The educational game, Orgone Trail, is released for the Amiga 700 home computer system.
The critically-acclaimed Sonic & Eggman is released for the Sega 64 Entertainment System.
Argona Cox, born Amanda Cox, grows up affluent but ignored in a wealthy suburb of North Mural. At age nineteen, she encounters her first stranger when she is awoken by a noise in the night, and walks in on a ganeshidroni snapping her father's neck. Following ▜▜▗▖▚▚▞▚▞, Argona inherits her father's stocks and home, and ▘▚▟▟ ▝▙▘▚▚▞▚▞▘▚▟▟
Prior to ▚▞▙▚▙▗ ▝▙▟▛▛▚, the blank, Adrian Zhan and the rest of his ▘▚▗▗▚▞ decide to get tattoos to commemorate their first ▘▚▗▗▚▞ ▚▞▘▚▘▚ ▝▙▚▚▗▗▚▟▜ ▟▟▟▖▖. The rest of his companions opt for matching designs on their shoulders, while Adrian requests that his ▟▟▟▖▖ marks be permanently inked beneath his eyes.
With the ▝▙▚▚▗▗▚▟▜ ▚▚▘▚▚▞▚▞ suspending its military operations in ▚▟▟ and the mission declared a success, Adrian moves to North Mural.
Argona purchases the East Shadebrook St. Industrial Park – later "Shamehood Park", as it comes to be known once it develops its status as a ▚▞▘▚ and ▚▞▙▚ venue for North Mural Wrestling, as well as sensitive meet-ups and events.
There, she begins to run her first experiments on strangers, focusing on their generation and parameters.
Virgo moves to North Mural, already an experienced shifter - or, a projector who uses their abilities to transport strangers. He establishes contact with the sensitive community, but keeps his personal life fiercely guarded.
In the hopes of keeping the North Mural safe from dangerous strangers, "Bliss City Rescue" is formed by Chuck Rockwell, Virgo, and a small group of other sensitives.
The latent sensitive, Bracey Wray, moves to North Mural to escape the dead-end desolation of his poverty-stricken hometown. He gets a job working the night shift at a gas station, ingratiates himself with the local club scene, and spends his free time tinkering with ▝▙▘▚▛▛▛▛▗▖▚▞ the electronics he uses to synthesize the ▚▞▘▚ drugs that he both partakes in and deals on the side.
While exploring an abandoned warehouse, Bracey has his first hands-on encounter with a vossdrome – this physical contact revealing his dissembler abilities. He uses the opportunity to partially dissect and experiment upon the stranger's doll-like body, designating it "mylover #1".
Shortly after, he joins the local sensitive community.
▚▞▚▚▙▗ ▚▞▘▚, now going by the name of Fifi Cherish, detonates her first experimental bomb from the top of Jaundice Press tower, the largest building in North Mural. The explosion – later known as the "dirty mother" incident – leaves the tower standing, but crumples the surrounding structures. The unidentified perpetrator is presumed dead amongst the hundreds of others whose bodies are never recovered, and ▚▟▗▗▚▞ ▚▟▟▚▚▚▚▗▖▟▟▜▞ civilian trust in the government declines after a botched attempt to explain the "bombing" as a hijacked ▙▗▘▚▗▗▚▚ ▝▝▚▞▚▞▗▗▚▚▚ of the national defense agency's perimeter "blink" protocols.
At the ▜▜▘▚▟▜▟▜▘▚▛▝ of the bomb's explosion, the outer dimension of the Fade draws nearer to the real world. The thoughtform of the ▙▘▚▟▜▟▜▘▚▛▝, FM, is cast from the Fade, and his thoughtform ▟▟▟▙▗ links with ▛▟▜▟▝▙▚ Adrian.
Fifi leaves North Mural and travels overseas, rarely stopping in one place for more than a few weeks. She experiments with red milk, administering it to both herself and others. She replaces her teeth with titanium implants, and gathers a vast digital collection of the documents and materials left behind by Shylo Jacobs and other early sensitives.
Bracey synthesizes his first batch of psycholy, a powerful hallucinogenic drug. Using his technical knowledge, he builds a ▟▜▟▞▚▞▗▖▟▟▜▞ ▜▞▚▞▚▞▗▗▚▚▚ which extracts, filters, and distills ▚▚▘▚▟▖▖▞ stranger by-products. The drug's popularity rises, as does that of Bracey, the only psycholy dealer in town.
▗▖▟▟▚▞▘▚ ▚▞▙▚, now going by the name "Default", moves in with one of his few remaining friends, Valeks Tomasi. Bringing his ▙▚▟▚▚▚▞▙, he plays and mods video games, browses obscure websites, and attempts (unsuccessfully) to establish himself as an experimental media artist, with his main impediment being his crippling social anxiety and self-doubt.
