The Quest of the Daisy Flower
by <a href="http://galart57.blogspot.com/">Galina Sarapina</a> & <a href="https://chrisjangames.wordpress.com/">Christiaan Janssen</a>
Like all interesting stories, this one starts with a revolution.
A small, but important revolution.
The officials of the battleship //Daisy flower// called it a mutiny, but let's not get lost in the details. The sailors took control of the matters, and the officials found themselves floating adrift on a lifeboat.
They had been sailing across the Pacific ocean, with ever dwindling provisions. Fights had become more frequent. Everyone was tired. Some men were starting to get sick.
A rumor had started. The rumor became doubt, and the doubt became mistrust. "Command does not know where we are going, or what we are doing. We should take over. We should be the ones giving the orders."
And thus, the [[the revolution had started|first night]].<img src="1_Ship.jpg">
With the officials gone, the sailormen were now in control. First things first, they had to decide what to do. Where to go.
And so, they started to debate, and argue, and talk, and talk even more, and after several hours of discussion, nothing was decided. It was late. Everyone was tired.
Some of the sailormen went to sleep, while others stayed awake arguing about who should be allowed to go to sleep first. The turns! They are important!
The next morning, [[Vasily wakes up|waking up]].<img src="2_Sleep.jpg">
The next morning, Vasily wakes up.
Hanging in his hammock, he hears no noise. Complete silence. He looks around, the other hammocks are empty. There is no one else in his cabin. This is strange, he could swear the night before the sailors were fighting because there was not enough space to fit all of them.
Maybe they are outside.
- [[Leave the cabin]]
- Take advantage of the situation and [[search for something to steal from the empty hammocks]]<img src="Desert_.jpg" />
The moment Vasily steps outside, he can't believe his own eyes.
The //Daisy flower// is stuck on sand. In the middle of a great extension of sand. Like a desert. The sun shines bright. It's hot. And there is only sand, in all directions.
"How on earth...?"
Where is the sea gone? How did we get here?
- [[Find other sailormen and ask them questions]]
- [[Climb out of the ship to check if the sand is real]]
- [[Try to wake up, for this is surely a dream]]<img src="2_Sleep.jpg" />
The revolt happened because the sailors didn't have anything!
Obviously, the hammocks are empty. You find nothing.
''You lose 1 honesty point(s).''
[[Leave the cabin]] <img src="Desert_.jpg" />
Vasily runs up and down around the ship. Looks inside other cabins. But there is no one! The ship is empty.
Where are the other sailors gone? What happened?
- [[go back to bed]]
- [[explore the desert|Climb out of the ship to check if the sand is real]]<img src="Go.jpg" />
Vasily descends through the ladder. Temptatively, puts a foot in the ground. The sand is real.
A first step. Then a second. Vasily is walking on the sand. This is incredible!
Vasily hears a distant sound, brought by the wind. It's music! A haunting violin, playing what sounds like a nursery rhyme in the distance. Out of nowhere in the desert.
It's time to investigate. Vasily decides to leave the boat and find the source of the strange violin music.
[[Into the desert]]
Vasily pinches himself in the arm. It hurts a bit, and it feels real. This is not a dream. As incredible as it is, the ship is stranded in the middle of a desert.
- [[refuse to believe your own eyes and go back to sleep|go back to bed]]
- [[Try to find someone else for help|Find other sailormen and ask them questions]]<img src="Prison.jpg" />
Vasily returns to his empty cabin, and climbs up the hammock.
He's sure it was all a hallucination. Closes his eyes, and slowly descends into a slumber again.
A few hours later, he is awoken. Soldiers! Pointing at him with their rifles. His fellow sailors are standing against the wall, hands up, detained by the soldiers.
Vasily knows what is going to happen. They are going to be brought in front of a court. They are going to be judged. And the sentence for mutiny is going to be... capital punishment.
<img src="Go.jpg" />
The sun is high. The air is dry.
The mysterious song of the violin is always distant. The sight of the battleship disappears in the horizon, as Vasily chases the music.
[[Maybe it's time to go back to the ship, where it's safe.]]
