Trinsic Tales:Afterlife in the Fast Lane/Chapter 04
Chapter Four: Dead, But Not Out
<Capn_Ascii> Alright, where were we? Hmm.
<Capn_Ascii> Oh, right, you all died horribly. Total Party Kill, game over. See you guys next week! :D
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them shaking off the foggy screen-warpiness and harp chords of a terrible, violent, special-effects-laden flashback..."
<Capn_Ascii> As the three of you lay there bleeding all over yourselves like a bunch of wusses, your vision begins to clear. Suddenly, you're back in the Memory Bank, listening to the teller finishing up his vocal rendition of your violent deaths. He closes the file and looks up at you.
<Capn_Ascii> "My goodness, I haven't seen such R-rated memories since..." He looks thoughtful. "...well, since about 5 minutes ago, actually. Ever since that warlord started his rampage, we've been getting amnesiac deadies by the hundreds."
<Eralia> "Alright, thanks. So, now what?"
Rika looks at Eralia and shrugs.
<Eralia> "We want to revive ourselves and go after this guy, obviously. How would we do that...?"
<Rika> "I guess we get our bodies back and ... Try again?"
<Dkort> "It worked well the first time around, obviously."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmm, let's see."
<Capn_Ascii> He peruses some paperwork. "Well, if you want your *original* bodies back, you'd need someone in the living world to cast a revival spell on you."
<Eralia> "Any way to accomplish that from here?"
<Rika> "Can we possess a random spellcaster?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Um..." He peers through his glasses at you. "I don't think you quite grasp the meaning of 'dead'. You're not allowed to return to the living world in your current state - unless special circumstance says otherwise, all recently-deceased personnel are here for good."
<Eralia> "That does not answer my question, now does it? What 'special circumstance'?"
<Capn_Ascii> He raises an eyebrow at Eralia. "Well, for example, if you met the requirements, you might have become a ghost instead of coming straight here. But you didn't, so as far as the Powers That Be are concerned, this is where you belong." He shrugs. "Barring any extra-legal means, your only real option is to either get yourselves reincarnated, or file a Wrongful Death suit."
<Eralia> "How would this suit work?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Basically, you file an appeal to the court that your death was untimely and unwarranted - a mistake, basically. It may not actually *be* a mistake - in which case you're stuck here - but sometimes accidents do happen. Somebody up here gets their paperwork mixed up, and before you know it, some random person bites it when he wasn't supposed to."
<Eralia> "Alright, where to for this?"
<Capn_Ascii> "The courthouse. If you like, I can go ahead and put in the paperwork from here, although I should warn you it might take a while. Plus, they may want witnesses to testify on your behalf."
<Eralia> "We can certainly witness for each other."
<Capn_Ascii> "I'm afraid it doesn't work that way - we can't be sure you're not all just conspiring to cheat the system. Witnesses have to be impartial individuals who aren't plantiffs in the case."
<Eralia> "Not sure what would qualify."
<Eralia> "There's no such thing as 'impartial'. Everyone has an interest. Somewhere."
<Capn_Ascii> "Impartial to the case, smartass." He frowns. "Basically, you'd need to find someone who witnessed your death and can describe it to the judge. Then he can compare it with records to determine who was supposed to die in your place."
<Eralia> "Wait, what? For a death to be wrongful, someone else has to die instead?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, yes, that's how it works. A wrongful death means that *you* died instead of someone else who was supposed to die. It's like getting someone else's mail, only the mail is an axe in the head."
<Capn_Ascii> "Assuming your deaths *were* an accident, there are three people down there in the Land of the Living right now who are supposed to be here instead of you."
<Eralia> Eralia sighs at this. "I can't do that. I have honor. If I'm going to kill someone, I'm going to look them in the face, not be a universe away."
Rika nods in agreement
<Dkort> "Was there anyone on the bus that exploded?"
<Capn_Ascii> "What? You wouldn't be killing anyone - just correcting a clerical error. Someone down *there* will do the killing."
<Capn_Ascii> He glances at Dkort. "Ah, yes, the bus. Summon Public Transportation...nasty spell. Opens a time-space vortex and drops one of those...things on you. We're not actually sure just what a 'bus' is, but we assume it's some sort of futuristic wagon." He shakes his head. "No, it was vacant at the time."
<Eralia> "Making someone else kill for you is just killing at a remove. I'll do it for others, but I'll never have others do it for me."
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, whatever." He shrugs. "Fine, then you'll just need to get someone on the living plane to cast a revival spell for you."
<Eralia> "On it. Come on, let's go. Unless anyone else has anymore questions."
Rika shakes her head.
<Capn_Ascii> "If you want to try and contact the living, I'd suggest you go to Hell."
<Eralia> "That's the plan."
<Capn_Ascii> "Specifically, to WBLZ, the radio station. You can put in a request to try and reach someone you knew in life, assuming they're still alive."
<Eralia> "Ah, good tip. Thanks."
<Capn_Ascii> "There may also be less...legal means, but I shouldn't talk about those."
