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<<audio "music" volume 0.2 loop play>><<audio "intro" play>>In Paris there is a high walled convent called Petit-Picpus, a place of refuge from the refuse of that city. At the time there were in its grounds an aged and somewhat lame gardener, Fauchelevent, assisted by a man whom the nuns presumed to be his brother, but who we know as Jean Val-Jean, an escaped convict whose daughter attended the school there.
The duties of the gardeners were usually very routine, and followed a strict time schedule that kept them apart from the nuns. It was a life without much variation for both the monastic and the domestic servants. However, even into the most uneventful of places the world can intervene, and on occasion the unknown world can also visit.
<em>This is a work of interactive audio fiction. You direct the story. When given choices you can pick whichever one piques your curiosity and see where the story goes next based on this.
<div align="center">[[Continue|What Is That Noise?]]
with the story?
[[Learn more|Back Story]]
about how we came to know the truth of this tale?</div></em>
<<audio "intro" stop>><<audio "hovel-start" play>>I was woken by a loud sound in the distance, but in my sleepy state couldn't quite make out it's meaning or origin. It was followed by a more familiar yell.
"Was that Fauchelevent calling out? That's not like him!"
"It is him. He is calling my name. It seems urgent!"
"I don't feel right leaving my friend without help."
"If I just went East to where the yells were coming from I'd be able to see what was happening there."
<em>Now I have three choices, and each of these paths comes with different consequences so I must choose carefully. At this point I could either:
the cottage for anything that might be useful
the roof to see what the commotion is, or
and head straight to the courtyard where the sound was coming from?</div></em>
<<set $object to "Cravat">><<include "Object">>
Say [[Search]], [[Climb]], or [[Leave|Courtyard]], when you are ready to discover the next part of the story.
Say REPEAT at any time to hear this part of the story and any choices again.
--><<audio "hovel-start" stop>><<audio "hovel-search" play>>I rose from my straw-filled matress, a little disorientated, as it was only an hour ago I'd fallen into a deep slumber.
Rushing to find something that might aid the distressed Fauchelevant, I moved through the sparsely furnished main room to the adjacent closet used in lieu of a gardening shed.
There, in the dirt floor I found the shears, which must have fallen again from the nail that bravely attempted - but frequently failed - to hold them up. Though it seems a little late for pruning these may yet have other uses. Taking them in hand I exited the hovel to the courtyard.
to discover what is happening in the courtyard.</em></div>
<<set $object to "Shears">><<include "Object">><<audio "hovel-start" stop>><<audio "hovel-climb" play>>This niche in the South-West wall was the first place my adopted daughter Cosette and I landed on our feet after escaping the gendarmes. That was some months ago now, and yet I still felt uneasy at the the risks that lied over the other side of that wall. But tonight it seemed there may be some other danger that had entered here, where I'd hoped for us to find peace and safety.
Looking to the center of the courtyard I could see Fauchelevent mesmerized by a large object that has half-buried itself in the middle of the garden.
to discover what is happening in the courtyard.</em></div> <!-- with shears --><<audio "courtyard-intro" play>>I could scarcely believe how much the garden had been altered with the crash of something curious from the skies. Previously there was a small hillock here, upon which was a well tended fir tree. But now the earth was disturbed to such a degree that there was no trace of the former grass, shrubs or the tree at all.
<!-- add playlists? -->
<<linkappend "Ask Fauchevelent: \"What is that thing in the ground?\"">><<audio "courtyard-intro" stop>><<audio "courtyard-convo1" play>><p/>"It ruined my beautiful flower bed and your pear trees!"<p/>He was right. There was no indication that the rose bed had ever existed, and the pear tree was crushed under the weight of what looked like a large cylinder. Dirt had been thrown across the entire garden from the impact of whatever that was in the middle of the garden. All of Fauchevelent's hard work pruning and weeding was gone and he was understandably upset.<p/>The charred remains of whatever type of vessel this once might have been give the impression of an otherworldy origin, but there is nothing easily recognizable to my eyes among what little is left entact. From this perspective I can see what a great upheaval it's crash landing caused throughout the courtyard.<</linkappend>>
<!-- everything except soundtrack stop -->
<<linkappend "Ask Fauchevelent: \"Where did it come from?\"">><<audio "courtyard-intro" stop>><<audio "courtyard-convo1" stop>><<audio "courtyard-convo2" play>><p/>"It fell like a star through the sky. I heard a hiss and looked up and saw a trail of green light. The thing was on fire and crashed right here, turning up the earth, and covering the back half of it."<p/>This wasn't of any earthly origin. Ash descended all around us, and fell on us like grey snowflakes. They fell too on what I now realized was a metal object of some unearthly origin. This was no military munition. It was far too large an looked like nothing any army could have created and shot through the night sky.<</linkappend>>
<div align="center"><em>[[Wait And See What Happens|Rescue]]</em></div><<audio "creature-attack" play>>Upon returning to the wreckage I could now clearly see the monsterous form that had emerged from it's vessel.