But, like a spell, the violin calls Vasily with its haunting melody.
He's a brave man, and he needs to [[find the source of the music]].<img src="go2.jpg" />
Going so far into the desert is not a good idea after all. He will need water at some point. Vasily turns around. He prefers to go back to the ship.
But where is the ship? He's walked so far away already, that he can't see it. Is he lost already?
The violin keeps playing its music.
But then, Vasily has an idea! To find the way back, he only needs to follow his own footsteps in the sand.
- [[walk back to the ship]]
- [[follow the violin|find the source of the music]]<img src="Night.jpg" />
Vasily walks and walks. The never stopping music always ahead of him. Hours, or maybe only minutes, go by. Vasily has lost the sense of time.
The sun goes down. And with it, the warmth. It's getting cold.
Strangely, Vasily does not feel hungry, or thirsty, or tired. He needs to find the violin. He needs to know.
The moon is visible in the sky, illuminating the path ahead. It starts to feel like the music is getting closer. It sounds louder, and more clear.
Vasily sees a light in the distance. A shine, rather than a light. With a blueish hue. The violin comes from there.
[[He is getting close]]
<img src="go2.jpg" />
All of a sudden, a strong wind starts blowing. Vasily is surrounded by a cloud of sand. He can't see.
The wind only lasts for a couple of minutes, then calms down, and the sky clears again.
The footsteps have been erased.
There is only one option left.
- [[go ahead|find the source of the music]]<img src="Night.jpg" />
Vasily begins to remember his childhood in Sevastopol. Running around in the streets, playing with the other children. [[Watching the ships arrive to the port]]. Dreaming of becoming a sailor one day.
Vasily misses the sea.
He doesn't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.
Then he comes back to his senses. He is walking in the middle of a desert at night. It's cold. And he is chasing the haunting music of a [[distant violin]].
The shining in the horizon is near.<img src="sea.jpg" />
Little Vasily was a happy child.
He liked to run around, exploring the streets, making new discoveries every day. And he was fascinated by the ships. Specially, the big ones. He loved to spend hours in the port, watching the arrivals. Contemplating the busy work of the sailors, charging and discharging all the packets. Goods that would travel across the seas and get bought, and sold, abroad.
Vasily the child enjoyed the smell of fresh fish in the market. Often the fish in the market was not so fresh. He did not mind.
He was a child of the sea. One day, he would become a man of the sea.
[[Vasily comes back to his senses]].<img src="City.jpg" />
In the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night, Vasily finds a city.
It is a strange city. The buildings are made of large cyclopean stones, each one of them weighting several tons. The facades are decorated with bizarre hieroglyphs depicting an abominable race of creatures half man, half animal. Some of the buildings are topped with impossible domes, each one more absurd than the last.
The whole place has a strange, blueish glow. And is bathed by this mysterious violin music. There is, however, no living being on sight. It is empty of people. And yet, the music continues.
[[Find the violin]]<img src="Inside.jpg" />
The haunted music becomes more intense, as Vasily walks through the equally haunted streets of this mysterious city in the middle of the desert.
He passes under a broken arch. At his right, there is a [[little house with a wooden door]]. There is a yellow light coming from within. Maybe there is a fireplace inside. Maybe there is someone.
In front of him, at the end of the street, there is a large tower. It looks as if it was built from a single piece of marble. There is a [[big staircase]] leading inside. That is where the enchanted music is coming from.
To the left, a big open space. Like a public square, or a forum. It is surrounded by columns, marked with [[blasphemous hieroglyphs]] that cannot have been produced by human hand.
Decisions are always hard. Which one of the three places should Vasily investigate first?<img src="pot.jpg" />
Inside the little hut there is a fireplace. It functions as a stove. There is a pot with boiling water. Someone is cooking here. Vasily can smell the stew, and it smells delicious.
There is, however, no one.
Vasily walks in, and sits by the fire, and ponders wether it's a good idea to [[try some of the food]]. He has not eaten anything in the whole day, after all.
