. It seals with a hiss, leaving the creature isolated within." instead;

otherwise say "[The creature] closes [the pod], which seals with a hiss." instead.

Report a creature opening the egg pod when life-support is switched on:

say "[The creature] opens [the pod], breaking the life-support seal: [italic type]PFFT![roman type]" instead.

Instead of the creature attacking a portable thing which is not carried by the person asked:

try the person asked trying taking the noun.

Instead of a creature attacking something which is worn by the person asked:

try the person asked trying taking off the noun.

Report a creature eating the picture:

say "[The creature] bites off the corner of DiMaggio, chews, and swallows. You give a howl of rage and try to get back the remains, but they too are soon gone.

'What?' says Esther, running into the room. 'Did it bite you? Should I call a doctor?'

'No,' you say. 'It bit Mr. DiMaggio, instead.'

'Ooh-ooh,' she says. For a moment, just a moment, something like human-kindness appears on her face. 'That's too bad, really it is.'

The phone in the outer office rings. 'Sorry, duty calls.'

So much for sympathy." instead.

Report a creature eating the picture during Glue Return:

say "[The creature] bites off the corner of DiMaggio, chews, and swallows. You give a howl of rage and try to get back the remains, but they too are soon gone. Not even your yelping is enough to get Esther in here with the holdall glue, though."

Disposing of is an action applying to one thing.

Before a creature disposing of something which is worn by the person asked:

try the person asked trying taking off the noun instead.

Before a creature disposing of something which is not held by the person asked:

if the noun is not in an openable container,

try the person asked taking the noun instead;

if the person asked is stupid, try the person asked taking the noun instead.

Before a smart creature trying disposing of something when the noun is not in an openable container:

if the person asked can see an openable container (called the tank), try the person asked trying inserting the noun into the tank instead.

Instead of a creature trying disposing of something which is not held by the person asked when the person asked is holding something stinky (called the other problem):

try the person asked trying disposing of the other problem.

Instead of a creature trying inserting something into a closed openable container:

try the person asked trying opening the second noun.

Instead of a creature trying inserting something which is not held by the person asked into something:

try the person asked trying taking the noun.

Instead of a stupid creature trying disposing of something when the person asked is in a room:

now Esther carries the noun;

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] hurls [the noun] out the door[if the noun is the meatball]. 'Ouch!' Esther shouts[end if].";

now the person asked is passive.

Instead of a stupid creature trying disposing of something for the first time:

now Esther carries the noun;

if the person asked is visible:

if the person asked is athletic:

say "[The person asked] winds up and, with a fastball worthy of Allie Reynolds, pitches [the noun] out the door of your office. [paragraph break]'Hey!' shouts Esther. 'Watch it in there!'";

otherwise:

say "[The person asked] walks over to the door of your office and drops [the noun] outside."

Carry out a creature trying disposing of something:

if the noun is in an openable container (called the tank), try person asked trying closing the tank;

if the noun can be touched by the person asked, stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying opening something: now the noun is explored.

Instead of a creature trying opening something for the second turn:

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] looks exasperated.";

now the person asked is passive.

Report the creature trying opening the drawer when the drawer was open:

say "[The person asked] opens [the noun]. Again." instead.

Report the creature trying closing the drawer when the drawer was closed:

say "[The person asked] slams [the noun] and glares at you for good measure." instead.

Report the creature trying opening something which contains the creature:

say "[The person asked] triumphantly opens [the noun] from the inside." instead.

Report the creature trying opening something which contains something:

say "[The person asked] opens [the noun]";

if the creature is in the noun, say " from within." instead;

if the odor sensitivity of the person asked is strong, say "[if the noun contains a stinky thing], wrinkling its nose at the smell of [the list of stinky things which are in the noun][end if]." instead;

otherwise say " and pokes curiously at [the list of things which are in the noun]." instead.

Report a hostile creature trying dropping something:

say "[The person asked] flings aside [the noun]." instead.

Report a vast creature trying dropping something:

say "[The person asked] flings [the noun] at [the random fixed in place thing in the location]. No serious harm results." instead.

Report a fidgety hostile creature trying dropping something:

if the noun outweighs strength, do nothing;

otherwise say "[The person asked] throws [the noun] at you, but (fortunately) misjudges the velocity and angle." instead.

Report a creature trying taking the egg:

say "[The person asked] wrestles with [the egg] -- which is after all more awkward than heavy -- but finally manages to get hold of it." instead.

Report a secretive creature trying dropping the egg:

say "[The person asked] awkwardly deposits [the noun] on the ground." instead.

Report a fidgety hostile Earthlike creature trying dropping something when the creature can touch the player:

say "[The person asked] flings [the noun] at you; it hits and bounces off." instead.

