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thelovegoose

Soul - whats five minutes of your life?

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You wake up on the bathroom floor. A worried woman comes in, calling you Fred and checking youre okay. Reassured youre okay, she asks you if you remember what special day it is. You make a bad guess. She sees your head is bleeding and rushes you through the night hover traffic to the hospital. After a checkup you are taken to see a psychiatrist because they suspect you have amnesia. you discover your character's name is Fred Stanley. You tell the psychiatrist that you are not suffering from amnesia - you are <insert your real name here>, and you are sat behind a computer, playing a computer game. You are controlling Fred stanley with a keyboard and mouse and the psychiatrist and everyone else are simply elements of the computer game. The pychiatrist can't get his head round what you are saying to him and is worried you might be mad. He reccommends that you stay at the hospital for a few days. That evening a government agent comes to see you called Luke. you get a bad feeling from him, so you pretend to be mad. A girl comes to visit you, Sheri, she was already at the hospital and overheard that someone there thought they were playing a computer game. She tells you that she is a historian, and explains that a few hundred years ago people used to say that they were just playing a game, In this world the one thing everyone wants is a soul, to be controlled by a player. she warns you that if the government find out they will try to extract you from fred's body, and they won't care what you go through to get the soul out. She also warns you that when it gets out, people will stop at nothing to try to take your soul for themselves. She breaks you out of hospital, and you go on the run overnight. sheri takes you to a cafe/hotel on street level, owned by her boyfriend Pete. He's hostile with you, but agrees to give you one of the rooms for now, one that you will share with sheri's dog. She explains to Pete that you are only controlling fred, that you are his soul and exist outside of this world. He seems doubtful of your claims and also seems jealous that she is taking so much interest in you. The following day you are woken with breakfast, and on the news you see the government are looking for fred. His family release an appeal asking fred to hand himself in. "He hit his head, then he wasn't sure who he was, i'm really worried about him." Agents are looking for you while sheri and pete are out, they systematically search the buildings down the street toward you. led by the agent that came to see you at the hospital, Luke, they search your building. You are forced to leave through a window. You end up in the nightclub across the street. Sheri and pete are walking back to the cafe, they see you enter the nightclub and the agents in the cafe. Sheri follows you into the club and pete goes to see whats happening at the cafe. Sheri finds you in the nightclub as you are crossing the dancefloor. You explain that agents had started searching and that you had to leave. People notice you are not dancing - so you start dancing. your only dance moves are the basic actions your characters can perform resulting in some very awkward moves. Your dance is met with some very unsure faces. Sheri copies your moves, and then others do. Very soon the whole club are performing your dance. Later you leave. You get back late. The agents have left the cafe. You stay up till dawn talking to sheri and pete. They ask you what your world is like, and explain about the government being very controlling and having very hidden agendas. They explain that being a person without a soul, they have an intense longing for one. They are in the minority in this world in the sense that they can control that need and would never try to take your soul, most will seize any chance to have you control them rather than Fred. Most people feel that something is missing for them, and its not their fault. People in this world just need for a soul. they also tell you that if you ever are able to be free here there is a lot to do including countrywide hoverbike races, old ruins to explore and lots more. You go to bed. they sleep in the cafe. Sheri introduces you to fellow history student. This girl, Edith goes with Pete to the library to try to find some clues as to how to to get more souls into the world. The search has been stepped up, and there is an announcement across all channels that there is a soul in the world, that the government mean no harm and have a way, with your help to let everyone have a soul. An agent comes back to cafe and sees you and sheri upstairs. He and others attempt to break into your room. In your room the dog starts barking frantically, seeing that sheri is distressed. He seems to think you are the threat and leaps on you. As the agents burst into the room, you suddenly switch control to the dog. Fred comes to his senses suddenly, only to be whisked away with sheri while you are kicked to the end of the room and locked in. You are locked in the room as the dog for days, contemplating how you managed to switch into the dog's body, you catch various news updates, including a public address from the president telling people that when the soul is found, the government will do everything they can to develop a way to get everyone a soul. you see Pete moping about outside the cafe during the day. You tidy up. From the window you see Sheri return in the middle of the night to the cafe, where you are waiting as the dog. She is really upset as she still thinks that you have been captured and she can do nothing about it. She feels priviliged that she is the one who has discovered you and that you're her friend. She and Pete spend the night together. You overhear them talking about you, that she feels angry that she couldn't protect you. Pete confesses that he has found it difficult that she is so attatched to you but will try to be more understanding. In the morning, angry citizens come round in a mob to the cafe, they demand that sheri be handed over to them, for harbouring everyone's chance at a soul. Pete sends sheri up to your room. You try to show her that you are the dog by barking at her and jumping up at her, but she is more concerned that the mob are going to attack Pete. From upstairs you and sheri watch as pete warns and reasons with mob to leave her alone. He urges them not to be so trusting that the government want to get everyone a soul - that they probably have their own interests. He confronts the ringleader and the mob leave. The ringleader doesn't look like he's finished. Sheri finally realises that you switched your soul into the dog and is relieved and estatic, Pete joins you upstairs when she lets him know. You work out that passing the soul has something to do with kissing, as the dog wrapped his mouth round Fred's when the switch happened. Sheri calls Edith who volunteers to become the host. She also knows of someone who could help - she read of a person who lives in a cottage outside the city who is the oldest resident of the world and has unmatched knowledge of it. you all agree that he would be your best chance to find a way to bring other souls into the world to get the people what they want and so that you can get on with exploring this world and seeing what is has to offer. You all discuss what to do about Fred and it is agreed that Pete witht the help of his friends will break Fred and his family out of where they are held. Pete gives you a mobile phone, a gun and teaches you how to shoot. You plan to leave, you collect a map and travelling equipment from the market. You get on the tram back to the cafe before you leave the city. Some men gather around sheri on the train. you shoot the men. sheri is hurt. You take her across the street to a chemist to get bandages and drugs. There you see that people have head injuries - from trying to get a soul. You and sheri leave the city by hover coach, and get off at a small town and head to the woods where you camp. Sheri asks you : what is your real name? - do you have a girlfriend, are you a man or woman. What do you look like? Back in the city, Pete arranges a decoy with the help of some of his friends and breaks fred and family out, you watch live on the news as events unfold. You meet pete and fred and family at an agreed place near the coast - sheri takes fred and family to get new clothes, haircuts etc. You have a poignant conversation with fred where he asks you : "why me?" and you can't answer. He tells you that while you were in control of him, he was in a strange dream, where he felt like he had died and was floating around in some space between his world and some other. You spend the day with Pete who asks you how you, <insert real name here>, know that youre not being played by a soul from a different world. He seems to have let his guard down with you, and seems interested in what you have to say. The following day Pete drives the stanley family to a sea port, where they get on a boat out of the country. You and sheri go to the cottage. There you see the system administrator. You ask why the souls went away hundreds of years ago and what youre doing here. He explains that this is [Edited by - thelovegoose on October 21, 2008 4:22:36 PM]

