The way he says the word "huge" sort of worries you. It makes you think about visiting that old sanitarium last summer, and it makes you think about the broken arm that you left with.\n\nYou assure youself that this will be different, though. You'll be careful. There won't be a frightened homeless man in an [[old, abandoned fort.|Where]]
END OF PART ONE\n\n- Thanks for playing through this little story of mine. I'll finish it up and upload the rest for everyone to play through soon.\n\n- Zack Harding
It looks older than the rest of [[the fort|The Fort]]. Older than the stone wall, and definitely older than the outbuilding. You're not sure, but you'd bet it predates the Civil War by a fair few years.
"Not long," he says, but it sounds like he's trying to convince himself as much as he is you.\n\n"We'll be back before it's dark right?"\n\nDylan slows down to roll his eyes at you. "Just come on," he says.\n\n[[Chase after Dylan.|Chase]]
<<set $have_cell = "yes">>\nYou grab your cell phone before heading back to your car. It's fully charged. It's a nice assurance to have when you're heading out on an excusion with Dylan.\n\n[[Back in the forrest|Remember]]
<<silently>>\n<<Set $have_cell = "no">>\n<<set $have_wallet = "no">>\n<<endsilently>>\n[[Start|Intro]]
Dylan almost always worries you with everything he does, but he also always seems to pull through whatever challenges arise. The truth is that you trust him. He's a good guy to have around.\n\n[[Back to the fort|The Fort]]
Your stomach turns as Dylan makes his way toward the fort. You really, really don't want to go anywhere underground, but it looks like that is [[exactly where you are going.|End]]\n\n
You and Dylan pass around a bend in the trail and reach the edge of the forrest. You both slow into a walk, gazing ahead. The edge of the forrest gives way to a [[wide bluff]] of heat-scorched grass and a then a shoreline of rocky beach. A slight mist is being tossed up by the ocean waves, giving everything a soft, blurry look, almost like an out-of-focus photograph.\n\nThe "fort" is located on the edge of the shorline, and it appears to be nothing more than a crumbling stone wall, a small [[lookout tower]] and an outbuilding no bigger than large-sized bathroom. There wasn't much to it.\n\nYou laugh to yourself and feel the [[worry]] that had been gnawing at you leave. There wasn't a chance to get into very much trouble here. You could be back home well before dark, and well before your parents get home. Without a broken arm or anything.\n\n[["You brought me all the way out here to see an old, broken rock wall?".|Response Fort 1]]\n[["I thought you said this place was supposed to be <em>'HUGE.'"</em>|Response Fort 2]]
You hang up, excited. Of course you want to go out into the woods. Your last year of high school starts in two days. You want to have one more big dose of fun before school starts back. You rush out of your bedroom and downstairs. Your parents won't be home until 9:00 tonight, and you plan on being back by then. They don't really like Dylan, and you understand why. It's good that they're not around to ask where you are going, and who with.\n\nYou get to your car before realizing that you've forgotten something.\n\n[[Go back and grab you cell phone, which is still plugged into the charger.|Cell]]\n\n[[Go back and grab your wallet. You don't want to get caught without your driver's license.|Wallet]]
A forrested path winds out of sight behind you. You've walked several miles along an old turn-of-the-century logging road. It's been federal property for decades now. Weeds choke the edges of the road, and deadfalls block any vehicle traffic.\n\nIt's been a long, hot summer, and you've been bored to death. Next summer you'll be leaving for college, and Dylan will probably be stuck in this old town forever. He's always been too busy causing havoc to worry about school, and his mom doesnt care what he does. She never has. Sometimes you feel sorry for him, and sometimes you envy him. He's...alive. Living his life like noone else you know.\n\n[[You're not going to turn back.|Intro]]
The forest whips past you. It's not a blur like when you're in a car, more like an old movie reel. A hurky-jerky film strip of gnarled old trees, thorny bushes and shadows that keep stretching farther and farther out.\n\n[[You think back to two hours ago when Dylan called you.|The Call]]
The Descent
You snuck into that old sanitarium outside of town together last year. It was late at night and cold. There weren't any ghosts or monsters, just one old homeless man sleeping on the third floor that scared the the shit out of both of you. You fell down a set of steps and broke your arm in three places. Dylan helped you out of the old building, but not before throwing a busted bit of brick at the old man. You're pretty sure it didn't hit him.\n\nYour arm hurt like hell, and there was some explaining to be done, but it ended up well enough. [[Dylan|Dylan]] still laughs about it. So do you, except on a chilly night when the arm aches.