Default and Valeks buy tickets 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 meanders from club-truck to bar-ship - overwhelmed by the spectacle, but connecting to nothing. He takes a moment of respite in one of the smaller clubs and draws an abstract 'poem' on a graffiti-lovewall. Across the room, Bracey (who is there, as he puts it, to "make cash, get high, and hook up") scrawls his own asemic non-words. Their "handwriting" is nearly identical, though they each write with opposite hands. Each notices and is instantly drawn to the other, and they begin to converse, get to know each other, and flirt as they wander the festival together.
Later that night, Default returns to Bracey's cabin, where he tries psycholy for the first time. This causes his thoughtform to separate, and thus ▜▜▗▖▚▚▞▚▞ ▘▚▟▟ his psychic abilities.
The Yellow Road reaches the end of its journey, and Default goes home to Bracey's apartment in North Mural. He loses himself in the obsessive relationship and the chemical highs, and creates over a thousand crayon drawings within the first three weeks of his voluntarily captivity.
Default is introduced to the other sensitives of North Mural via Bracey.
Valeks, meanwhile, ▗▖▟▟▝▙▗▖▟▟▚▚▚▟▚▞▘▚▚▚
Unable to be taken seriously by the scientific community, Olivia turns to the underground ▘▘▟▟▘▚▛▝ internet to collect more data and meet other sensitives. She moves to North Mural, where she finds employment as a research scientist for ▟▚▞ ▟▜▚▟▞▚▞ pharmaceuticals. She continues to study strangers in her personal time in the hopes of creating a permanent hormone replacement – something she would have thought impossible before discovering the strangers.
Olivia begins to work with Argona, in need of her laminate abilities. Though their transactions begin cold and businesslike, a friendship gradually forms between the two.
Verity starts work on Zeroworld. The art and gameplay of this JRPG-style adventure pay tribute to the obscure Pokémon game franchise.
After seeing some of Default and Bracey's posts online, Verity decides to reach out and say hello. With their game, Zeroworld, in need of worldbuilding development, Verity invites the two to contibute writing – and so begins their friendship. The three share art, photos, story concepts, writing, and memes related to Zeroworld and Pokémon across the SSIM network, but otherwise, neither Verity nor the "psycholy boys" disclose further details of their lives. Verity's pro-strangers radicalism foments, but does not yet manifest in words. For now, they are content to have found both a creative partner, and who they see as kindred spirits.
In her short time in North Mural, Olivia makes contacts both in and outside of the sensitive community. She involves herself in several higher-level projects – such as her first job with Virgo. Together, they transfer and install a projected varidroli into the ventilation system of the private research facility partially operated by a non-sensitive contact, Milo Rahmani.
In retaliation for ▚▞▙▗▖▞ ▟▜▚▚▞▚▞▚▚▚ and ▟▟▚▟▚▞▙, Xoridromella hires Argona to kill Bracey.
After the initial surprise of the trap's failure and the revelation of the dissembler's abilities, Argona and Bracey discover a number of shared interests, and their friendship begins.
Default begins work on art and writing based around a world (and hypothetical game project) that he calls Matatown. The storyline tells an abstracted tale of society's degradation and collapse, – first into violent terror, and then, into a garish cartoon reality pulled apart by hyper-living cartoon beings.
Chuck discovers that Argona has been trapping and performing lethal experiments on sensitives. Though she does not face legal repercussions, she is labeled a murderer, and blacklisted from the community.
At a Bicycle Day 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 the psychic stay at his apartment under the alleged guise of helping him recover from the long-overdue comedown.
Devastated in the wake of this involuntary breakup, Bracey takes a near-fatal overdose of psycholy, and remains comatose for over 24 hours. Though alive, his perception remains permanently affected by the drug.
Bracey is banned from SSIM network.
Fifi uses this brief downtime in the SSIM network to access and pull a large chunk of data from the ▟▟▟▖▖ archives.
Default is left with no phone, access to his SSID, or other way to get in touch with Bracey – or anyone else. He continues to live with Adrian, and it takes little time for the two to become romantically involved.
Bracey vacates his apartment, and moves into the underground bomb shelter beneath Argona's compound, which he dubs "The Terrorzone". There, he begins working on the thirteen "hollow crowns", as he anticipates his return to Default, and sells chemicals to Olivia in ever-larger quantities.
His thoughtform adrift, Default loses himself in increasingly morbid fantasies and memories.
Olivia discovers Material D, the first substance which ▚▞▙▗▖▞ ▟▜▚▚▞▚▞▚▚▚ directly interacts with higher dimensions in a measurable, observable manner. Eager to find out more about its effect on humans, she covertly administers the drug to a number of coworkers, 'friends', associates, and random individuals that she encounters in her day-to-day life. Though each receives (roughly) the same dosage, results vary wildly. Her neighbor displays extreme vertigo, while her lab assistant exhibits only a mild hyperactivity.
The results are intriguing, but unsatisfying. Olivia uses her connections with Virgo to release a small amount of Material D into the water supply, in order to see if she can notice any interesting statistical trends.
