[[Written for the Choosatron|http://choosatron.com/stories-to-play/]]
After a brief exchange your fingers wrap around a lukewarm glass. You sip, and relish the moment where your body sends a signal through your nervous system that it's time to relax.\n\n[[Continue|1B]]\n
Ah, The Chandos!\n[[Continue|5A]]\n
You press your Oyster code to the flat circle for a moment until the amber light goes green. Hmm, top or bottom?\n[[I like the better view.|1D]]\n[[Easier to disembark down here.|1E]]\n
You bristle off the chill still hanging on your bones and join the small group. Hmm. An American in black with what looks like a bomb. Rather, a bomb from a movie. He's explaining that this crude device is a story telling machine of some sort. "Would you like to give it a go?" he suddenly asks you.\n\n[[Oh, that'd be lovely.|2A]]\n[[I'd rather watch.|2B]]\n
You sit close to the exit doors to simplify the journey. You don't see as much down here, but the people watching is good. The bus stops near some government building, as evidenced by some armed individuals inside the front doors. Darkness. You blink your eyes open slowly, and it takes a minute to realize something has happened. Broken glass, blood, debris lay all around. The bus has tipped, and an elerly couple seem to have broken your fall, but at the expense of their lives. You mourn them for a moment before slowly standing up, briefly stopping to vomit from the shock.\n\n[[I'd better wait for help.|1F]]\n[[I need to just get out of here.|1G]]\n
I enjoy seeing more of the city. The bus rumbles along, lulling you as you watch the lights of the darkening city pass. The bus stops near some sort of government build which you just start to admire the architecture of, but are cut short when the second floor explodes outward, taking out the front of the building, and everyone sitting in the top of the bus from the shockwave and debris. You have died.
You step gingerly through the crinkling broken glass, and squishy body parts. Finally out of the bus, you look through the haze and smoke for the best path out. It's still chaos and authorities haven't locked down the scene so you manage to slip away. All you hear is ringing, though walking is getting easier. Stopping at a resturant, you clean up in the restroom and sit in a stall until the shock settles down. Then you hit the streets toward The Chandos since it's actually only a few minutes away at this point.\n[[Continue|5A]]\n
I could hurt myself if I try to leave. Maybe I already am hurt! You let yourself rest on the corpses of the old couple, and eventually emergency services fetches you. After spending a few days in the hopsital you find out that the children of the old couple you landed on are filing a lawsuit for laying on them when the doctor says you were capable of moving, and maybe they would have had a chance if you had.
Eddie holds out a small cupcake with a lonely candle sticking out of the pink frosting. He lights the candle and holds the small cake up in front of his face, the small flame casting an eerie glow. He says in a quiet, menacing voice, "No one remembered my birthday...". He lunges forward, shoving the cake into your face, a brief sting from the flame before sticky confection and gravel meeting the back of your school. He screams the sentence over and over, mashing it deeping into your gullet, until all goes black. You have died.
You move across from the old guy so you can peer at him curiously for his odd request. He takes your seat without another word. A few stops later he drops his cane and leans down to pick it up. Your eyes follow, and as he takes hold of the cane, he also grabs a small device that you never would have noticed if not for your inscrutable stare. It's a cellphone, but hardly the latest model. He holds onto it, pretending that nothing happened.\n\n[[Ask about the phone.|4A]]\n[[Ask about the cane.|4B]]\n
The old man looks furious for a moment, but then calms himself. "Fine" he says, sitting across from you. He stares unblinking, gripping the cane. You can't take it anymore and look away, though you still refuse to leave the seat. After you have sufficiently distracted yourself you see a flash of movement where the old man was. By the time you look back to him, he's standing above you, with the sword previously concealed in his cane using your chest and heart as it's new sheath. You have died.
You glance around briefly before opening the door and getting out of the chill. Heading up you spot your chums.\n[[I need a pint first|1A]]\n[[Better grab a seat.|1B]]\n
The text prints out of the machine like a receipt, displaying the following text, "It's cold in London. A thick crowd forms having just left a theatre, so you take an alleyway. At the end you are confronted by Eddie Izzard who was evidently performing tonight. 'Cake or Death!' he screams with a hint of drunkeness. Startled, you blubble...\n[[Buh, wuh, d-death??|5D]]\n[[Guh! Cake, I think!|5E]]\n
Checking your watch you realize it's about time to head to The Chandos for the meetup tonight. You're looking forward to a pint, and heard that some American is showing off a strange device called the 'Choosatron'.\n\n[[I'll hop on a bus.|1C]]\n[[Tube will be faster.|2C]]\n
Excellent choice sir! He pulls out a short dagger and thrusts it into you before you have time to react. After a few long moments with your eyes scrinched shut, you realize you aren't dead or even bleeding. Eddie pulls the dagger away, pushing it into his palm over and over, "The bloody theatrical dagger, silly me." He drops it, pulls a second dagger from the other side of his coat, and stabs you through the heart. You have died.
You take a seat, and the small red box is set before you, exposed wires, lights, and other components set in a seemingly haphazard manner. "Just hit the button, pick a story, and make your choices!" he explains. Elongated text reading Choosatron Deluxe Adventure Matrix v1.0 print, along with a selection of stories.\n[[The Chandos|5B]]\n[[Cake or Death|5C]]\n
"Who would like to play?" he immediately says. Another gentlemen steps up. You watch and he seems to have quite a bit of fun with it. A handful of others play after, including a few other patrons playfully asking if it's a bomb. By the time you just can't resist anymore, the batteries have died! You lost your chance.
You clamber down the steps into the tube and conveniently your train is waiting. Hoping on and taking a quick seat you relax a bit. After a couple stops an old man with a cane steps on and walks over to you. Despite the almost empty car he puts the end of the cane in your face, "I n-neeed to sit th-there!". You blink in bewilderment.\n\n[[There are open seats all around me!|3A]]\n[[Fine, whatever.|3B]]\n
"That cane...", you ask, "I've seen one like that before." You aren't lying either. You worked at a cane and umbrella shop with your grandfather when you were younger. That's a concealed sword! You smile to him, "It reminds me of my grandfathers. May I see it?" He hesitates, but then smiles warmly, handing it over to you. You immediately unsheath the weapon putting the point to his neck and snatching the phone. After a brief interrogation he tells all, and you manage to stop a terrorist bombing of a government building. You get to The Chandos before too late, and drink free all night!
"What bloody phone?!?". You get into an argument with the man about whether or not he is in fact holding a phone, until at one of the stops he holds it out, hits a few keys, then tosses it with perfect aim through the open train door into the gap that we are always told to dutifully mind. As the train starts to move, a distant you feel a rumble and then a distant boom. He ignores you for the rest of the ride, and you exit up to the street.\n[[Continue|5A]]\n
by Jerry Belich\n[[@choosatron|http://twitter.com/choosatron]]