Report a fidgety hostile Earthlike creature trying dropping something heavy:

say "[The person asked] flings [the noun] at you with unpleasant precision. That's going to leave a bruise in the morning." instead.

Instead of a starving creature trying exiting: try the creature trying crying instead.

Before a smart creature trying exiting when the creature is in a closed container (called the trap):

try the creature trying opening the trap instead.

Before a creature trying opening an unopenable container which contains the creature for the first time:

now the creature is passive;

say "The creature tries to open [the noun] from the inside, and soon realizes it cannot be done. Its mouth opens in a screech of fury, or terror: you hear nothing." instead.

Before a creature trying opening an unopenable container which contains the creature for the first time:

now the creature is passive;

say "The creature pummels its fists against the interior of [the noun] in desperation." instead.

Tidying is an action applying to nothing.

Check a creature trying tidying:

if the person asked can see an open openable container, continue the action;

otherwise stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying tidying:

if the person asked can see an open openable container (called the mess), try the person asked trying closing the mess.

Exploring is an action applying to nothing.

Carry out a creature trying exploring:

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked can see a closed openable container (called target), try the person asked trying opening the target instead;

if the person asked can see a fixed in place thing (called target), try the person asked trying looking under the target instead.

Sneaking it under is an action applying to two things.

Check a creature trying sneaking something under something:

if the person asked is not carrying the noun, stop the action;

if the second noun is not fixed in place, stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying sneaking something under something:

remove the noun from play;

now the second noun disguises the noun.

Report a creature trying sneaking something under something:

say "[The person asked] sneakily hides [the noun] under [the second noun]."

Understand "hide [something] under [something]" as sneaking it under. Understand "put [something] under [something]" as sneaking it under. Understand "conceal [something] under [something]" as sneaking it under.

Check sneaking something under something:

if the player is not carrying the noun:

try the player trying taking the noun;

if the player is not carrying the noun, stop the action;

if the second noun is a door, say "You can't hide things under [the second noun]." instead;

if the location is the Office, say "There's no good way to do that." instead;

if the second noun is not fixed in place, say "[The second noun] would not make much of a concealment." instead.

Carry out sneaking something under something:

remove the noun from play;

now the second noun disguises the noun.

Report sneaking something under something:

say "You tuck [the noun] under [the second noun]."

Launching us is an action applying to nothing.

Before a hostile person trying launching us: act creepy instead.

To act creepy:

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] looks at you for a long time through bright eyes and then smiles very pleasantly.";

now the person asked is passive;

now the person asked is secretive.

Before a creature trying launching us when the egg is not in the location and the egg is not carried by the person asked:

try the person asked trying taking the egg instead.

Before a creature trying launching us when the person asked is carrying the egg:

try the person asked trying dropping the egg instead.

Instead of a creature trying launching us when the propulsion is not stuck to the egg:

try the person asked trying affixing propulsion.

Before a creature trying launching us when the egg is closed and the player is not in the egg:

try the person asked trying opening the egg instead.

Instead of a creature trying launching us when the egg is open and the player is not in the egg and the person asked is not in the egg:

if the propulsion unit is not stuck to the egg and the person asked can touch the propulsion unit:

try the person asked trying affixing the propulsion unit;

otherwise:

if the life-support is not stuck to the egg and the person asked can touch the life-support unit:

try the person asked trying affixing the life-support unit;

otherwise:

if the blank label is not stuck to the egg and the person asked can touch the blank label, try the person asked trying affixing the blank label instead;

if the filled label is not stuck to the egg and the person asked can touch the blank label, try the person asked trying affixing the filled label instead;

try the person asked trying faking egg entry.

Faking egg entry is an action applying to nothing.

Before a creature trying faking egg entry when the player carries the glue and the propulsion unit is not stuck to the egg:

try the person asked trying taking the glue instead.

Before a creature trying faking egg entry when the propulsion unit is not stuck to the egg and the person asked can touch the glue and the person asked does not carry the glue: try the person asked trying taking the glue instead.

After a creature trying faking egg entry for the first time:

say "[The person asked] goes as though to get into the egg, but can't seem to fold up its limbs properly to fit into the door. It gives you a look of bewilderment, obviously needing a demonstration." instead.

Instead of a creature trying faking egg entry for the third time:

stop the action.

Report a creature trying faking egg entry:

if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds,

say "[The person asked] struggles with the door of the egg, now and then glancing up at you and frowning.";

otherwise say "[The person asked] puts its head inside the egg, then sighs gustily when it can't figure out how to fit in the rest of its substantial frame."

To make scene break:

say line break;

center "*****";

say line break;

pause the game;

say paragraph break;

say paragraph break;

say paragraph break.

