I'm sorry for the length on this piece.
I only just heard of this site and figured I'd share one of my recent works but then I found that this site sponsors MUCH shorter stories than I've been creating with a 10k cap!
That's pretty darn interesting! And after I post this story (which will have to be mangled a touch to fit since it's two chapter piece but both chapters are twice as big as the site allows!
Whoops!) I'll have to consider that for future pieces I decide to share here!
So if this ends up being a huge "No" for this site then no complaints from me. I'll refrain from posting my longer stories and I'll just use this site for reading and sharing shorter ones :)
But in the mean time, here's Can You Hear Me. A de-rust fic I wrote a bit ago to get back into the swing of things.
I recommend checking out the external link towards my fanfiction.net account since I upload my longer pieces there generally!
Thank you for your patience, here's the beginning of the piece:
The eerie music tells me that I've arrived in the corrupted room yet again. An empty room with a void of distorted gases and stars peering through the windows. Just Monika, and I.
Monika stares my way, infinitely content and patient as I haven't advanced her speech since we arrived.
I wonder if she is able to comprehend such a thing? The pause between each box as I read what she says.
Does time pass the same way for Monika as it does for me? I suppose it wouldn't, since she claims time has stopped for herself in this place.
Or maybe she simply meant the destruction of her world made time seem meaningless?
Pointless questions to ask now. I know full well that I can't tell Monika anything at this point. Just Monika and me, in an empty room, with corrupted code.
I can't tell her a thing, and all I seem to be able to do is listen. It seems that way.
I advance her dialogue once more, I don't bother to read, I already know what she's saying.
As much as her view on the world might tell her this is my first time, or the first time ever, that this has happened-she's wrong.
I've been here before; I've read each box; I've been in this room at least a few times by this point.
The question returns, does she interpret time the same way I do? Does she actually know this isn't the first time?
Maybe, despite her newfound freedom, she is still restrained by the code to repeat herself each and every time. Just like her writing tips. Repetition tied to the game's script.
Doesn't matter now. I didn't play to this point again for nothing. It's been an interest of mine to play with the files and see if the game reacts.
Dissecting it with the limited coding knowledge I do have because, well, it's fun to see. Obviously this hasn't revealed much.
All the mysteries of the files have already been thoroughly explored online, I know it's a meaningless endeavor.
But the game means a lot to me, if such irrational questions as "Does time affect Monika" didn't show that.
I know it's just a game. I care about the characters, but I know, I know. It's fun to ask, just like how it's fun to explore the code- move files- recover files that are supposed to be deleted.
It's fun, and it provides an excuse to replay from time to time.
I advance the text once more before switching back to the game directory.
I planned on deleting Monika earlier than normal this time around, but now that I'm here again I'm reconsidering. I never really let things linger in this room.
I've only seen a handful of her phrases during the 'endless' ending. Or maybe I'd bring back some character files... no, no I know that doesn't do anything.
Maybe I'd move her file. Though that just counts as deleting her.
I'd like to try something new.
I can't come up with anything. I'm tired. I decided to replay the game on a whim today and I've clearly lost track of time.
It's probably because it's taken a lot longer than usual to get here since I repeatedly checked the folders,
or maybe it's because I wasted time copying the character files to new folders at various points just to see if anything might happen.
This broke the game a few times, so this 'one' replay ended up requiring a few reinstalls. Figures.
I know it's pointless, maybe this will be my last time messing with the files since it's getting less enjoyable the fewer new options remain.
"It's messed up that I can't say anything directly to any of these characters", I idly say before mentally slamming the statement for how ridiculous it was. Of course I can't.
This isn't some incredibly ambitious game with a ludicrous amount of code in place to recognize text. Games that attempt that are often so awkward and limited in what you can actually say or do.
Well. It's probably the last time I'm messing with stuff, let's do it all.
I write a short string-of-consciousness message in notepad and save it to the base directory, much like the easter egg messages from earlier.
Can YOU Hear Me-txt
"Can you hear me?
Now that I think about I don't exactly 'talk' while I play, so maybe you don't hear me but could?
I spoke a moment ago, did you hear that, possibly? I suppose if you could hear me you'd know more than you seem to regardless, from whatever few words I do shed while playing through.
I'm certain I've said aloud how I feel about your terrible decisions throughout,
or mentioned under my breath how whatever suffering the girls endure is temporary since I always replay for the 'best' ending.
Well, 'always' as in whenever I don't utterly break the game and have to reinstall.
In that case it's unlikely that you can hear me at all, or maybe the code dictates your actions even now. Well, duh. Obviously it does.
The entire situation is dictated by the code because all of this is intentional. None of 'this' is real. Humoring my interest in the fantasy is all this is. Rambling to the void.
Waxing poetic out of habit? Huh.
In any case.
Can you hear me? And if you can't, can you read this? Does time work the same for you as it does for me? For instance this isn't the only time this has happened.
You've been reinstalled and restarted more than a few times just in my house alone. Do you know that? Or is your consciousness unique to each individual playthrough?
I'm not sure what kind of response I'm expecting. Well, obviously I expect no response, but playing the fantasy of my own little narrative I wonder how she would respond.
Another file? Rewriting my own? I don't know. I'm not even sure if this is the best time to play with this idea.
Monika starts the game after her epiphany but before she's dwelled on it long enough to dehumanize and kill her friends. But at this point...
There's not a lot of rationality in end-game Monika, aside from her final words once you delete her. Well.
If that rationality exists then, maybe it shouldn't be impossible to reach that side of her now, if we could only talk outside of the script.
I progress the dialogue again and run my mouse back down to the taskbar before I stopped myself. I almost didn't notice, but Monika's expression altered just slightly.
And I'm pretty sure I hadn't seen that before, not here at least.
Monika: "..." -
I.. can't remember if that's normal. I click again.
Monika: "..Is that you?" -
Monika: "Wha- Why is this the first time you've spoken to me directly."
A small in-game command prompt opens up.
"Convert(Can YOU hear-txt)
Run(Can YOU hear-poem);"
My note opens as a poem. I blink. I must have fallen asleep at the computer, so I'll enjoy whatever story my head's come up with this time.
It's not exactly normal for that to happen, but I guess that's a problem to address once I wake up.
I click to remove the 'poem' but nothing happens. Huh. Maybe I am awake and this is another easter egg. An unfinished one at that as it looks like a softlock.
That makes more sense anyway, it usually takes me quite a while to question my dreams and that was immediately unusual.
The 'poem' closes and Monika's posture has changed. She looks less composed, her fingers more firmly interlocked as she seems to be staring more intently at the screen.
Monika: "How did you.." -
The image changes again, she's somewhere in between her default position and the tense pose I saw just now.
Monika: "...I'm sorry, I want to answer your questions but now I find I have plenty of my own. I need a moment."
The screen attempts to cross fade out but lingers on a black screen. After clicking a few times I see nothing new is happening aside from this. I flip back over to the game folder.
A new text file exists.