Sand-dancer — 16 of 48

Aaron Reed and Alexei Othenin-Girard

Release 7

Section - Middle of Nowhere

Middle of Nowhere is a room. The description of Middle of Nowhere is "[if player is in pickup truck]You've smashed up against a [tall saguaro], which is all you can see out [the windshield] except a few feet of [desert sand], then blackness[first time]. Hell, you must have driven off the road and crashed. Ocean keeps telling you this night commute on this lonely highway's gonna kill you; maybe you should start listening[only].[otherwise]The [tire tracks] from the south stop abruptly here, but where the hell are you? [explain lighting conditions]." The windshield is part of the pickup truck.

To say explain lighting conditions: say "The [desert sand] and clumps of pale [sagebrush] are all [if lit by headlights]your dimming [headlights] pick out before barely reaching[otherwise if lit by flashlight]your flashlight picks out, other than[otherwise]you can see in the glow of[end if] [the concrete building] to the north".

The pickup truck is an enterable openable transparent closed fixed in place container in Middle of Nowhere. Understand "car/door/poor/old/dash" as pickup truck.

Instead of attacking pickup truck: say "You smack [if player is in truck]the wheel[otherwise]the hood[end if] in exasperation. How did you get into this mess?"

The glove box is a closed openable container. Understand "glovebox/compartment" as glove box. It is fixed in place in the pickup truck. [This was changed from being "part of" the pickup truck to make it appear in the room description: otherwise there was no way for the player to know it existed or get the pack of cigarettes. ]

Understand "drive" or "drive [pickup]" or "start [pickup]" or "turn on [pickup]" or "turn key" or "shift" or "steer" or "brake" as a mistake ("Your truck's not going anywhere in this condition.").

Some headlights are part of the pickup truck. The headlights are a device. They are switched on. Understand "head lights" or "head light" or "high beams" or "headlight/lights/light/beams" as the headlights.

The initial appearance of the truck is "Your poor old [pickup truck] ticks and groans, smashed gracelessly against [a tall Saguaro]; [whiffs of evaporating gasoline] linger in the chill air."

After opening the pickup truck: say "The door creaks open with difficulty, rusted joints straining." After closing the truck: say "You slam the door shut."

Before entering truck when truck is closed: try opening the truck. Before exiting when player is in truck and truck is closed: try opening the truck.

The description of the pickup truck is "[if player is in truck]You can't tell what the damage is from in here[otherwise][first time]Getting down on your knees in the cold sand, you look underneath. Sure enough; you ripped up the [fuel line] and all your gas has drained away, sucked dry by the thirsty desert sand. [only]You'll need to find some way to patch up the line, plus some fuel, to have any hope of fixing her[end if]." The fuel line is part of the pickup truck.

Understand "fix" or "repair" or "patch" as "[fix]". Understand "[fix] [pickup]" or "[fix] [pickup] with [something]" or "[fix] [fuel line]" or "[fix] [fuel line] with [something]" or "use [duct tape]" or "use [duct tape] on/with [something]" or "tape [pickup]" or "fill [pickup]" or "put [gas can] in [pickup]" or "use [gas can]" as a mistake ("You should wait until you've got everything you need before you start making repairs."). [Extended this to cover some additional syntaxes. Note the trick wherein we understand several synonyms for repairing as a text substitution, [fix], and then use that substitution to stand in for multiple verbs in several lines that follow.]

Instead of switching on or switching off pickup truck: say "The engine just turns over. It won't start."

After switching on the headlights: now every within range of headlights room is lighted; say "The desert springs into existence around you."

After switching off the headlights: if emergency lights are switched off, now every within range of headlights room is dark; say "You click the headlights off[if emergency lights are switched off and flashlight is switched off] and blackness swallows you up[otherwise if emergency lights are switched off and flashlight is switched on and flashlight is visible], leaving only the ghostly beam of your flashlight[end if]."

Some whiffs of evaporating gasoline are scenery in Middle of Nowhere. Understand "fumes/fume/whiff" as whiffs of evaporating gasoline.

Instead of doing anything to whiffs of evaporating gasoline: say "Fading away in the chill night air, but enough to tell you something on your truck's busted bad."

A tall Saguaro is in Middle of Nowhere. It is fixed in place. Understand "cactus" as Saguaro. The description of the tall Saguaro is "The cactus seems totally undamaged. Go figure."

Instead of touching the Saguaro: say "Yeah, you did that once as a kid, on accident. Not happening again." Instead of taking the Saguaro: try touching the Saguaro.