Instead of a creature trying launching us when the player is in the egg and the egg is open:

try the person asked trying closing the egg.

Instead of a creature trying launching us when the player is in the egg and the egg is closed and the egg is openable and the person asked is carrying the glue:

try the person asked trying gluing the egg shut.

Check a creature trying launching us:

if the propulsion is not stuck to the egg, stop the action;

if the egg is not closed, stop the action;

if the player is not in the egg, stop the action;

Carry out a creature trying launching us: do nothing.

Report a creature trying launching us:

try the person asked trying switching on the propulsion instead.

After a secretive creature trying switching on the propulsion when the player is in the egg and propulsion is stuck to the egg:

say "[The person asked] switches on the propulsion, and the last thing you see is its frenzied, evil grin as you float off out the window...";

end the game in death.

Before a creature trying playing with something which is carried by the player:

say "[The creature] looks with fascination at [the noun], but cannot reach it." instead.

Before a creature trying playing with something which is part of something which is carried by the player:

say "[The creature] looks at [the noun] but can't quite get at it." instead.

Before a curious creature trying switching on the propulsion for the first time:

now the creature is passive;

say "[The person asked] pokes at the propulsion unit and very nearly turns it on with disastrous effect." instead.

After a creature trying switching on the propulsion when the player is in the egg and propulsion is stuck to the egg:

say "[The person asked] pokes curiously at the propulsion unit, and after a moment switches it on. Then it stares at you in fascination as you float off out the window...";

end the game in death.

After a creature trying switching on the propulsion:

say "[The person asked] pokes curiously at the propulsion unit, and has the misfortune to turn it on. Thanks to the unfortunate configuration of where everyone is standing, the creature is toasted, you get a little singed yourself, and the boys from Alien Protocol spend until nearly midnight taking notes for their report.";

end the game saying "That could have gone better"

Affixing is an action applying to one thing.

Before a creature trying affixing something when the person asked can see the instruction booklet and the booklet is unexplored:

try the person asked trying reading the instruction booklet instead.

Before a creature trying affixing something when the person asked does not have the glue:

try the person asked trying taking the glue instead.

Before a creature trying affixing something when the person asked cannot touch the noun:

try the person asked trying taking the noun instead.

Before a creature trying affixing something when the person asked cannot touch the egg:

try the person asked trying taking the egg instead.

Before a creature trying affixing something when the person asked is carrying the egg:

try the person asked trying dropping the egg instead.

Before a creature trying affixing something when the person asked is carrying the noun:

try the person asked trying dropping the noun instead.

Check a creature trying affixing propulsion:

if the person asked cannot touch the egg, stop the action;

if the person asked cannot touch the noun, stop the action;

if the person asked is not carrying the glue, stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying affixing something:

try the person asked trying gluing the noun to the egg instead.

Preparing for launch is an action applying to nothing.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the player is in the egg:

now the person asked is passive;

say "[The person asked] gestures for you to get out of the egg, which does seem a valid point." instead.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the propulsion unit is not stuck to the egg:

if the person asked is not in the egg, try the person asked trying affixing propulsion;

if the person asked is passive, stop the action.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the life-support unit is not stuck to the egg:

if the person asked is not in the egg, try the person asked trying affixing life-support;

if the person asked is passive, stop the action.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the life-support unit is stuck to the egg and the life-support unit is switched off: try the person asked trying switching on the life-support unit;

if the person asked is passive, stop the action.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the person asked can see the blank label and the blank label is unexplored:

now the person asked is passive;

now the blank label is explored;

say "[The person asked] squints at [the blank label] thoughtfully, then shrugs." instead;

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the person asked can see the filled label and the filled label is not stuck to the egg:

if the person asked is not in the egg, try the person asked trying affixing filled label;

if the person asked is passive, stop the action.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the person asked is not in the egg:

if the person asked is carrying the glue, try the person asked trying dropping the glue instead;

if the person asked is carrying the pen, try the person asked trying dropping the pen instead;

try the person asked trying entering the egg instead.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the egg is open:

try the person asked trying closing the egg instead.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the propulsion unit is not stuck to the egg:

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked can see the propulsion unit, say "[The person asked] points at [the propulsion unit], which is not currently attached to the egg." instead;

otherwise say "[The person asked] makes pointed blast-off noises." instead.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the life-support unit is not stuck to the egg:

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked can see the life-support unit, say "[The person asked] points at [the life-support unit], which is not currently attached to the egg." instead;

otherwise say "[The person asked] mimes choking, to remind you about the life-support unit." instead.

Before a creature trying preparing for launch when the life-support unit is stuck to the egg and the life-support unit is switched off:

now the person asked is passive;

say "[The person asked] gestures to the switched-off [life-support], and mimes suffocating." instead.

