Sand-dancer — 46 of 48

Aaron Reed and Alexei Othenin-Girard

Release 7

Chapter - Coyote's Offer

Coyote's Offer is a scene. "And then you blink, and realize he's not a coyote after all. Just... just a guy." Coyote's Offer begins when Fight ends.

Coyote's Offer ends when location is not Open Desert.

When Coyote's Offer begins: move the Coyote to Open Desert; Coyote's conversation starts in 1 turn from now.

At the time when Coyote's conversation starts: try quizzing the Coyote about introduction; now Coyote holds down to business; try listing suggested topics.

The initial appearance of Coyote is "The Coyote watches you intently." Understand "guy/man" as the Coyote.

After quizzing Coyote about introduction: say "He wears a couple days of stubble, a scuffed and [faded denim jacket], and, ridiculously in the darkness, a pair of cheap [sunglasses]. He lights a [cigarette], then holds up a hand in annoyance to block your flashlight beam. 'Turn that thing off,' he says, and either you do it or it goes off by itself, because the next thing you know it's darker and he's closer and the only light comes from the red glow of the cigarette.[paragraph break]'That's better,' he says. He takes a drag on the cigarette, then pulls another from behind his ear and offers it to you. 'Smoke?'[add yes-no-suggestion other suggestion]".

When Coyote's Offer begins: now flashlight is switched off; now Coyote is lit. Instead of switching on flashlight during Coyote's Offer: say "You think you'd rather keep him on your side."

Instead of taking cigarette: move cigarette to player; try saying yes. Instead of dropping cigarette: now cigarette is off-stage; say "You drop it to the ground and stub it out with your foot." Instead of smoking when player holds cigarette during Coyote's Offer: say "You take a drag, thoughts and adrenaline whirring through your head." Instead of smoking during Coyote's Offer: try saying yes.

Instead of saying yes when yes-no-suggestion is familiar and Coyote is visible: say "You pull out your pack and [if count of pack of cigarettes is 0]see that it's empty, but Coyote grins and hands you his last one[otherwise]he grins, like he knew you'd say yes[end if], and leans forward for you to light up off him. His sunglasses reflect back nothing but your own face weirdly lit by the glow from the cig, and for a moment it's like the blackness behind them is deep, deeper than the sky, deeper than the universe..."; if count of pack of cigarettes > 0, decrease count of pack of cigarettes by 1; Coyote-talks.

Instead of saying no when yes-no-suggestion is familiar and Coyote is visible: say "He shrugs, takes a puff on his, and exhales the smoke into the desert night. Wind whips it away and he stares towards the horizon, forehead wrinkling in something (annoyance, maybe contemplation) you can't read through the sunglasses."; Coyote-talks.

To Coyote-talks: clear all topics; say "[line break]'Gotta keep an eye on the horizon,' he says in a scratchy, slow voice[if we are saying yes] as you step back, inhaling the dry smoke[end if]. 'Always someone hunting. Border Patrol, National Guard, INS, Minutemen. You want to help people get where they're going out here, you need more than [if player holds strength]strength[otherwise]courage[end if]. You need to learn how to hide.'[paragraph break]'I'm the Coyote,' he says. 'And we've been hiding from each other for a long time.'[make rabbit known][add rabbit ask suggestion][add Coyote ask suggestion][add advice ask suggestion][add down to business ask suggestion]".

To say Coyote-business: say "[one of]smoke gusting from his lungs in clouds[or]scratching his stubble with the hand that holds the cigarette[or]itching underneath his jacket, slowly[or]the red tip of the cigarette glowing as he takes another drag[cycling]".

advice is held by the Coyote. After quizzing the Coyote about advice: say "He laughs, [Coyote-business]. 'Kid,' he says, 'you don't want my advice. I could tell you some stories and you'll smile and be sure they'll never happen to you. I could tell you some stories and you'll yawn and think you know them already. I could tell you some stories and you'll think they're wise and not realize you don't understand them until you make the same mistakes yourself and try to turn your failure into advice and fail at that, too. I could tell you some stories.' He looks off towards the horizon, [Coyote-business]. 'But it's not my stories that will help you.'".