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Soul delivers you into a world where children are born without souls.

You gain sudden control of a character in this world, not knowing his name, age, or who the woman staring curiously at you is.

Not recognising the character's family and friends, and having no memory of the character's life so far your character is presumed to be suffering from amnesia and recommended to a psychiatrist.
When you try to explain that you are <insert your real name here> and you are simply playing a computer game, you are sent to a mental institution. A historian visits you, curious about your condition, and becomes fascinated with you. She arranges to break the you out of the institution and pleas with you to keep on playing.

Once out and in hiding, rumours begin to spread, that someone has a soul, something that hasn't occurred for centuries. And everyone wants one.

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Very interesting and original. I kept on expecting it to go Matrix-style. I'm very interested as to where you will take this.

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The following day Pete drives the stanley family to a sea port, where they get on a boat out of the country. You and sheri go to the cottage. There you see the system administrator. He explains that this is a MMORPG, and that everyone has left. This world has always been a massively multiplayer online game, its just that everyone left, hundreds of years before. They left because they got bored, of being indestructable, but they weren't happy having only one go either. And new games came along and eventually every player stopped playing, they moved onto something else - like their own lives! He tells you that you can connect to other copies of the game you are playing that other people around your world have bought. To do that, you have to open the world door, that they must also open the world door in their copy, and tells he you where to find it. Finally he warns you that it will come at a cost.

