Tutorial: Introduction to the TSTT

 

>TSTT Staging Room, Mission Control, 2020 CE<

tstt001

 

Congratulations, recruit, on being selected for Operation LAPIS. As an integral part of this story, you will take on the role of two young Romans who are part of the Recentia family; Gaius Recentius Bellator and Recentia Octaviana. 

 

You find yourself standing in a vast room with almost-translucent purple lines criss-crossing in a grid pattern. Your eyes shift to three objects that are just beginning to materialize; an Italian olive tree (arbor), a Roman temple (templum), and the famous statue (statua) of Augustus from the Prima Porta. All three objects have a strange glow about them.

 

Suddenly Lusy the Owl flutters in and startles you. She lands on a branch of the olive tree and looks at you intently, as if trying to determine whether you are ready to begin Operation LAPIS. She seems friendly, but you know that it's very hard to tell with owls.

 

Finally, “This room,” Lūsūra inquit, “is the texto-spatio-temporal transmitter... well, the visualization of it, anyway. Mission Control (we usually call them 'MC') is able to create anything that is possible within the rules of the Texto-Spatio-Temporal Transmitter that the Demiurge designed for this operation. We call that the TSTT, and it's part of the Demiurge's policy that we in MC don't understand it completely, and that even he can't control it completely. Something about free will, you know. Anyway, that means that while certain magical things are possible, like rings that help you persuade people to do what you want, for the most part the TSTT is completely historically accurate, to the best of the Demiurge's knowledge. And he knows a lot.

 

"On the back end,” Lusy tells you, “there are all sorts of cogs and wheels and boilers. On the front end, all you'll see is the story... unless something goes wrong. Which it won't… nothing could possibly go wrong,” the owl hastens to assure you.

 

Lusy pauses to let you take in the world around you. “Getting used to moving around in the world that the TSTT imagines can be difficult at first. Before we move out of the staging area and into your cohort for the operation, we have to make sure that you can navigate your way through playing the story. For example, if I wanted to walk to the statue, I might select:

 

 

 

"Of course that's silly--why would I want to walk anywhere when I have these wonderful wings?" She extends them to show you; they are indeed a beautiful shade of green.

 

But," she continues, "if I wanted to fly to the temple, I would instead select:"

 

 

 

You now notice that there are two additional people beginning to materialize near you. These must be Gaius Recentius Bellator and Recentia Octaviana!

 

Lusy continues, “Ok, we’re going to do two things at this point. Mission Control: it’s time to activate the initiation protocols. The operatives are set to begin…. Ready in trēs…. duō….. unus… nunc!

 

A flash of light overwhelms your eyes for a moment and suddenly you realize you are no longer “in” in the room, but rather almost looking in from the outside. What a weird sensation!

 

And finally,” Lusy says, “necesse est tibi legere prīmam actiōnem!

 

Two buttons suddenly appear in the air in front of you, with the following text:

 


 quid Recentiī agunt?