Galatea

1. This interactive fiction promotes deep attention, at least for me. It was very difficult to understand how to use this program, and what questions to ask. Many of the questions I actually wanted to ask were not in the code, so I had to stick to deep questions about Galatea’s life. Which was terrible.
2. When I was reading this, it required much more thinking than just reading a normal book. Which is very nice, because it is much easier to focus. As the reader, it is more relatable and easier to pay attention when you feel like you are involved in the narration.
3. I tried all types of commands, I just mostly asked Galatea about her life, sleep, and her views on death and cheese. I tried a few action commands. I tried smell, punch, and hug, and none of those actually made me do anything, so Galatea didn’t respond because every time I tried, nothing happened.
4. I didn’t get her to turn around at all.
5. >hello
“Hello,” you say — and stop. What would you say next? ‘I’m a famous critic, be on your best behavior’? There’s no etiquette established; and then it strikes you as strange that you should bother to be concerned.

Fortunately, the little awkwardness is lost on her. “Good of you not to walk away again,” she replies.

>A herself
“Read the placard,” she says. “That’s what it’s there for, after all.”

>A art
“What do you know about art?”

“In the abstract?” You become aware of her breathing — the slight expansion of her ribs, the soft exhalation — natural, and yet somehow studied. “Not much. I’ve seen very few pieces: myself, and the murals at the airport — and the latter, I am led to believe, do not quite count.”

>A her life
“What do you know about life?” you ask her. (General questions: you can almost always find ones that haven’t been anticipated.)

“Nothing,” she says, “except what I saw of his; and that seldom made any sense to me. He told me that people are born, and that they die, and that there are stages in between– childhood, adolescence… I asked him why he didn’t carve me as a child so that I could grow up.” There’s a pregnant pause. “I never heard him laugh so hard as when I asked him that. And he said that I certainly had the brain of a child.”

The air conditioning hums, sending a ripple through the velvet curtain.

>Sorry
No need. If she gets too difficult, you can always have her reset.

>A sleep
“So do you sleep?”

“Yes. Or at least, there are times when I cease to pay attention to what is around me, when my mind wanders… I can’t see myself from the outside, so I don’t know whether it looks like sleeping as other people do it.”

>T sleep
You’d rather know what she thinks on the subject.

>A hobbies
You can’t form your question into words.

>recap
Topics you’ve covered include:
art
sleeping
life

>What do you do for fun
That’s not a verb I recognize.

>A fun
You can’t form your question into words.

>A her name
You can’t form your question into words.

>A name
You can’t form your question into words.

>A love
“What do you know about love?” (As long as you’re catechizing her, you might as well be thorough.)

“That it makes people behave like idiots,” she replies harshly. “That it takes more than it gives.”

>Hug Galatea
You know better than that. Naturally. But the fact that it crossed your mind surprises you a bit. You have never had any trouble keeping it clear in your mind when you’re dealing with a piece of machinery rather than a person.

>Smell Galatea
You would have expected something feminine — flowers probably, or some low predatory scent — but she smells like brine and the cold ocean.

>A smell
“Can you smell? Or is your nose purely–”

“Decorative? No, I have a sense of smell.”

>A cheese
“I’ve never tried it. But he always said that cheese is addicting. Bad for you, okay. But one of the single greatest inventions of man.”

>T cheese
You’d rather know what she thinks on the subject.

>Ask to turn around
You can’t see any such thing.

>Punch Galatea
You don’t, of course. But the impulse takes you off guard.

The mood departs again, of course, and quickly. It was just a stray thought. It meant nothing… But you haven’t had so strong a reaction to any piece of art since you went to the Cancer Society installation. And that was timing. It was only the timing that made that so bad.

You push aside the old weight, but the effort leaves you tired.

>Punch Galatea
No. You chase the thought away before it can fully form itself.

>Punch Galatea
No. You chase the thought away before it can fully form itself.

>Punch Galatea
No. You chase the thought away before it can fully form itself.

>Kick Galatea
That’s not a verb I recognize.

>Taste air
It’s out of reach.

>Smell air
You smell nothing unexpected.

>A cheese
Nothing else to say.

>A cheese
Nothing else to say.

>A cheese
You’ve pretty much exhausted that topic.

>A cheese
You’ve pretty much exhausted that topic.

>A cheese
You have the feeling from the brevity of her earlier answer that she’s not interested in pursuing it further.

>A cheese
Not much more to ask, is there?

>A cheese
You have the feeling from the brevity of her earlier answer that she’s not interested in pursuing it further.

>A cheese
Not much more to ask, is there?

>A cheese
You have the feeling from the brevity of her earlier answer that she’s not interested in pursuing it further.

>A cheese
Nothing else to say.

>A cheese
You’ve pretty much exhausted that topic.

>A death
A pause. “Mine? Or yours?”

Before you can answer, she lifts one shoulder in a delicate shrug. “It doesn’t matter which you mean, since I know nothing about either. You will go your way when the time comes; and I– Who can die who is not alive?”

>A cheese
Nothing else to say.

>A cheese
You’ve pretty much exhausted that topic.

>A cheese
You’ve pretty much exhausted that topic.

>walk
You turn away, suddenly tired of this exhibit.

“Goodbye,” she says, as you walk away. “Come back if you get bored out there.”

You nod curtly, already thinking of the buffet in the other room.

*** The End ***

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
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