The headaches were getting worse over the last few days. They defied any attempts I made to subdue them with painkillers. I considered going to the hospital, but I was afraid. I was ashamed to admit it to myself, but quite simply I was terrified of this place. The weirdness was tolerable before, but with the headaches and Deryl's strange behavior I was finding it harder and harder to deal with.
I would have thought all this pain and stress would be keeping me awake at night, but the opposite was true. I would fall into a deep, dreamless slumber every night, no matter how bad the headaches got. This, unfortunately, caused me to worry even more. It was difficult to describe, but each morning it seemed to be a little bit more of a struggle to wake up. It felt like I was...slipping away. I could think of no other way to describe it. And it is what terrified me the most.
I was sitting in my office. It was early evening on whatever day it was. I had lost all track of dates and time. Part of me laughed at the fact that I was supposed to be running a city but I never seemed to know what day it was. Usually about this time I would be in a council meeting, but I had opted out tonight. The excuse I used was the best kind of excuse...the truth. With the demolition derby going on inside my head right now I just didn't feel up to a meeting.
Unfortunately, fate had other things in mind for me that night. For better or for worse. I had started to drift off to sleep when Deryl burst through the door.
: Hey, sorry to bother you when I know you aren't feeling very well, but we really need you in the council chambers. We need a decision. From you.
: Do you really need me? I was serious when I told you I wasn't feeling very good.
: This is pretty important. I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist.
: Oh, well, if you insist. Wouldn't want to incur the wrath of...you know what? Never mind. I'm coming.
We made our way down to the council chambers. They were all there, as usual. Come to think of it, I had never seen any of them outside City Hall. Sure, Deryl had been spending time working with them around the city, but I couldn't really trust him anymore, now could I?
: Your Honor, I'm glad you could join us. This is a critical decision that only you can make.
: Yeah, great. Ok, what is it?
: Well, as you know, we are have reached a critical time in City Name. We need to expand in certain areas, and we need to expand sooner rather than later.
: It's very important that we do so.
: That wasn't what I asked.
: There are two ways that we can do this. Jim?
: WE DESPERATELY NEED MASS TRANSIT!!! WE'RE DYING HERE!!!
: Yes, thank you Jim. That's one way we can proceed.
: The other way is by expanding our ports. We build an airport and a seaport on the river. This will greatly stimulate commercial activity. I feel that this is the best way to proceed.
: We won't last that long! This...traffic is too serious and needs to be relieved immediately!
: There won't be anything to relieve if we don't get commercial activity up.
: Hey! Whoa, whoa, whoa!! What do you need me for?
: You are the only one who can make this decision.
: But that doesn't make any sense!
: We need your decision, Your Honor.
And then I started to laugh. This was all so ridiculous. Even I knew that cities weren't run like this. The illusion seemed to be breaking down. Well fine, they wanted a decision, I'd give them a decision.
: Fine, let's put in some ports. I'm sure AHHH!
My head felt like it was splitting open. My vision blurred and it was all I could do to not throw up. I heard voices around me, but they sounded like they were coming from a great distance. And then they faded. I looked up from where I had fallen to the floor. The room was empty. The council, Deryl, they were all gone. Everything seemed...blurred. Foggy. And then there was someone there.
Jim was standing in front of me. I looked up at him as he bent down and looked me in the eyes. He looked solemn, almost compassionate, and then he spoke.
: I've got good news. That gum you like is going to come back in style.
And then I passed out.
So usually I include what we did into the story, but this time it didn't really work out that way. I hope nobody minds. So, we put in ports. Here's how they turned out.
Small for now, but they will grow. Here's some relatively useless information.
And here's something we need to look into:
Crime is getting fairly high. So! I know I said that we would immediately do mass transit, but since this has come up I think I'll put it to another vote. And I'll include the choices from the last update that got zero votes.
So, here are our choices.
#1: Mass Transit! Making another run for the top after a narrow defeat last time, can it finally go all the way?
#2: Deal with crime! Crime is spiking and quite frankly this is worrying. Property values will plummet and people will start leaving.
#3: More stadiums! Screw all this practical stuff. We need more places to go and watch guys run around on a field.
#4: More zones! Zones for the zone god. Expansion at all costs.
So there we go. Special bonus points for the first person to point out the TV reference in tonight's update. Not that it should be all that difficult.
Special bonus points have no value whatsoever