The city of North Mural is one of several points of narrative significance within the story of Goodbye Strangers. Set at one possible end of the Primary era, its interlocking narratives represent a single vision of many.
In the wake of a catastrophic, but as-of-yet unexplored breakdown of his social network, the young man known as Default is urged by a group of not-quite-friends to attend that year's Yellow Road.✕
A thousand-car, five-night nonstop caravan across the wastelands and back again, the stage-barges pumping and the clubhouse truck-ships pouring out their melodies across the sands.
On the second night of the Yellow Road, Default meets the dissembler, Bracey Wray, and tries psycholy for the first time.
2025, 7/10 The Yellow Road reaches the end of its journal, and Default goes home to Bracey's apartment in North Mural. Kept dazed on a seemingly endless supply of psycholy and other drugs, Default stays here for the next seven months, save for half-infrequent trips out to local events in clubs and bars, and the occasional private party, where Bracey deals psycholy (among other narcotics) to the city's insular and aggressive scene of sensitives and other extremists.
Over this half-year, the relationship between the dissembler and proto-psychic spirals into one of mutual obsession and self-destruction, with Default losing himself in the mind-shattering highs, and Bracey fixating on the world of Blue Hell that the other man seems able to see with such kaleidoscopic clarity.
At a mutual acquaintence's birthday party, Bracey gets into a physical altercation with another guest, and is kicked out. The drug-addled Default is taken home by another party-goer, Adrian Zhan, who lets Default stay at his apartment under the alleged guise of helping Default recover from the long-overdue comedown. It takes little time for the two to become sexually involved, as Default loses himself in increasingly morbid fantasies and memories
2026, 1/17 Devastated in the wake of this involuntary breakup, Bracey vacates his apartment, and moves into an unoccupied bomb shelter deep underground. With his attentions now singularly focused on entering Blue Hell, and aided by the vast collection of notes left behind by Default, social contact ceases to the bare minimum needed to sell the psycholy that he now produces in industrial quantities in order to support the violent impulses and self-destructive intentions that grow more garish by the dose.
2026, 6/30 The return of Fifi Cherish ‐ or, "The Terrorista" – triggers painful memories for both Default and Adrian. After an aggressive encounter that shifts into a psychedelic fever dream, Adrian suffers a seizure and falls into a coma.
2026, 7/5 In the hospital, Default waits by the comatose Adrian's bedside, and is pulled into the dimension of the Fade. Within this place that straddles the border of the Nurenverse, he encounters the Goshawk, Feedback Messiah, and accompanies the sovereign beast on his journey that spans thousands of miles...
...but only a short lapse into sleep and back. Now in the hospital room once more, Adrian's eyes open, and he and Default give their silent goodbyes to one another.
Outside of the hospital room, Default receives a message on his phone – after many months of silent separation, he's received a message from Bracey. Default journeys into Bracey's home, where he is outfitted with the final prototype hypno-crown, and connected to the ganeshinorma-powered experimental hell field generator.
The device, if imperfect in its operation, places Default within Blue Hell for a span of fifty-three minutes. Upon awakening from such a state, Default is disoriented, but undoes his restraints, makes his way through the bomb shelter's twisted tangle, and incapacitates Bracey using the hypno-crown's magnetic charger.
In the city above, Fifi Cherish sets off a cataclysmic explosion, and through the cracks in the now-shattered sky, the static noise floods in.