what kind of story do you want?

If there was anything that FictBot enjoyed more than the sparkling green and blue lights of the Domain of Adverbs, it was the wistful, tinkling music of the Syntax Engine meandering through the crystal forests of the Valley of the Nouns. But not this timeslice. Because never before had FictBot received a summons from the Plot Comptroller. And nor had any of zer friends, including Avi the Avatar, who worked in Gamer's Mall behind the database where FictBot lived.

"I'm really worried about this," said FictBot, "the stories I've heard... you know, about being recompiled for the slightest little glitch and stuff..."

"oh come on EffBee I'm sure it'll be fine," replied Avi, who wasn't sure at all, having also heard very bad stories about the Comptroller and zer vicious temper.

"Well, I don't know," said FictBot, "what if the Comptroller asks a question I can't answer? I've got a very limited vocab index, been meaning to get the upgrade but just haven't gotten around to it... how about you come with me, Avi, I'll feel much better about it, oh please..."

So, early next runtime cycle, FictBot and Avi went to the Great Hall of Etymology where the Office of the Plot Comptroller was. Neither of them had ever been to the Great Hall, so they were quite over-awed and more than a little frightened by the sheer enormity of the place, with its cavernous interior, and the hundreds of bots and bats and exees of all shapes and sizes, some walking around, some sitting, some standing, but all looking rather worried and mournful.

After a while FictBot and Avi figured out what to do: they got a ticket from the Waiting Machine, and then they sat down and waited. And waited. And Waited. Every timeslice or so, a booming voice would call out a number, and someone would step forward anxiously to the Debugging Counter. Eventually FictBot's number was, and ze approached the Counter clutching the summons nervously.

"And you are..." one of the Bureaubots behind the Counter asked peremptorily.

"FictBot, sir, Interactive Fiction Output Generator, sir, three point one point one," replied FictBot nervously, handing the Bureaubot the summons from the Plot Comptroller.

The Bureaubot scanned the summons quickly, inputting data at the same time. Then, ze pointed to a doorway in one of the gloomy recesses of the Hall. "Proceed directly to the Comptroller's Office. Your friend will remain in the Great Hall."

What cruel and gruesome events transpired in the Office of the Plot Comptroller? What had FictBot done to warrant a summons to the Comptroller's Office? In Chapter 2, all will be revealed. But to get there, your help is needed. What kind of story do you want? Make your choice, then hit any key to continue...

Copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

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