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Old May 8th, 2013 (11:22 AM).
Cutlerine Cutlerine is offline
Gone. May or may not return.
    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
    Age: 25
    Nature: Impish
    Posts: 1,030
    > Let's go up the left hand path, unless the upward path it's impossible to lay the seaweed path than lets go down the right path also look around for a stick to make a torch. I know it's redundant with the gun and Vesta but hey torches have always served us well in the past.
    > I disagree. Take the right hand path. The goat on top of the mountain made of blackboards is telling me that is the way.
    > Hm... Maybe let Vesta choose which way you guys will take?

    Decisions are hard, so you decide to ask Vesta instead. It's about time she got included in your plans.

    “Which way do you think we should go?” you ask.

    I don't know, she admits. Where are we trying to get to?

    “I don't know,” you reply.

    Then it doesn't seem to matter, Vesta concludes. Except for that noise.

    “Yeah. That noise is kind of bothering me, I have to admit. It sounds... big. And dangerous.”

    But nothing is going to hurt us, right? asks Vesta anxiously, and you realise that despite her enlarged intellect and vocabulary, she's still the same creature as before; she has seen you deal with every threat that's come at you, or appear to deal with it anyway – to her, you are unstoppable, a hero of boundless might and grandeur.

    You feel like you should tell her that's not true, but you can't quite bring yourself to do it. Vesta is, alone of everything in this world, peculiarly innocent; she trusts you implicitly to fix everything, as a child does her parents, and it would break your heart to destroy that.

    “No,” you say. “Nothing's going to hurt us, Vesta. Don't worry.”

    You smile, and Vesta crackles happily.

    Your heart hurts a little.

    Anyway, you have to make a decision now; there's no time for sentimentality. Which way to go, left or right? Perhaps to prove Vesta right, or perhaps because of a vague idea of the watchful goat that sees all from its mountain of blackboards, you go right, and work your way slowly down the tunnel. You keep an ear out for the noise, and an eye out for sticks; you find neither, however – the former because its source is now presumably still, and the latter because you're currently very deep underground in a sea cave, which is pretty much the last place on the planet that you're going to find a stick.

    The seaweed is getting thicker the deeper you go; you can now hear the sea again, as well – water is flowing strongly somewhere beneath you. In places, the weed is strewn so thickly that you don't even have to gather any, and can instead devote your attention wholly to not falling over – no mean feat when you're travelling over sharp rocks and slippery algae, although going barefoot does help.

    Soon enough you come to another cavern, as large and labyrinthine at the first – but at the other end of this one you see a vast opening, leading down a tunnel too big and dark to take in with just one look; it's half flooded with water, and as you stand and stare with Vesta you can just about make out the faintest indication of something white in its inky depths.

    What is that? asked Vesta.

    “I don't know,” you reply cautiously, but even as you say it you realise it's a lie: you know exactly what it is. You have just worked out where you are.

    You are inside the Whirl Islands, and that means that the shadow at the end of the tunnel can only be one thing – but you don't say it; you don't even think it. It just doesn't bear thinking about; consider the matter at all, even for a second, and you know you will regret it.

    There is a Gigantic Tunnel here.

    There are several heaps of scree here.

    For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.