Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Plant

One of the makers of the wonderful short form RPG Fiasco has made a solo, choose-your-own-adventure style game called The Plant, a game in which you enter a deserted power plant searching for your daughter. I thought I'd give it a whirl. Part of the game involves keeping a journal of what's going on, so I did so. Without further ado, here is:

My First Play of The Plant

I enter the furnace room. Someone has dragged a shopping cart and a rotten canvas tarp in here. I recall the taste of icing, seeing the shopping cart, which fills me with stubborn determination because I was only just Sunday shopping for my daughter's birthday. The icing was the only cake ingredient I forgot. When I get her back, I'll make sure to get her her favorite flavor.

Then I go into the rolling mill hall. It's all smashed up and broken. I get a flashback to its past, when the plant was still operational. The strong copper tang in the air reminds me of blood. I remember blood so strongly because I once cut my arm really deeply during a camping trip with my family. I tried to hide the wound from my kids, and the best way to do so as I walked over to the car was to push the cut closer to my face, where I almost passed out from the stench.

Next comes the coil room. I used to spend a lot of time here, eating lunch at this place every day. Once people found out that I was a suspect in my wife's murder, though, my lunches were eaten alone. They needn't have worried. I kept looking at the tree where people smoked, searching for my shit-eating brother in law, who demanded custody of my kids even after I was acquitted. He was the regional manager, the guy who gave me my job, but he never came by after Darlene died.

From there I scrambl into the crawlspace, ruined by decay and animal shit. I once spent a lot of time here, cleaning out gunk from the fans and such. One time, though, I saw Darlene down below, talking to her brother Mark. Talking about leaving the country with my kids, leaving me behind. Disappearing.

I reach the work line, where a stained and dessicated mattress adorns a corner. The utter wear and tear on the bed reminds me of our lazy cat, who in spite of her lethargy was a force of nature in destroying our furniture. But Darlene said a pet would be good for the family, so I just ate the repair bills.

I descend down a stairwell, two flights, then round into the trunk room, now flooded to knee height. It's like the pool of sweat I released when I went hiking with my daughter. I was out of shape since that camping injury, but she convinced me to come back to the outdoors. The memory makes me smile despite myself, and I spring forward to continue my search.

I go down to the deepest level of the factory, wary of the flood water, finding myself in the break room. Even this deep, graffiti adorns the place with the litter of drugs piled everywhere.

She's sitting among the rubble, asbestos like snow, and she's hurt. She was foolish, she's crying, but I pick her up and take her away from the plant and this awful life. I forget more with each step. It's just me and her, and she is safe. Safe, safe, safe.

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