Sheri asks you if you know whether she will die. The back cover of the packaging this game came in shows that she does. She quickly changes her mind before you have time to answer and doesn't want to know.

You go to the location that you were directed to and see a door in the middle of a field. Sheri waits outside as you step through. You find yourself within the GUI, you make your way around buttons to a new button that has appeared called "connect". when you touch the button, it changes to "connecting..." it triggers terrible winds within the gui. You flee back out of the gui back through the door. The weather has drastically changed. You can hardly see and hear sheri and are really shocked that she has stayed for you. Thick back snow falling, like space itself is crumbling to the earth, then more and more quickly and winds are picking up. Even as you run away as fast as you can storm grows far too quickly for you and you lose sheri. There is no way to find her, stop moving for too long and you will be consumed by the snow.

You plough on through the torrential weather and find a road. There you flag down a driver who will only take you one way, out of there, not back for sheri. The storm seems to be easing and the snow is melting. You find pete where you asked him to meet you. You break the news to him that you have lost sheri. He is distraught. He demands you take him to her. There is no more snow falling now. As you drive back toward the world door you meet a government road block. You are forced to kiss an agent to switch bodes and get through. You tell Edith that everythings okay, and tell her to go back to the city - Pete is in no mood to care too much about what happens to her. You take Pete to where you lost Sheri in the bad weather. You find her body mostly submerged in the melted snow. By her body is a shiny gadget. You give it to pete. He doesn't know what it is. you take it to the system administrator - he doesn't know either. You call the mobile phone Edith was carrying - she says knows what it is.

You drive back to the city. On the way, out of the window, you see people dancing at an outdoor party. people are doing your dance.

You meet up with Edith, but she has brought the agent, Luke, and other agents with her. Pete shouts at her - i can't belive you were in on this, Luke replies - Peter we're all in on it, even Sheri. We don't control what we do, he does. You are taken to a government holding.

You are in a room restrained, surrounded by scientists and bizarre equipment, dominated by a dozen huge machines. The scientists know what the gadget is that you were carrying, but they want to know where you got it. They call it a soul tag, and it apparently is the key to solving the issue of permanent death in MMORPGs. They hook you up to a huge machine, where they have also inserted the gadget and you are electrocuted to death. You then find yourself, bodiless, floating around in some silent transparent tank that is part of the machine, and scientists are looking smugly at you through the glass. They potter about and then pull another switch. Then you are delivered back in physical form as Sheri in the final chamber of the machine. The agents and scientitsts all look very excited and confused- they were expecting you to be regenerated as Fred.



You look across the room, over the shoulders of some of the scientists and you see that there is something in the darkness in one of the other tanks.

One of the scientists suddenly has a name appear above his head "Brian600". He turns on the others and shouts for you to run. He snatches the soul tag and throws it to you. In the corridor you are stopped by guards. they suddenly stop, have names appear above their heads "Metareal" and "ArticMonkeysFan2007" and they lead you to Pete's cell as they shoot down agents in the process. You take guns and all fight your way out.

The system administrator is waiting for you, he tells you that this world has finally connected to other worlds, and the worlds are about to merge. You and Pete get in a hover car and go there. The body that goes through the door will not return, so someone needs to volunteer. He also tells you that he has discovered something about what happened to this place. People didn't tire of it, this world was shut down. Something happened and they pulled the plug on the most popular MMORPG of your time. He doesn't know any more at this time, but what he does know is that if you aren't on the other side of the door when the connection to the other parallel worlds is made then youre soul will be crushed and will never make it back.

Edith is waiting at the world door and is willing to leave the world. You switch with her, and sheri and Pete embrace. You fill sheri in on what happened. She is devastated that you are going to leave and doesn't believe you will be back. You are shocked just how attached to you she is. You say goodbye to Sheri and Pete to wait for you.