He's been your best friend since you met each other playing baseball when you were seven years old. That was ten years ago. He's always been a bit reckless, inclined to pull dangerous stunts. Sometimes this has resulted in [[trouble for the both of you|Trouble]]; more often than not, it's why you've always found him so facinating as a friend. When he's got a certain look in his eye, you know that [[there's some fun to be had.|Intro]]
You stop in the middle of the trail suddenly. Dylan stops as well. "Uh oh," you say.\n\n"What's wrong," asks Dylan.\n<<if $have_cell eq "yes">>\n"I forgot my wallet," you say. Dylan shrugs. You know that this isn't such a big deal, you just hope the two of you don't get pulled over on the way home.\n\n[[You both start running again.|The Fort]]\n\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if $have_wallet eq "yes">>\n"I forgot my cell phone," you say.\n\n"Well, shit," says Dylan. "I guess you won't be able to post any pictures of the Fort on Facebook, then huh?."\n\n[[You scowl at Dylan, then you both start running again.|The Fort]]\n\n<<endif>>
<<set $have_wallet = "yes">>\nYou grab your wallet, which contains your driver's license, some money, and a few odds and ends. You stop at a store on the way to Dylan's house and grab a couple of bottled waters and a pack of beef jerky. You stuff all of this into your school bag.\n\n[[Back in the forrest.|Remember]]
"It's an old ruin," Dylan says as the two of you run along the old dirt road. "A fort. From the Civil War, I think. It's supposed to be <em>[[HUGE|Huge]]</em>, and nobody ever goes out there anymore."\n\n"How did you find out about it?"\n\n"I met this old woman last weekend. Real old. I was cutting her grass, and when I took a break she started telling me all these wild old stories. She knows things about Taylor county that you woundn't believe."\n\n"Oh yeah?"\n\n"Yeah," Dylan says and then starts laughing. "And she said I shouldn't go there."\n\n"Why?"\n\n"It's supposed to be falling apart, overgrown, full of snakes and spiders and stuff. You know. Sounds fun, though, right?"\n\n"Yeah," you say.\n\n[[Keep running|Chase]]
Despite the beauty of the amber sunlight, and the calm of the waves rolling against the rocky shore, you can't help but feel uneasy as you look at the scene. Taylor County has famously eerie beaches, and anyone who has ever visited them knows why. The mist being tossed up by the waves is practically a thin fog, and it's known to get heavier quickly as the day cools to night. [[The fort,|The Fort]] and especially the [[lookout tower]] take on a strange look in the salty mist.
"It <em>is</em> huge," Dylan says.\n\n"Doesn't look like it."\n \n"That's 'cause you're not looking <em>down</em>. It's all underground. The old woman told me that there are rooms and rooms and rooms underneath that old tower."\n\n"But..."\n\n"Come on, buddy" Dylan says, [["let's go."|My Stomach]]
"Yes, I did."\n\n"What?"\n\n"Nah, just kidding." Dylan laughs and slaps you on the back. "That old rock wall is just the beginning."\n\n"What do you mean?"\n\n"You know how an iceberg is bigger underneath than on top?"\n\n"Yeah..."\n\n"Well, that old woman told me that this thing goes <em>WAY</em> underground. Come on, [[let's go!"|My Stomach]]
"Come on," [[Dylan |Dylan]] says excitedly. "It's this way. Not Far." You look behind you for a moment, [[think about turning back|Turning Back]], and then [[chase after Dylan.|Chase]]
Zack Harding
You run after Dylan. It's about 6:00 p.m., and the late summer sky gives the old forest a golden hue. The sun will begin setting in a couple of hours.\n\n[[Ask Dylan about where he's taking you.|Where]]\n[[Ask Dylan how long this is going to take.|How Long]]\n[[Keep Running|Running]]