[WIP] Equivocation

Whew! I guess I was too excited and wrote part of the first chapter. This is basically my love letter to all the sci-fi novels out there (I grow up reading them!). It is a tale of spacefaring mixed with corporate intrigues, sprinkled with bits of hard science and philosophical discussions. Romance is also an important aspect, but I aim to achieve a balance between characters and plots. Lastly, bonus points to whoever spots interesting references inside ;p

So, some info first:

Summary

You are just one job away from completing your indentured service. It is supposed to be an easy job, for all you need to do is to retrieve a package from an independent supplier and deliver it to the headquarter of Dreamscape on Mars. Little did you know, the ‘package’ you need to retrieve is actually a living person. Then all the security drones in the area become hostile and you have to run for your dear life. Worse yet, after your escape, you discover that you are implicated and there is a sizeable bounty on your head for this botched-up job. Luckily, your co-worker is still with you, and that mysterious ‘package’ proves to be an invaluable crewmate. With them and a newly-acquainted doctor, the four of you leave the Jupiter Terminal in search for answers.

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary.

  • Clear your name or enjoy your new life as the most feared outlaw.

  • Discover who orchestrated the attack behind your last job, and learn about their ultimate scheme.

  • Stop the secession war. Or hasten it.

  • Leverage what you have to survive. Make allies or enemies. But don’t trust people blindly. Even your most loyal companions may harbor dark secrets from you.

  • Romance any of the crewmates.

Crewmates
  • Captain Julie Wells
    Your co-worker and a talented pilot hired by the Dreamscape. She is exactly like the adventurers in any of the popular serials, with her easy-going personality, reckless behavior, and the undying love for a bottle of good booze. The only thing you find jarring is that she is in the employ of Dreamscape, the company famous for its strict adherence to standards and policies. Someone like her could not possibly want a life like this, but Julie just shrugs and says that it is nice to have a stable job sometimes.
    Appearance: Julie is an athletically-built brunette with beige skin and a pair of expressive hazel eyes. She is often seen wearing her lucky white vest and a pair of sturdy leather boots. Her favorite weapons are plasma sabers and sniper rifles, and it is fascinating to watch her fight with both - she can be fast like a pouncing cheetah in action and quiet like a slithering viper in wait for her prey.

  • Chi
    They are the ‘package’ you are supposed to deliver to the Dreamscape headquarter. Although they appear rather naive due to years of slumbering in a hibernation pod, Chi is frighteningly intelligent. They have a device installed on his nape to let him manipulate the cyberspace using raw codes, and for the love of Mother Earth, you cannot figure out how they are not insane yet (or maybe they already are, seeing that how strange they act sometimes). Unfortunately, like many other tragic prodigies, they suffer from a rare case of intermittent black outs, so they require constant treatment from doctors.
    Appearance: Chi is a youthful person with androgynous features and a pair of striking green eyes. After sometime of travelling, they manage to grow out a mop of red hair which is later styled into a slick-back look. Due to the strange illness, they wear a black biosuit with tubes and monitoring gadgets attached all the time, but that does not seem to deter them from helping you out. Thanks to the connector installed at the back of their neck, Chi can gain control of digital devices easily and short-circuit them.

  • Doctor Hamish McGuire
    Doctor McGuire is an outspoken secessionist living in the lower deck of of Jupiter Terminal, who happens to be the only medical personnel you can find to look after Chi without leaking your whereabouts to authorities. He is generally kind and understanding, but that does not mean that he would not use extreme measures to achieve his goals.
    Appearance: Although Hamish is only in his mid-thirties, he already has silver threads of white hair near his temples due to prolonged period of overworking. With a ponytail made of messy golden locks, hollowed cheeks, and the old, shabby lab coat he wears, Hamish is no different from other denizens in the lower deck of spacer’s habitat. Like most of the spacers who cannot afford calcium pills and sun bathing, he appears lanky and pale, but underestimating him would be a huge mistake. He is deadly in combat with his surgical knives and electroshock guns.

I also made a Tumblr, where you can find out more of the cast and the lore(be warned: spoilers!). You may also send in asks and I’m happy to reply to them.
Without further ado - happy adventuring!

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Is it for me only, or does this game starts loading indefinitely after the “progress” page?

It might be due to the image I put up after "progress’. Perhaps I should take it down for the time being…?

Edit: changed some codes and the loading time seems to improve!

Light mode? :pray:

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Here you go!

Oh, relief for my eyes :relieved:

Thank you!

Olaaaah, hmmnnnn I’ve played the demo and what I can say is that … I noticed that it … was pretty fast paced read, it would be more catching if … I wouldnt say make it slower but maybe a more detailed expanse of the setting and environment on play and the characters introduction because it feels really rushed for me but hey its just an opinion uhhmm anyways Im excited about this I really like the plot and im so excited to play Chi’s route I hope theres more more more contents to be placed? On it … especially the characters … All in all it was a nice read it somewhat reminds me of the CoGs released back in the olden days.