The creature was a couple feet taller than me, and twice as broad. It's giant inhuman black eyes peered out from it's bulbous brown head, as if into my very soul. It's mouth, which was more like a beak, made no sound but salivated copiously. I could not tell which of it's eight appendages acted as arms or feet, they looked more like the tentacles of some horrendous ocean monster. But it did not approach me with timidity, rather as a wild thing determined to knock down whatever was in it's path.
<!-- show creature strength -->
It reached for me with a long tendril. Whether it was seeking to pull me in or hit me with it I could not yet tell. But I was not about to find out.
<div align="center"><em><<if $inv.includes("Shears")>>
<<print "[[Engage with the monster|The Creature Defeated (For Now)]]">>
<<if not $inv.includes("Shears")>>
<<print "[[Engage with the monster|The Creature Triumphs (For Now)]]">>
<!-- [[The Creature Defeated (For Now)]] [[The Creature Triumphs (For Now)]] --><<audio "fauch-failed" play>>I handed the cravat to Fauchelevent, who covered his face with it. Left unprotected my strength was quickly drained by the fumes ...
I awoke disorientated in the bedroom, with Fauchelevent nowehere to be seen.
<!-- delay -->
Rushing back to the site of the crash, I saw his body, pale and drained of life, as if all the blood were sucked from it. What kind of being would do such a thing?
Perhaps I could have saved him. If I could relive those last moments I would have chosen differently. But now I must stop anyone else befalling his fate.
<div align="center"><em>[[Return to the site|Attack]]</em></div><<set $strValjean -= 25>>
<<audio "fauch-saved" play>>I covered my face and caught Fauchelevent just as he fainted and carried him back to his hovel as quick as I could drag him.
<!-- Fauch strength reduces -->
Before he expired Fauchevelent reached out to me, beckoning me closer. I inclined my ear and try to listen carefully. "You must destroy that devil before it reaches the children!" My dear Cossette! Is it possible that thing could harm her?
I must confront this creature before it can hurt others.
<div align="center"><em>[[Confront Creature|Attack]]</em></div>
<!-- second chance to get shears? if don't have them -->
<<audio "creature-defeated" play>>I put my hand around the shears, which were in my jacket pocket. I had no idea if the creature would consider them a threat, but I figured that it was better to have surprise on my side.
When it forcefully lunged a tenticle toward me I quickly pulled out the shears and cut into it's flesh. I had thought just to cut it, but in the rush ended up cutting off the end of one of it's many appendages.
The monster shrieked in pain. It had probably expected me to be a meal that wouldn't put up much resistence. It was not indestructable. It could be hurt and be afraid, even of me. It's fear took it along the Eastern pathway until it disappeared into the dark.
I threw away what remained of the warped and burning hot shears.
<div align="center"><em>[[Search the wreckage|The Heat Ray]]</em></div>
<<audio "creature-triumphs" play>>I tried to knock it back with all my strength, yet I was impotent against it's evil.
It took hold of me and shook me like a rag doll, and I thought it would break me in two. The last thing I could recall was my head hitting the ground.
<<set $strValjean -= 25>>
Luckily for me the creature only stunned me, and when I awoke I found myself alone, somewhat dazed, with the creature gone who knows where.
If only I had something with which to defend myself. But alas I had not searched my hovel for anything that might be of use before leaving it.
<!-- my strength reduces further -->
<div align="center"><em>[[What next?|Chapter One End]]</em></div> <<audio "heat-ray" play>>The way was now open to the cylinder the creature came from. I didn't know what to make of most of it's contents, except for what seemed to be a lantern of some kind.
<<silently>><<set $object to "Heat Ray">><<include "Object">><<endsilently>>
Upon closer examination it looked as if the lens at it’s front was broken. But if I was able to find something to replace that part I might be able to bring it back into working order, and it might yet prove of use.
<div align="center"><em>[[What next?|Chapter One End]]</em></div>Are you sure you want to leave the world of 19th century France so soon?
Say [[YES]] to leave immediately, or NO to return to where you left.
<<audio "chapter-one-end" play>>Ahead four grand alleys of unequal length still roughly formed the shape of a cross, each bordered with currant bushes and ending in the very irregular walls of the garden. But with the turned up earth only the paths east to the Boarding School and north-west to the Chapel and Convent were accessible. Tall poplar trees hid the remaining ruins of the long abandoned older convent, and beyond that our hut.
