The city of North Mural plays particular significance in the story of Goodbye Strangers. Straddling the realities of both the Primary and V.H.Z. eras, its relative insularity sets it apart from the rest of the timeline.
If such public figures as Alex Muto and Jealous Fontaine are presented as both as characters within, and spectators of the events of the Primary, the cast of North Mural displays no such distinction. Though interacting with the website itself, the characters of this narrative do not act as audience to their own metatextual references.
A group of individuals from North Mural urge their friend, Default, to come along with them to that year's Yellow Road✕
, in the hopes of pulling him from a period of depression following an unspecified traumatic event.
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 third night of the Yellow Road, Default meets Bracey Wray, and tries psycholy for the first time.
The Yellow Road reaches the end of it's journal, and Default returns home to Bracey's apartment. 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.
2026, 1/05 It is at one such party that Bracey gets into a fight with another guest, and is kicked out, leaving Default alone. He's taken in by a passing acquaintance, Adrian Zhan, who lets Default stay at his place as he recovers from the long-overdue comedown. The two become romantically inclined, and continue to live together.
2026, 3/17 Bracey vacates his apartment and moves into an abandoned cluster-hall deep underground. Social contact ceases to the bare minimum needed to support his extravagant pastimes, with his psycholy-extraction devices becoming far more gruesome and complex.
2026, 9/13 After many months of separation, Default and Bracey reunite via online chat, and engage in a series of text conversations.
This leads Default to journey into Bracey's home, where he is taken captive, outfitted with one of many proto- hypno-crowns, and connected to Velvet Crush and its 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 dazed, but undoes his restraints, weaves his way through the rooms, and incapacitates Bracey using the hypno-crown's magnetic charger.
In the city above, the Terrorista detonates her bombs, and the now-shattered sky rains down its sparks. ⮒