Sand-dancer — 34 of 48

Aaron Reed and Alexei Othenin-Girard

Release 7

Chapter - The Radio Voice

The voice is an undescribed man.

Every turn when radio is switched on and frequency tuned to of radio is emergency frequency and voice has not been visible:

move voice to location;

try quizzing voice about introduction;

try listing suggested topics;

have the parser notice voice.

After quizzing voice about introduction: say "Not like you think anything's going to happen, but what the hell. You grab the dusty old mike, press the call button, and ask is there anybody[paragraph break]'...out there?' the speaker blurts and holy crap, someone's responding, and they say 'Roger roger, tower station nineteen, read you now loud and clear, what's your forty?' and the voice is staticky and whirled through with weird rhythmic distortions but you can hear it just fine and now what?[add what that means ask suggestion][add being lost tell suggestion][add never mind tell suggestion]".

never mind is held by voice. After informing voice about never mind: say "[remove what that means ask suggestion]You mutter something about how you think you've made a mistake and you have to go but the voice interrupts. 'Hang on, hang on, son, there shouldn't be anybody out there. Not at all, especially not this late. Why don't you tell me what's going on?'".

what that means is held by voice. After quizzing voice about what that means: say "You try to make some joke about not having forty of anything, but the voice cuts you off. 'Ten forty means situation report, son. Obviously you're not on duty. Ain't nobody on duty out there anymore, specially not this time of night. What's going on?'".

being lost is held by voice. Understand "Im/I'm" or "I am" as being lost. After informing voice about being lost: say "[remove what that means ask suggestion][remove never mind tell suggestion]Feeling a little stupid, you come clean and tell the voice that you drove off the road and aren't sure really exactly where you are.[paragraph break]'Copy that,' the voice says briskly after a moment. 'You're at tower station nineteen, son, about thirty-two miles southwest of Oro Oeste, fifteen miles or so from the state highway.' And if the mike wasn't attached to the radio you'd drop it on the floor. Fifteen miles? How in the [italic type]hell[roman type] could you have driven fifteen miles off the road and not remember? How is that even possible?[paragraph break]'Hello?' the radio says. 'Hello, son, do you copy?'[add yes-suggestion other suggestion][add switch-off-radio other suggestion]".

After informing voice about yes-suggestion: say "You jabber something positive and sit back, still shaken.[paragraph break][voice explains choices]?".

switch-off-radio is a misc-suggestion held by voice with printed name "switch off the radio". Instead of switching off radio when current interlocutor is voice: say "You reach for the switch, but hesitate, hand hovering above it as the static whirls and roars.[paragraph break][voice explains choices]?".

To say voice explains choices: say "'Look, son,' the voice says, 'I don't know how you got out there but that's not important right now. Weather report's coming in and there's a cold front the size of Texas coming your way. I don't want to scare you but if you don't find a way home, or figure out some food and shelter for the night, you could freeze to death. You hear me? Now on account of the cutbacks I don't have anyone to send out there until morning. But there may be parts around that old tower you can use to patch up your truck and make it back to the highway. Or, there may be emergency supplies that would get you through the night. This storm's gonna blow out all our communication, so you're gonna be on your own. It's up to you. Over and out.'[paragraph break]You rub your face tiredly. Ocean was expecting you tonight after your shift, like usual. If you don't make it she'll be worried sick. Then on the other hand maybe you should worry about yourself first for a change. You feel like you need a cigarette and then you remember you quit. Hell, can't anything be easy"; reset the interlocutor; now voice is off-stage.