But maybe that would not be a good idea. What if the stew is poisonous? He has been walking for hours, maybe he should just [[sit for a while and rest a bit]].
Or maybe he should go back outside and [[continue his quest]].<img src="violin.jpg" />
The music of the violin changes. It becomes less haunting and more intense. There is now a warmth to it. The violin is welcoming him.
Vasily climbs the stairs. He trespasses the threshold of the tall building.
Inside, a marble hall. The walls are covered in marble. The floor is marble. Two rows of columns on the sides. Marble columns.
The music feels so close now. It reverberates across the hall, filling the space. It becomes even more energetic. Frenzy.
[[Vasily walks in.]]
The journey is about to reach its end.
<img src="bugs.jpg" />
The moment Vasily steps into the big square, the music stops. The blue glow of the buildings around him intensifies. He might have made a mistake.
He starts to feel that he is being watched. Millions of tiny eyes behind his back. And yet, when he turns around, nothing. Not a soul.
He decides to go ahead and walk into the square.
He notices a shadow behind the columns. Then, another. Two big shapes walk into his view. They are two giant, horryfing cockroaches. Two more appear, and then three more. They are getting numerous.
Vasily is standing in the middle of the square and getting surrounded by these bugs. They are everywhere. And yet, he feels calm.
"Welcome back home", they sizzle.
Vasily ''accepts the bugs''.
They get closer to him. He looks tiny around them.
Vasily ''embraces the bugs''. In his heart, he is now one of them.
"You have been away for so long", sizzle the bugs again.
He ''loves the bugs''.
THE END<img src="pot.jpg" />
Vasily is sitting on the floor, inside a hut. A little house. There is a fireplace, functioning as a stove. There is a pot with something boiling inside. A delicious smelling stew. There is no one else around.
Vasily has no idea where he is, or how did he get here. This is starting to become a pattern. He feels hungry. He wonders if he should [[try the food|try some of the food]]. Is it safe?
Or should he try to [[walk ouside and figure out where he is|continue his quest]]?<img src="pot.jpg" />
Vasily finds a wooden spoon. He grabs it and tastes a slurp of stew from the pot. It is delicious! A very delicate mixture of flavours. He feels invigorated. He serves himself a few spoonfuls more, until he is satiated. This was truly a meal of kings. He now has [[the energy to finally find the mysterious violin|continue his quest]].<img src="pot.jpg" />
Vasily suddenly feels very tired. His eyes are closing. He tries to fight back. But the fatigue is winning.
He meditates about his adventures of today. The mutiny. The desert. The violin music. The glowing city in the middle of the night. And now, the little hut with the boiling pot.
So many mysteries, one after another, with no explanation. What is the meaning of all this?
- [[Vasily falls asleep.|waking up]]
- [[Vasily fights his tiredness and walks outside|continue his quest]]<img src="Inside.jpg" />
Outside of the hut with the wooden door, the alien landscape welcomes him. The city, glowing blue in the middle of the night, is a collection of windowless buildings made of cyclopean stone, decorated with bizarre imaginery depicting strange creatures, half man, half beast.
In front of him, the path ahead offers two options.
To his left there is an open space, a [[public square|blasphemous hieroglyphs]] surrounded by columns marked with strange hieroglyphs.
In the other direction, a [[tall building|big staircase]] with a big staircaise. This is where the violin music is coming from.
<img src="violin.jpg" />
The moment Vasily steps into the marble hall, the music stops. The sudden silence is deafening. Everything is bathed in blue.
In the center of the marble hall there is a throne. The throne is made of marble, like the rest of the room. Laying on the throne, there is a violin. Just laying there. No one is playing it.
Vasily's steps echo through the chamber as he approaches the throne.
[[He takes the violin.]] He holds it in his hands.<img src="hand.jpg" />
Was the violin playing itself? What kind of magic is it? What kind of strange place is this?
As he picks the violin Vasily notices a piece of paper on the throne. It was laying under the violin.
Vasily picks the piece of paper. There is an inscription.
[[Vasily reads it]].<img src="HBS.jpg" />
''Happy birthday, Saskia''