[Edited by - thelovegoose on October 21, 2008 4:12:37 PM]

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Hi ezbez, thanks, I hope youre not let down by the second part.
Does anyone think any of it needs better explanation? Even the first two paragraphs?

[Edited by - thelovegoose on September 28, 2007 4:05:08 AM]

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I was personally thinking the same way, but with memories. Kind of like a Logans Run/The Island where everyone is controlled and finally one person begins to understand what his visions are; memories. And once the word is out, it's a race to stay hidden/alive ("The Given" style). But great take on it.

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Hi. I like this story, the concept sounds cool.

But IMHO eventhough it's cool, the concept is still somewhat absurd.

IMO the most vague thing is the MMORPG. Just what kind of MMORPG is it? What's the purpose of that kind of game? It's just too weird.

About the story itself, there are 4 things I find to be weird/unclear ATM.
1) "They explain that being a person without a soul, they have an intense longing for one." Well, just how could a "person without a soul" know that he/she has no soul? I think you should make the difference between the player (who has soul) and the soul-less people clearer.
2)"She also warns you that when it gets out, people will stop at nothing to try to take your soul for themselves." Okay, but why should the player care about it? Why should the player fear and avoid the soul-hungry people? If the people can successfully take the player's soul from Fred for themselves, what is the downside for the player (since the player would have total control over any person who take his/her soul, anyway)?
3) Fred says "He tells you that while you were in control of him, he was in a strange dream, where he felt like he had died and was floating around in some space between his world and some other." Well, if a person of that world experiences such thing when his/her body is being controlled by the player, then how would it (being controlled by the player) benefit him/her? Why would you want a soul to enter yourself, if you don't even know what that soul would do with yourself?
4) "You tell the psychiatrist that you are not suffering from amnesia - you are <insert real name here>, and you are sat behind a computer, playing a computer game. You are controlling Fred stanley with a keyboard and mouse and the psychiatrist and everyone else are simply elements of the computer game." Why would/should the player do that? The player could just pretend that he really is Fred (or anyone whose self/body he/she inhabits), since that's the normal way to play a game. Why should the player play the game unconventionally by revealing his/her true identity?



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The Nomad Soul looks pretty special I'm surprised I've never heard of it. For any players of it : was it actually fun to play? I heard that they weren't that happy with how it turned out. Do they ever actually acknowledge that you are playing a computer game? Or ask you your real name? Or always refer to you as the nomad soul or a demon?

Also its interesting how the story is very similar to this one - in the main points of the story, in its futuristic yet film noir style. concentration on character interaction and adventuring but using violence at key points.

Lando2 - post your story on here, I'd be very interested to see it.

wirya -
1. Thats a very diffcult one - They know because they are told they don't have one, by their parents, and parents' parents etc. It is generally known that no-one has a soul. There are legends of the folks hundreds of years before who used to be controlled by players - they described it as another plane of living, like being in heaven.
There might be a better way to address it than that - I'll continue to think about it.
2. Good point - there are a number of ways I could deal with this. The one i'm currently thinking of is that no one actually knows how to get you out of fred. Because the souls left a long time ago there are all sorts of rumours. One is that it can be achieved by peeling off a person's scalp and eating his brain, another is holding the person with the soul's hand while he is electrocuted. The risk then that fred might be killed is reason to not let people know.
3. This is asking for the player to make a separataion between characters of this world and real people - they believe its going to be like going to heaven.
4. This will be tricky to implement, but the player will be led into it through a conversation with the psychiatrist. I'll post that soon.

Do you have any better suggestions than those?

The MMORPG that this takes place within really could be anything, the only details about it that are important is that it was the most popular of its time, and that it was shut down suddenly for unknown reasons.
I have a design in mind, but it could be very different.

[Edited by - thelovegoose on October 21, 2008 4:00:54 PM]

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Spent some money on a second hand version of the nomad soul and bean playing it earlier. The similarites bwteen my version of the game and theirs are unbelievable!

[Edited by - thelovegoose on October 21, 2008 4:49:44 PM]

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