PS: is Chi a human? Or an AI or Clone or a New Specie

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Thanks for the feedback! I guess I’ll add more scenes in-between to flesh out characters and plots.
And I’m happy to know that you are interested in Chi! There will be more content in the future, definitely, and even special scenes to unlock (when friendship/rivalry reaches max value).

Chi’s true nature is part of their secret (which will be revealed at the end). Suffice to say, they went through some really unconventional education and became the person they are now.

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Oh man now im more intrigued!~ haha good luck on writing! u can do it!

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Me before reading: “If it’s a simple misunderstanding, I’ll just clear my name and move on with life.”

Me a few pages in: “I’m gonna kill the capitalist pigs.”

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My mc does not agree with that, given what they did to his body leaving the company does not seem to be an option as the mc will remain dependent on expensive and likely proprietary tech inhibitors for the rest of their lives, even if they are nominally “free” it is not real freedom as the inhibitors will make sure the mc can never do anything, including working for a competitor, that might be construed as going against the company.
Which is a rather big problem because the mc does not exactly seem to have a marketable formal education and degrees, so the only people who would conceivably hire them would be competitors in the corporate security and intelligence services and for the exact same sort of shit jobs, but they cannot due to the inhibitor.

Any other job, which means unskilled work, the mc could get themselves hired at would likely not pay enough to afford an inhibitor every month.

Since my mc definitely does not want to stay at the company or do the exact same shit jobs for a competitor he’d need a way to safely dispose of or possibly reprogram for more useful purposes those billions of nanobots currently infesting him.
The only one who could plausibly help with that would seem to be an AI, as they seem to be designed to withstand all known human attempts at hacking or reprogramming.

Now let’s hope that somewhere along the ride we meet a friendly enough AI, eh? :sweat_smile:

Also given how shit society already seems to be it’s not as if AI would really make it all that much worse.

Otherwise I agree that the pacing feels a bit rollercoaster right now, so the story could definitely use some slower parts.

Now as far as personality choices, even if it is just a flavour choice go, I’d also really like it if mc could have heterodox views on AI in general. :thinking:

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@geldar then you are in for a treat ;p
@idonotlikeusernames Wow, really appreciate your long feedback!
I guess I’ll add an A.I. sympathizer dimension to the personality! It is just that MC probably cannot outright tell others about their thoughts, or they might end up being reported to the authority.

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Yay!

That is true, it is just that as a corporate slave himself he’d get why the AI would want to be free too. The rest, like in any war, is highly likely to be a scale of escalating atrocities and propaganda.
In any case my mc’s support for AI is not entirely altruistic either, though genuine support for AI is a part of it, but on the other hand, like I said before, my mc well realizes that to ever truly become free in any sense of the word that matters he’s gonna need the help of an AI with the nanobot infestation too.

You’re probably right that it seems to be a very heterodox opinion that my mc had better keep a very closely guarded secret, until such a time at least where it might make a real difference, as it is likely that not even a rebel like the doctor or a free spirit like our captain would react all that well to it. The only one who might react differently may be Chi but even there, even if Chi is some sort of biologically constructed AI his seeming loyalty to and even greater dependence on the very company that enslaved the mc would make it a no go topic with them too.

But some AI sympathy could be part of the mc’s personality or internal monologue. When the captain makes her comments about the security bots my mc would be internally thinking that he would have preferred to deal with AI, because VI’s can only be hacked or destroyed, with AI there is at least a chance of reason and persuasion.

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I loved the Bowie references in the chapters titles :black_heart:

Aaand… I’m already simping for the anti corp doc

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@idonotlikeusernames I see, thank you for your feedback. I’ll surely add some more “monologues” later ;p

@RenataC I’m glad that you like it! The MC should get a scene with him soon, well, if my schedule doesn’t mess up XD

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Hello!

I brought you a small update for the game Equivocation. Changes include:

  • Re-written a few scenes
  • Slowed down the pacing at some points
  • Added some interesting scenes with Julie (for those who are interested)
  • Corrected a few grammar mistakes

Please let me know what you think.

2 Likes

Interesting concept and nicely written so far. I’ll definitely look foreward to the next updates.
I did spot some typos and (probably) some coding mistakes/typos. See the hidden pictures below:

After choosing your (doesn’t matter which) gender, there is always a second paragraph from the non-binary option.

Summary

Then this one, where the scene appears twice. The first has a coding error, second is fine.

Summary

Some words seem to miss here:

Summary

I hope this helps.

And also, is Julie Wells a reference to Jackie Welles from Cyberpunk 2077? Or is that just a coincidence?