To promote their new audio product, a two-story billboard is installed on the roof of the ▞▟▙▗ corporation's downtown store location. The high-tech advertisement uses a state-of-the-art zyanodisplay screen that responds to music selected by nearby individuals – at least, those who have purchased the portable device, as well as the auxiliary headphones.
The billboard displays a city in black silhouette against a gradient sky, the complex algorithms keeping time no matter how many people are listening. The images grow more active with a larger crowd, with much of the city's population under the influence of at least a small amount of Material D.
While asleep at Adrian's hospital bedside, Default enters the Fade.
▗▖ ▛▝▚▚▘▚▚▞▚ ▚▞▙▚▞▚ ▛▝▘▚▚▚▖▖▞ ▟▚▞ ▜▜▗▖▚▚▞▚▞ ▘▚▟▟ ▝▙▘▚▚▞▚▞▘▚▟▟ ▚▞▙▚▙▗ ▝▙▟▛▛▚ ▘▚▗▗▚▞ ▚▞▘▚▘▚ ▝▙▚▚▗▗▚▟▜ ▟▟▟▖▖ ▚▚▘▚▚▞▚▞▚▟▟ ▚▞▘▚ ▝▙▘▚▛▛▛▛▗▖▚▞ ▚▞▘▚ ▛▟▛▚▚▚ ▟▜▟▚▞▚▚▚ ▖▖▗▗▚ ▜▜▘▚▚▚ ▚▞▙▚ ▗▖▟▟▝▙▗▖▟▟▚▚▚▟▚▞▘▚▚▚ ▘▘▟▟▘▚▛▝ ▟▚▞ ▟▜▚▟▞▚▞ ▗▖ ▚▞▚▚▗▖▚▖▖ ▚▞▘▚ ▞▟▙▗ ▚▞▙▚ ▛▙▚▚▟▞▚▞ ▚▞▙▟▚▞ ▟▟▜▟▜ ▞▟▜▗▖▛ ▟▛▝▟▙▗ ▚▟▗▗▚▞ ▚▟▟▚▚▚▚▗▖▟▟▜▞ ▟▟▟▙▗ ▟▜▟▞▚▞▗▖▟▟▜▞ ▜▞▚▞▚▞▗▗▚▚▚ ▛▟▜▟▝▙▚ ▚▞▙▗▖▞ ▟▜▚▚▞▚▞▚▚▚ ▟▟▚▟▚▞▙ ▙▗▘▚▗▗▚▚ ▝▝▚▞▚▞▗▗▚▚▚ ▟▜▚▟▝▝▚ ▚▞▙▗▖▞ ▛▟▜▟▝▙▚ ▟▟▟▖▖ ▚▞▚▚▙▗ ▚▞▘▚ ▜▜▘▚▟▜▟▜▘▚▛▝ ▚▚▘▚▟▖▖▞ ▗▖▟▟▚▞▘▚ ▚▞▙▚ ▙▚▟▚▚▚▞▙ ▟▟▟▖▖ ▙▘▚▟▜▟▜▘▚▛▝
Default awakens from the Fade, and he and Adrian part ways.
Valeks tracks down Default via the ▛▙▚▚▟▞▚▞ ▚▞▙▟▚▞ oekaki board, and restores his access to the SSIM network.
Bracey and Default reconnect via SSIM, and Default travels to the bomb shelter. There, he is hooked into the thirteenth messianic crown. The ▗▖ ▛▝▚▚▘▚▚▞▚ device, if imperfect in its operation, places Default within Blue Hell for a span of fifty-three minutes – the first of many such trials to come.
Upon awakening, Default is disoriented, but ▚▞▙▚▞▚, making his way through the bomb shelter's twisted tangle to find Bracey half-asleep on a sofa. With the calliphanx in his hand, he contemplates his choices, and possible future paths.
▛▝▘▚▚▚▖▖▞, but - neither can go through with it.
The spell is broken, and the two begin to turn their focus outward, leaving behind Blue Hell.
▟▚▞, and Olivia releases a massive quantity of Material D into the municipal water supply.
And in the mountains above the city, Fifi looks down, as a holodrone flickers behind her. The stony ground has been cleared of trash, and the stranger's toes do not reach its surface. Fifi adjusts the machines and calibrates the final details, double-checking the safety measures for the third time, as a nearby camera points at the red strain. Her attention is pulled by the jangly bursts of her phone alert – Childhood Heroes, by Jethro Tull. There is no shake in her hands as she dismisses the alert. It's finally time, and she turns on the camera, palm of the other hand squeezed tight around the detonator. She takes a deep, calm breath, exhales, and presses down on detonator's button.
For a moment, the air is silent. The birds sing and the truck-drones rattles, and then, are silenced by the boom – like speakers blowing out, like the rush of an avalanche, a violent dampening. The explosion's glow drowns the city in hues of scarlet, rose, and tangerine, and Fifi looks up at the result of her handiwork.
The mushroom cloud spreads out high above the city – flat, holographic, and searing through the sky. With the camera recording, the words that Fifi had been looking for fade into view above the holodrone.