<Eralia> "I'll keep it off the record if you will."
<Capn_Ascii> "Sorry, but everything's on the record here. It's a Memory Bank, remember?" To demonstrate, he opens up Eralia's file to the last page and turns it around to show it to her. Words are magically appearing on the paper even now: "...it's a Memory Bank, remember?"
<Eralia> "When's your shift end?"
Rika mutters to Eralia "He means anything you know is on record..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Look, if you really want to know, go ask Kevin at the Archives. He knows all about this stuff."
<Eralia> "Mmmk. I'll... think on it. Good day."
<Capn_Ascii> "Good day, ma'am." He motions to the next person in line. "Next!"
Eralia heads out the door... or tries to.
Dkort prepares to start shoving people out of his way.
<Capn_Ascii> Dkort, remembering his previous experience with the line, gets down low like a linebacker, scraping his feet and snorting loudly. Eralia and Rika glance nervously at each other, then grab hold of Dkort's belt, just as the cleric lets out a mighty "YAR!" and charges forward.
<Capn_Ascii> The sound of a steam locomotive whistle is heard as Dkort *plows* through the crowd, throwing people left and right as if he were the Incredible Hulk charging through a line of battle tanks. Bank patrons scream and flee in terror as some of them go sailing overhead, landing on countertops or getting stuck head-first in the walls.
<Capn_Ascii> The carnage finally ends as Dkort comes screaming through the bank doors, swats aside the last few victims standing in his way, and crashes head-first into the base of a statue standing outside the bank. Naturally, this brings him to a dead stop, leaving Eralia and Rika to fall to the side, still somewhat dazed.
<Eralia> "Muh... Go Padres..."
Dkort pries his head from the statue and stumbles back onto his feet. "Ha! We should do that more often."
<Eralia> "Okay, now what?"
<Dkort> "We go see Kevin?"
<Eralia> "Why bother with that? We have his card."
Eralia searches for the card
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: You fish the card out of your pocket/backpack/handbag/satchel/cleavage. Is *this* your card? (Yes, it is.)
Eralia presses "The Button"
<Capn_Ascii> A thin beam of light emerges from the card, then spreads out into some sort of holographic image (not that you have any idea what a hologram is). It's an image of Kevin sitting at his desk back in the Archives...and by 'sitting' I mean 'with his feet kicked up on his desk, holding a glass of whiskey and reading a magazine'. He takes a swig, then glances over and notices you. "Oh! Uh...hi there." He quickly pitches the glass and magazine away over his shoulder. "What can I help you folks with?"
<Eralia> "We were wondering if you'd know of various methods we could use to contact those in the Living World, for one."
<Capn_Ascii> "Ah. Well, I assume you've been told about WBLZ? They can help you get in touch with your friends and family, if you have any final words to pass on."
<Eralia> "I get the feeling that I'd prefer not to blast what I want to talk about over open airwaves. Nor am I interested in paying fees."
<Eralia> "If there are any."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, then, how about reincarnation? Normally, you'd have to start over with a brand new life, but since you guys are heroes, you might be able to swing the New Game+ option."
<Eralia> "The New Game+ option? What's that?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Normally, when you reincarnate, you start over - all of your memories and skills from your previous life ware wiped away. New Game+ is for veteran heroes; it lets you get a new body, but you get to keep your memories and abilities. Assuming your new body can use them of course."
<Eralia> "A new body... hmm... what degree of... ah, choice would we have in that?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Choice?" He glances away. "Uh...not a lot, actually. It's the whole 'karma' deal - your new form is chosen for you depending on what sorts of deeds you did in life."
<Eralia> "Oh, lovely. I get the sense that they would take a dim view of my kind of lifestyle."
<Eralia> "Unless they're less biased towards 'good' then I think. Yes/no?"
<Dkort> "I was rather used to my old body..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, either way, you get a new form. It's just that if you've been particularly...troublesome, you'll often get stuck with a big ol' heaping pile of irony."
<Eralia> "I have a feeling I do not want to take a chance on this."
<Eralia> "At least, not in permanency."
<Capn_Ascii> "They're really big on irony down there at the Registry. I once heard about a thief who got reincarnated as a baseball player - all the stealing he could stand, but none of it financially viable."
<Eralia> "I see."
<Capn_Ascii> "Of course, if you'd rather not chance it..." The hologram glances around, then leans in close and whispers conspiratorily.
<Eralia> "Yes?" Eralia asks softly.
<Capn_Ascii> "Like I said before, if you're not too picky, you can head downstairs..." He points at the "GO TO HELL" Gazebo. "...and talk to a friend of mine in the Department of Undeath. If you can talk him into it, he might be able to get you animated as undead."
<Eralia> "Sounds like a decent plan. Might lead to a revival."
<Dkort> "That wouldn't be my first choice."
<Eralia> "If anyone has a *better* idea, let's hear it."
<Eralia> "Kevin? Any other options you can think of?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, that's all I can think of. If you want your original bodies back, then you're either going to have to win a wrongful death suit, or else get someone - yourselves, or a friend - to revive you from the material plane."