Somewhere amongst those buildings the creature crept, and it's evil designs were a threat to all I held dear (and the other innocents who lived here). I alone knew it's destructive power, and perhaps only I could stop it.
<<include "Score">><!-- [[Score]] -->Thank you for taking the time to make this story your own.
Feel free to revisit your journey anytime by telling Alexa "Bla Bla Bla".
Or consider one of our other titles, information about which can be found online at www.bla.com.
//From the journal of H.G. Wells://
It was in 1864 I departed from Albion’s shores for the first time. I’d had enough of England and my life there, and I needed time away from society to be with my dear Amy, who was no longer the coy young student I once taught, but now a maturing woman and the recent object of my ardent affections. What she saw in me I could not tell, but was not about to discourage her enthusiasm for me, or the benefits that came with it. The weather in the North of France was more temperate than Britain’s more dour climes for the time of year, and despite my atrocious French we were able to just about fathom out how to get about and make do during our respite.
We settled first in Lille, which provided us with the necessary creature comforts and a cross section of Gallic culture, but it proved to be too much of bustling city for me, and so we ventured a little further South into the smaller town of Amiens. Amy would busy herself visiting the patisseries and draperies in the afternoons, while I would linger around the cafes trying to pick up ideas for stories. I had a notion of trying my hand at writing, but found most of the conversations and recollections to be too provincial in nature for me to use.
I’d almost given up hope in finding the fantastic in this part of France until I overheard a young man talking to an older town official by the name of Jules Verne who would eat his daily confection at a nearby table, whose fondness for sweets showed in his portly figure, amassed over years of indulgence. Up to now I’d only heard people approach him about the mundane matters of running such a village, which he dealt with quickly but efficiently, but on this occasion I was surprised to hear questions about submersibles, flying craft, and subterranean adventures. This piqued my interest more than anything else I had heard on my stay, and when the youth left I asked the venerable old gentleman if I might sit with him and ask some questions of my own. He seemed to suppose at first that I was a tourist interested in the history of his hamlet, but I told him my curiosity laid more in the tales I had overheard him mention. It seems this man had been an author of some note in this part of the world, though he had taken local politics up as part of his retirement. In his past his mind had reached forward to the future, to contraptions and escapades of a more fanciful type. He assured me though that his stories were rooted somewhere in fact, and that truth was often more unbelievable than fiction. I pressed him to give me an example and his mind reached back to a story a more esteemed author had related to him a couple of decades earlier.
Before the first fledgling attempts at revolution, when the disparity of wealth and poverty were at its greatest a man could find himself a convict for an unpaid loaf of bread. One such man related his remarkable life and many escapes from the law to a Monsieur Hugo, on the condition of anonymity. His story has since been published (as Les Miserables) to great acclaim and popularity, and I had some vague knowledge of it myself though I’d left it unread, presuming it to be the type of historical fiction in which I had little interest. Yet I was informed there was more to the story that had gone unpublished, because it did not fit the framing nor purpose of the author, but which he still vouchsafe to his trusted associates of which Jules thought he might be the last alive.
<div align="center">[[Take part|What Is That Noise?]] in this story for yourself.</div><<silently>>
<<cacheaudio "music" "assets/music/Kai_Engel_-_06_-_Evermore.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "intro" "assets/voices/valjean/intro.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "hovel-start" "assets/voices/valjean/hovel-start.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "hovel-search" "assets/voices/valjean/hovel-search.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "hovel-climb" "assets/voices/valjean/hovel-climb.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "courtyard-intro" "assets/voices/valjean/courtyard-intro.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "courtyard-fumes" "assets/voices/valjean/courtyard-fumes.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "courtyard-convo1" "assets/voices/valjean/courtyard-convo1.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "courtyard-convo2" "assets/voices/valjean/courtyard-convo2.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "fauch-rescue" "assets/voices/valjean/fauch-rescue.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "fauch-saved" "assets/voices/valjean/fauch-saved.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "fauch-failed" "assets/voices/valjean/fauch-failed.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "creature-attack" "assets/voices/valjean/creature-attack.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "creature-defeated" "assets/voices/valjean/creature-defeated.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "creature-triumphs" "assets/voices/valjean/creature-triumphs.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "heat-ray" "assets/voices/valjean/heat-ray.mp3">>
<<cacheaudio "chapter-one-end" "assets/voices/valjean/chapter-one-end.mp3">>
<<set $inv = >>
<<set $chapter = 1>>
<<set $mins to 0>>
<<set $minLeft to 360>>
<<set $minOver to false>>
<<set $monstr = 100>>
<<set $strValjean = 100>>
<<set $strFauch = 70>>
<<removeclass "#ui-bar" "stowed">>
<div align="center"><big>The Unexpected Visitor</big>
<bold>Les Miserables meets War Of The Worlds</bold>
A work of interactive fiction in text and audio.