Carry out a creature trying preparing for launch: do nothing.

Report a creature trying preparing for launch:

if the creature is curious, say "[The creature] whistles a jaunty tune while it waits for you to send it home. Or at least so you assume from its headbobbing -- you yourself can't hear a thing.";

otherwise say "[The creature] waits with zen-like calm for you to turn on propulsion."

Report a hostile person trying taking off something:

say "[The person asked] grumpily divests itself of [the noun]." instead.

Report a playful person trying taking off something:

say "[The person asked] flirtatiously strips off [the noun]." instead.

Report a fast person trying taking off something:

say "[The person asked] strips off [the noun] in a single fluid movement." instead.

Report a creature trying waiting:

choose a random row in the Table of Creature Sloth;

say reply entry instead.

Table of Creature Sloth

reply
"[The person asked] lies very still and follows you with its eyes."
"[The person asked] rolls over."
"[The person asked] rubs its eyes."
"[The person asked] slowly swivels its ears to follow your actions."
"[The person asked] [if person asked is in egg]tries to get up, then decides that it is too much effort[otherwise]waits, almost motionless[end if]."
"[if the person asked is weak][The person asked] is completely still[end if][if the person asked is not weak]The sides of [the person asked] slowly rise and fall as it breathes[end if]."
"[if the person asked is weak][The person asked] stares at you unnervingly[end if][if the person asked is not weak][The person asked] yawns[end if]."

Report a creature trying jumping:

say "[The person asked] jumps[if the person asked is vast] implausibly high[end if][if the person asked is Earthlike] quite high[end if][if the person asked is Marslike], but looks surprised at how quickly it lands[end if][if the person asked is fractional], but not very far[end if][if the person asked is negligible], but only clears the floor by a few meager centimeters[end if]." instead.

Instead of a creature trying taking something when the noun outweighs strength and the noun is in a container (called receptacle):

if the receptacle is available, try the person asked trying pushing the receptacle;

otherwise continue the action.

Instead of a creature trying taking something when the noun outweighs strength and the noun is on a supporter (called surface):

try the person asked trying pushing the noun.

Instead of a creature trying pushing something which is on a supporter (called surface):

let the place be the holder of the surface;

now the noun is in place;

now the person asked is passive;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] [forcefully] pushes off [the noun] onto [if the place is location]the floor[otherwise][the place][end if].";

Dumping out is an action applying to one thing.

Understand "empty [container]" or "dump out [container]" as dumping out. Understand "empty [something]" or "dump out [something]" as dumping out.

Check dumping out:

if the noun is not a container, say "[The noun] cannot contain anything to start with." instead;

if the number of things contained by the noun is 0, say "[The noun] does not contain anything." instead;

if the player is not carrying the noun:

try the player trying taking the noun;

if the player is not carrying the noun, stop the action.

Carry out dumping out:

let place be the holder of the player;

now every thing which is in the noun is in the place.

Report dumping out:

say "You empty [the noun] out [if the player is in a room]onto the floor[otherwise]into [the holder of the player][end if]."

Check a creature trying dumping out:

if the noun is not a container, stop the action;

if the number of things contained by the noun is 0, stop the action;

if the person asked does not carry the noun, stop the action.

Carry out a creature trying dumping out:

let place be the holder of the person asked;

now every thing which is in the noun is in the place.

Report a creature trying dumping out:

say "[The person asked] empties [the noun] [if the person asked is in a room]onto the floor[otherwise]into [the holder of the person asked][end if]."

Understand "push [something] over" or "knock [something] over" as pushing.

Instead of pushing a container:

let the place be the holder of the noun;

say "You knock over [the noun][if something is in the noun], dumping out [the list of things which are in the noun][end if].";

now every thing which is in the noun is in the place.

Instead of a creature trying pushing a container:

let the place be the holder of the noun;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] knocks over [the noun][if something is in the noun], awkwardly spilling out [the list of things which are in the noun][end if].";

now the person asked is passive;

now every thing which is in the noun is in the place.

Instead of a creature trying taking something when the noun outweighs strength:

if the noun is pointless, stop the action;

change the noun to pointless;

if the person asked is visible, say "[The person asked] tries to pick up [the noun], but without success."

Instead of a secretive starving Earthlike creature trying taking something which is not available:

try the person asked trying attacking the player.

Instead of an Earthlike creature trying attacking the player when the person asked is not carrying a heavy thing:

if the person asked can see an available heavy thing (called target), try the person asked trying taking the target.

Instead of an Earthlike creature trying attacking the player when the person asked carries a heavy thing (called the weapon):

say "Starving, desperate, and tired of waiting for your cooperation, [the person asked] slugs you hard with [the weapon]. And what happens from there is all blackness...";

end the game in death.