<Eralia> "And we've discussed methods to do that already. Alright. Thanks, Kevin."
<Capn_Ascii> "Since you're all still here, I'm assuming you didn't have a cleric friend waiting to revive you in case of untimely death?"
<Eralia> "I think most clerics in the area are probably dead now. Since that warlord was killing everyone."
<Eralia> "Well, the cleric *we* had is right here."
Eralia points at Dkort.
<Rika> "I have an idea..."
<Capn_Ascii> "I dunno, I can think of at least one cleric who probably turned tail and ran the moment Steve came rampaging along." He looks at Dkort. "Ah, of course. Yes, having him *here* instead of in the living world makes it a bit complicated."
<Dkort> "Does it involve only having me get animated or reincarnated and then resurrecting the two of you?"
<Dkort> "There'd still be the matter of getting a large number of diamonds..."
<Dkort> "And possibly the matter of Steve killing me again."
<Rika> "Oh, that's why you kept talking about diamonds?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, you'd better watch out for that guy. He and his army are still sacking Trinsic - it's not a pretty sight."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yep, you'll need some serious diamonage if you want anyone reviving you. Normally, you could buy them in town, but given the current ravaged-by-invaders state of the local economy, that may not work out so well."
<Eralia> "How do you recommend we obtain diamonds then?"
<Dkort> "Raid as many weddings as we can?"
<Capn_Ascii> He shrugs. "Bury some coal and wait a few centuries?"
<Capn_Ascii> "That, or maybe knock over a jewelry store."
<Capn_Ascii> "Assuming the raiders haven't beaten you to it, of course."
<Dkort> "Mug raiders?"
<Eralia> "I'm not giving my body a chance to decay more then it has too. Excessive waiting is out."
<Dkort> "Or we could all get reanimated, get diamonds, and then I resurrect us."
<Eralia> "We could try that."
<Eralia> "In fact, that's probably the best plan we got."
<Dkort> "I've never cast Resurrect on myself before, though."
<Capn_Ascii> "So? It works just the same, as far as I know."
<Capn_Ascii> "The *real* problem will be coping with the zombification."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah. You'd be surprised at how many people react unfavorably to the walking dead."
<Eralia> "Oh, well, if they have a problem with it, they can suffer, or just learn to ignore us."
<Capn_Ascii> "'Hello, sir, can you direct us to the nearest friendly cleric?' *BAM!* Mace to the forehead."
<Eralia> "Use of shadows recommended. I get it."
Rika mutters "Or makeup..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, just be careful. Undead or not, you don't want your bodies to get *too* beat up, or you won't have anything left to work with."
<Eralia> "Well, if that happens, the alternative will fall on New Game+, but the warning is well taken."
<Eralia> "Shall we try it?"
Rika nods slowly "Guess we don't have any alternative. This should be interesting..."
<Eralia> "So we're off to Hell?"
<Dkort> "Given that we've all probably led...eventful lives, I think it's more likely than not that we'll get stuck with poetic justice if we do that."
<Eralia> "Can you think of a safer plan?"
<Capn_Ascii> "I don't know...you *did* all die during an epic battle, heroically defending innocent civilians from an evil warlord."
<Capn_Ascii> "That's gotta count for something."
<Eralia> "Doubt it. I did it for the money."
<Dkort> "Not the first time I did something like this, either. First time I died, though."
Rika thinks about it.
<Rika> "I think I did it to help people.."
<Rika> "Well, I more did it to keep my current way of life. Which is wandering. I'd have no place to wander if everyone was dead..."
<Eralia> "Er, anyways, can we DO SOMETHING already?"
<Eralia> "Talk is cheap."
<Dkort> "Yeah, more often than not I get paid to not talk during a job..."
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, simmer down. Time doesn't really apply here, after all."
<Eralia> "Wait, time doesn't run at the same rate?"
<Capn_Ascii> "There's no point rushing to get stuff done when you have all of eternity to do it in."
<Rika> "So.. we're on a different time plane?"
<Eralia> "Don't want to let Trinsic get sacked any more then I have to. I'm fairly certain they said it would reduce my pay."
<Capn_Ascii> "It's...complicated. Frankly, the whole thing makes my head hurt. The best I can tell you is that you don't have to worry too much about it."
<Eralia> "So... do either of you have a compelling argument against reanimation?"
Rika shakes her head and shrugs slighty. "I guess not."
<Dkort> "I sort of...drew my faith and divine power from being alive. I'm not eager to try it while undead."
<Eralia> "Do you think there's a better path you personally could take here?"
<Eralia> "I haven't heard a better one for me yet, so not planning to do something else."
<Dkort> "I also wouldn't be able to heal you guys so easily while you're undead."
<Dkort> "You know, what with the mockeries of life not responding so well to positive energy."
<Eralia> "I don't intend to go into combat much. Or at least, to lose."
<Rika> "I think one of you are going to need to sew me together..."
<@Capn_Ascii> ---END GAME---