After quizzing Coyote about Coyote: say "'You know who I am,' he says, [Coyote-business]. 'I'm the one who runs on both sides of the fence. I'm the one who scouts ahead. I'm the one with songs in my blood and dirt under my nails and people owe me money in every trailer park town from here to Yuma, or maybe I owe them money but anyway they don't want to see me. You know who I am, Knock.'".

After quizzing Coyote about the rabbit: say "He grins, not unkindly but not exactly kindly either. 'That cute little jackalope?' he says, [Coyote-business]. 'He's got his upsides, I guess. [if player holds strength]Strength[otherwise]Bravery[end if] has its place. But if you're always in the spotlight, you'll never learn how to live in the shadows. And most of us spend a lot of time in the shadows.'".

After quizzing Coyote about down to business: clear all topics; move luck to location; now luck is familiar; move scent to location; now scent is familiar; say "He presses his hands together, still clutching the cigarette with thumb and index finger, and smoke rises past his hidden eyes as he slowly rubs his palms together. He mutters something rhythmic to himself and you realize it's a song, and you can't quite make out the lyrics but the melody is simple and makes you think of Johnny Cash and the end of the world. And then he stops, and pulls his hands apart, and in each he holds a talent.[paragraph break]'Here we have luck,' he says, bobbing the left, 'and scent. And look, I'll be straight with you. These are precious things and I can't afford whatever blue light special deal the bunny gave you. I need double his price. I need two memories to part with one of these. Oh, they're worth it, believe me. Both have saved my ass more times than you'd believe. Both could save yours. But it's up to you. Which'll it be?'[add luck ask suggestion][add scent ask suggestion][add trade-for-luck other suggestion][add trade-for-scent other suggestion][add take-inventory other suggestion]".

After quizzing Coyote about luck: say "[if player holds strength]'Looks like you're already pretty tough,' he says appraisingly, looking you over. 'With a little luck, you ought to make it through the night and get on with the rest of your life.'[otherwise]'You found some cojones, kid,' he says, looking you over appraisingly, 'which'll be good for fixing your truck and getting back to your girl. I don't know if luck'll help you out much there, though.'".

After quizzing Coyote about scent: say "[if player holds courage]'You found some cojones, kid,' he says, 'If you can just sniff out the right finds, you can probably get back to that little lady you're so fond of, if that's what you want.'[otherwise]'You're pretty tough,' he says, 'but I don't know that a good nose is going to help you make it through the night and get on with the rest of your life, if that's what you're trying to do.'".

trade-for-luck is a misc-suggestion. It is held by Coyote. The printed name is "trade something for luck".

trade-for-scent is a misc-suggestion. It is held by Coyote. The printed name is "trade something for scent".

Report trading when Coyote is visible: clear all topics; now more coming is familiar; try quizzing Coyote about more coming; stop the action.

After quizzing Coyote about more coming: say "He tucks the other talent back in his jacket, and without its faint glow it seems darker than ever, the pulsing red tip of his cigarette all you can see.[paragraph break]'The last of us is coming,' Coyote's voice says out of the black, 'last and most powerful, and most dangerous, and most afraid. Sand-dancer. Be careful of him, Knock. [if player holds strength]Stay strong[otherwise]Stay brave[end if]. [if player holds luck]Stay lucky[otherwise]Keep your nose to the wind[end if]. Remember the shadows.'[paragraph break]And it seems like he's growing, larger and larger, the red tip of his cigarette pulsing and glowing now high up in the sky, and you stumble back, shivering, and suddenly remember your flashlight in your hand and switch it on..."; reset the interlocutor; now flashlight is switched on; move player to Base of the Tower.