<em>Continue to the
[[About The Author]]<!-- or learn
[[How To Play]] -->
(On the next page music and narration will begin
unless you stop them in the sidebar now.)</em></div>
<<audio "music" play>>
<<audio "intro" play>>
<<audio "hovel-start" play>>
<<audio "hovel-search" play>>
<<audio "hovel-climb" play>>
<<audio "courtyard-intro" play>>
<<audio "courtyard-fumes" play>>
<<audio "courtyard-convo1a" play>>
<<audio "courtyard-convo1b" play>>
<<audio "courtyard-convo2a" play>>
<<audio "courtyard-convo2b" play>>
This is an interactive story. It is read in much the same way as you would browse a web page, by clicking links to make choices about what you want to do or where you want to go.
The text of the main story is in white, with red text indicating something that is happening in the present, usually an important event you will only see once.
New choices are highlighted in blue, and choices you have already made are coloured purple.
If you don't chose to mute the audio the text will be narrated or acted out at each passage in the story you select.
To the right-hand of the main body of the story is a sidebar which includes
* Save / Restore - where you can save your place, like a bookmark, and return to it.
* Carrying - a list of the objects on your person.
* Strength - how healthy or injured you are.
* Time - how long until morning.
<<back>>In book version could do undo by adding (go back to passage # to make a different choice)
Add back picking up Cravat? (from bedroom or front room)
- Even if automatic says omething about it - grabbing on way out
Pick up Shears in Private Garden?
Add back health gauges
Fight Creature - Succeed / Fail
Flee from Fight (same as fail but without damage - but without warning of gun)
If looked into distance - then knew to get cravat / shears?
Originally designed as typical text adventure / IF
Didn't want people going back and forth to same passages
Didn't want so focused on having the right object
(well not too much - 2-3 times for whole story is better than 20-30 times)
Wanted choices to have impact
<<if $inv.length is 0>>Carrying nothing.<<else>>Carrying:
Strength: <<print $strValjean>>%.
<<set $hours to Math.round($minLeft / 60)>><<set $minShow to ($minLeft % 60)>><<if not $hours eq 0>><<print "Daylight in " + $hours + " hrs ">><<endif>><<if not $mins eq 0>><<print $minShow + " min left">><<endif>>
<<link "Music Off">><<audio "music" pause>><</link>> | <<link "On">><<audio "music" play>><</link>>
<<link "Sounds Off">><<masteraudio mute>><</link>> | <<link "On">><<masteraudio unmute>><</link>><<if not passage() == "Title Page">><div align="center">''<<print passage()>>''</div><<endif>><<audio ":playing:not(:music)" stop>>
Presenting the ..<<if not $inv.includes($object)>>
<!-- Remove pick up
<<link `"I see a " + $object`>>
<<script>>state.display(state.active.title, null, "back") <</script>>
<!-- See above
<<endif>><<audio "courtyard-fumes" play>>An almost overwhelming heat emanated from the metal exterior of the projectile. The sweltering air coming from it was in sharp contrast to the cold night wind.
This was a vessel of sorts with something inside of it. This became aparent as it's top began to unscrew itself ever so slowly, until a black smoke billowed from within accompanied by a sizzling sound.
Such noxious fumes! The heat and vapours were beginning to make me feel weak. I must act quickly while I still have control of my senses.
I must save Fauchevelent before he is completely overcome.
<!-- show Fauch strength -->
<div align="center"><em>[[Put the cravat over my own face|Saved Fauch]]
[[Put the cravat over his face|Failed To Save Fauch]]</em></div>
- Wait? - hesitate - untimely end for both?
Add why you are putting cravat where
<div align="center"><em>You ended the chapter with:
ValJean's strength at $strValjean %
out of a possible 100% </em></div>
- You could have saved Fauchelevant
- You could have injured the creature and had something to aid you in your quest to stop it
-->''About This Game''
The idea for this story came from asking the question, "What if H.G. Wells met Jules Verne on his vacation to France?" Researching this I learned that Verne was an admirer and contemporary of Victor Hugo, and thus a tenuous link to Les Miserables was imagined.
This is the beginning of a much larger game idea that I'd love to see completed if there is an interest.
''About The Author''
As you will know by playing the game I am not a voice actor, but I am an amateur author, game designer, and professionally work as a System Administrator for a large evil corporation.
More about my projects can be found at my [[blog|https://creativebyways.wordpress.com/]] / [[Itch.io|https://nate2squared.itch.io/]] / [[Github|https://github.com/nate2squared]]