A Short Story About A Game

By John Walker on January 19th, 2010 at 11:38 pm.

The seven stared at each other. They had been in silence for minutes now, each muted by the time to come, their voices curled in their throats like dying mice. Around them was darkness. A darkness which at least offered the illusion of safety. It was their sheol, betwixt inevitabilities, offering perhaps the thinnest sliver of hope of rescue before their fates concluded. Their time was over, but in the darkness this single moment whispered lies about the possibility of their lasting forever.

L and S went first. The other five watched uselessly as the pair faded from their bleak view, unable to do anything, but worse, unwilling. Better them than us, each thought.

L has it easy, thought S. He stared out of the prison that now possessed him. It was a cruel, stupid thought, and it rang in his head as he saw L tumbling to his death. For L, he considered, the terror was about to be over, but S was forced to sit and observe the pattern of his own destruction moments before. He looked down, saw L prostrate on the ground below, and felt his stomach turn.

S was able to catch the briefest glance of T replacing him in his former cell before his fall began. He felt no sympathy. Fear ruled his body, a selfish fear that occupied him in entirety. With the last of his fractured will he gathered the energy to turn himself until he would at least die in company, his body crashing helplessly into L’s crippled form. His twisted neck cracked against L’s protruding foot, his termination instant.

T screamed. A sound that reached I, J, Z and O in their unknown domain. It was a sound that accompanied I’s fade as he entered the grim viewing gallery, the lone audience for T’s demise. A sound that prompted J, Z and O out of their silence.

There must be something we can do, began J.
But what? asked O. What confines us?
I don’t know, I don’t know, J cried, his mind clawing for even a question to answer.
It’s hopeless, sighed O.
But what about…
The other two looked up at Z.
But what about if we

Z looked out at the field of death below him, at the corpses of S, L and T, piled together, at the falling figure of I, and the words died in his mouth.

O and J looked at one another, each thinking the same meaningless thought: who would be next? Who would go last? Both knew it meant nothing, but neither wanted to be the last in this place. They did not know where they may be going, but the screams of T still echoed in their minds. J stared, the last of his spirit dying, as O faded from view. When it came his turn to see O’s fall he felt nothing. As O crashed down between I and T J’s empty eyes did not react to the evaporation of a strip of their fallen bodies, their remains thudding down onto the lower extremities. His own descent was unmarked by emotion, his final moments void of significance.

Above them, watched by a Z, an L began his fall.

, .

33 Comments »

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  1. LewieP says:

    But does it support dedicated servers?

  2. DJ Phantoon says:

    So seven player Tetris where you only control one block type? Excellent!

    • Drexer says:

      That could actually be the most awesome thing ever. Like Infernium Solarium. each player controls one block and points are awarded depending if their blocks are used to clear a line or not. And they have a cooldown on submitting blocks, and an hard AI makes the choices but the blocks must have chosen their order regarding the submissions before, but they can only check their opponents submissions once they enter the playing field.

      It will be glorious and capable of destroying friendships at the same time.

    • Bret says:

      Tricky to pull off.

      But yeah, get it right, and that might be something interesting.

    • Tei says:

      You can start with this ftp://ftp.berlios.de/pub/telejano/qtetris1.zip (includes source code). This was made for singleplayer, but I guest It can work for multiplayer with small* modifications (includes source). This Tetris clone was made by FrikaC.

      And you can have dedicated servers, too ( starting with “mini -listen 16″ for 16 players)

  3. Igor Hardy says:

    I guess that’s exactly what Sesame Street would become if it was given to Terry Gilliam.

  4. Daniel Rivas says:

    D:

  5. Michael Rose says:

    Z is based on my life story

  6. Nallen says:

    It’s gone John, you have no fractions left.
    [next, the glory and fear of minesweeper? ;)]

  7. GHudston says:

    LINE PIECE!!!

  8. kwyjibo says:

    This has absolutely fucking nothing on Lumines Fan Fiction.

    http://www.ukresistance.co.uk/2005/08/lumines-fan-fiction.html

  9. Premium User Badge

    John_Arr says:

    *snap* … *snap* … *snap*

  10. Nick Mailer says:

    Fight or flight. Fight or flight. I suppose my life has an elegance about it. A simplicity that others would crave. Crave. A funny word. Do I crave them, these horrible pills of nothing? Or am I craven of them? No nutrition. No delectation. And yet I take them. Oh, I take them. Indistinct and undistinguished, each just a link in the chain of my insatiable emptiness. No sooner one than the other. No, not sooner. Never sooner. The firey irony is that they are my only escape. But an escape to what? To yet more. Ever more. Never an end of black void bliss. No final dark contemplation. Nirvana never arrives. And in each contrived cycle, the wicked pursuers persecute me with steely nerve and stolid hate. I can’t decide whether they’re stupid in their lumbering luck or if they toy with me like a cat with mouse. Or a god with a man. Even my occasional respite, a floating hope, is swallowed up with a thankless gulp. And what of those meagre occasions when the tables turn so scornfully? Ha! In their azure indistinct panic, their greatest punishment is a mere rebirth. A womb. A home – a home I never have and where I can never be – and re-emerge to track me again in their ghastly quest for nothing more than nullity? Whence I come, the Minotours would weep. Whence I go, I merely return, displaced but still in the Hades of my compulsion. One. At. A. Time.

  11. SteelMilquetoast says:

    I find it hard to pity Tetris pieces when they so consistently betray me. I may go play a game right now and just watch their corpses pile up. This was an enjoyable piece to read, but I feel like it was undercut by the Tetris picture on top. One of its strengths was not being too obvious about its subject matter, so the exposition the picture provided did the story no favors.

  12. LegendaryTeeth says:

    Shouldn’t have put the Tetris banner there

    • Gnoupi says:

      I kinda agree with that, the tetris banner makes it too obvious, would be fun to read through it (with a neutral banner), have a “WTF are they talking about?”, and have eventually the picture at the end :P

  13. Allandaros says:

    I knew there was a reason I hated playing Tetris.

  14. Risingson says:

    We all lost in Tetris waiting for the long thin piece…

  15. Tei says:

    Wen I conquer the whole surface of earth, and slave the human civilization,I will make mandatory for crossword puzzles to use Tetris shapes.

  16. dartt says:

    This fan fiction is NOTHING compared to Starcraft 2 fan fiction!

  17. Wulf says:

    You know what would make great subscriber material?

    A series of articles by John “Where hahahave my wits gone?” Walker, explaining the most insane and absurd games of the home computer era, in narrative form.

    This must include a ten-verse Dizzy haiku.

    Yep.

  18. Devenger says:

    Thanks. Now I won’t be able to play Tetris without wondering whether I’m committing repeated acts of violence, and whether my psyche is being adjusted to that of a serial killer by doing so.