Stoni reinstantiated back in Cube Farm 3, feeling like she'd finished an engrossing book, closed it, and looked up to the shocking revelation that her humdrum life yet persisted and surrounded her. This was a place where nothing truly interesting happened, nor anything truly dangerous. She was quite willing to take the dull with the safe, for as long as it lasted. She knew it wouldn't last.
For the first minute, she let herself relax and experience the lack of any urgency or pain signals. There were no unexpected sounds and no objects moving unbidden. There were only regular cubicles, with one ghostly figure sitting in each. Once the novelty of peace wore off, she turned to the ever present, ever changing stack of papers on her desk. As always, a post-mission questionaire awaited her answers. Before filling it with complaints, she turned to the rules section and looked for a section on voluntary early termination of missions.
Voluntary termination of a mission without a set goal are immediately counted as a single 0 star rated mission. If the hiring player provides a rating, the new rating will replace the 0 star rating. However, a count of voluntary mission terminations remains on the ghost's permanent record, for reference by prospective hirees and in promotion decisions. A high prevalence of voluntary mission terminations is grounds for termination of employment.
Good thing I avoided that. Dying to a relentless phantom killer shouldn't hurt my future employment prospects, and getting another zero star rating would have really hurt. Now, let's find out about that 'popping in and out of characters' nonsense. I really hope that's not normal.
Stoni would have groaned at what she read, if she could have. It was not an error for hirelings to switch directly to an available character within the same region. It was an expected phenomenon. She guessed it was uncommon outside data connection problems, but from her exerience with Granny V's family it seemed that some locations were prone to such issues.
Given how disorienting that was, I'm going to get sick of this fast. And there's nothing I can do to avoid it. Just another hazard of working here. Along with mud, robbers, figs, and invisible killers haunting me for rings. But at least the wine was alright. And that bath was lovely! Until it tried to freeze me.
She tried to shiver, but her insubstantial body was incapable of such functions.
Break time over. I need to get this report filled out before I'm flung into a new mess. Let's see... Make sure to mention how well I did at improvising a conversation between two people while rapidly switching... Complain about being abandoned in the cold because someone forgot to switch off the default free ghost... Hmm, I wonder how that got to be an option, since ghosts are a third party service. Let's see now... definitely mention how long I survived against an unseen attacker that could throw objects at me and entered a locked bathroom. And... Yeah, I think I'll leave off mentioning the purple rings. That's no one's business but Raphael's. He's in for a nasty surprise next time he logs in! All that wine, gone! I hope I don't meet him again. Or maybe I do. I'm curious what his deal with the robe and the rings is. And it's not like he'll have any idea who I am. He probably doesn't even know that his mother's character went back to his house! He's gonna be really confused about whose blood is all over his floor. Is there some way to identify blood in Renfros? If so, it'll be even more confusing!
Comforted by the knowedge that her life wasn't the only one in disarray from this game, Stoni finished filling out all the standard answers to the standard questions and filled in the checkbox labelled 'complete'. The report filed itself and Stoni was free to wait and wonder for a few more minutes.
A few of those report questions are actually worth thinking about further. What would I like to have done differently? Did I make any particularly stupid decisions? Going to Raphael's house was... definitely the right choice. It was either go to a potential place of safety, information, and experiences, or wander around in the dark and cold and hope something happened. But what about the cellar? Should I have stayed out? Well... I was in danger whether I went down or stayed up. Well, the character I was playing was in danger. I wasn't in any more danger whatever I did. So exploring somewhere new should always be the right choice. Unless there's some other reason not to do it. Which I don't think there was. Regardless, it turned out pretty well. Now the creepy invisible thing can never get at those eight rings. Unless Granny V logs in again, I suppose. Even if she's fine, I don't think she's likely to play again. Hmm, that's an interesting way of getting rid of items. It would be very hard to reproduce though. And I don't see any need to do that. But at this point, anything is worth remembering. I've forgotten so much that I refuse to let any memory go to waste.
Thus resolved, she passed the time until her next mission by considering her prior missions and looking for further useful lessons.