A Choose-Your-Own Adventure Through Time

Mackenzie Pham, Staff Writer

As you open your eyes, blinding white lights enter your pupils, and you blink quickly to adjust to the unfamiliar environment. You are slumped on a comfortable couch in a room with no apparent way to enter or exit, and more specifically, there is nothing else in the room besides a fireplace built into the wall with a sign 

saying “SIT HERE.” Still, in your subconscious mind, you stumble across the unfamiliar room and sit in the soot of the fireplace. Suddenly, a projector shines on the wall in front of you and displays:

 

WELCOME TO THE GAME OF CHANCE. YOU HAVE ENTERED A TIME MACHINE THAT WILL BRING YOU BACK TO THE PAST. THE CHOICES YOU ULTIMATELY MAKE WILL INFLUENCE YOUR PATH AND YOUR FATE. CHOOSE WISELY, I WARN. 

You have landed in the age of the Mongol Rule (1206-1294) and as a merchant from Italy, you have to make several trips across the Silk Road to transport and sell goods such as spices. Currently stationed at home in Italy, you have 5 hearts which represent your health, and 20 dollars. As you trek across this treacherous journey, you will face difficult situations that will require you to sacrifice certain belongings for the sake of your life. If you lose all 5 hearts or all of your money, you die. Let’s begin. 

 

For this journey, you plan on carrying 50 pounds of merchandise on the only camel you own and in the backpack that you carry, but once you pack all of the goods, you realize that 50 pounds is too heavy for you and your camel, and the journey will cost your camel’s life by your arrival in China and will cause you to have severe back pain, taking away 1 heart. However, 50 pounds is the minimum that you have to sell on this journey to provide your family with food, clothes and basic necessities. If you choose to only take 25 pounds of the merchandise, you will have no money to pay your rent, your landowner will be very upset, and your family will be homeless. 

 

Carry 50 pounds of trading goods:

You chose the path of saving your family, sacrificing 1 heart for back pain and your camel’s life along the way. You made it to China with no complications, a lot of money, no camel, and severe back pain, so you had to visit the doctor and he diagnosed you with scoliosis. Now, you face a predicament. You can choose either to live in a 5-star castle, with beds that will help alleviate your back pain, for 10 dollars, which includes food and home services, or you can stay in an impoverished community for free. However, this will worsen your back pain and when you arrive back home to Italy, you will lose 2 hearts. 

 

5 – star castle:

You now have 10 dollars and 4 hearts. During your stay in this magnificent castle, you no longer have back pain. Now, you have to find a way back home to Italy, since your camel died recently. The odds are not in your favor. You can choose either to ride in a caravan for 7 dollars or trek this journey home on foot, for free. 

 

Caravan:

You decide to purchase a caravan to venture back on the Silk Roads. It costs you 7 dollars, leaving you with 3 dollars. Unfortunately, as you start your journey, the Black Plague outbreak has occurred, infecting anyone without proper shelter. You have your caravan so luckily, you arrive back in Italy, uninfected. Back at home, you realize that you need to purchase a new camel since your camel died in China. This will cost you 50 dollars. Will you sell your house to get a camel for the sake of your job, or will you risk going bankrupt?

 

Selling your house:

You bought the camel and sold your house. YOU SURVIVED! But now, you and your family must work to find a new home to stay in before the black plague spreads. 

 

Go bankrupt:

You decide not to buy the camel, but now you have no means to travel and trade with others to obtain money for your family. You lose all of your money eventually, and this leads you to DIE.

 

Trek on foot: 

You decide to venture back on the Silk Roads to Italy on foot because the stay at the 5-star castle helped your back pain. Unfortunately, as you start your journey, the Black Plague has outbreak occurred, infecting anyone without proper shelter. You are infected, leaving you frail and weak and losing 3 hearts by the time you arrive in Italy. Fortunately, you make it back alive, but the recovery from the plague will be a long process. You need some medicine to get better, but you have only 10 dollars, and the medicine costs 50 dollars. Will you sell your house to get the medicine, or will you bypass the medicine and risk dying?

 

Selling your house:

You bought the medicine and sold your house. YOU SURVIVED! But now, you and your family must work to find a new home to stay in before the black plague spreads. 

 

Bypass the medicine:

Unfortunately, you could not fight off the infection that engulfed your body, losing 1 heart. YOU DIED! 

 

Impoverished community:

You now have 20 dollars and after your stay in this filthy environment, your health has greatly diminished, leaving you with only 2 hearts. You limp and have a heavy cough, with little energy to walk, much less run. Now, you have to find a way back home to Italy, since your camel died recently. The odds are not in your favor. You can either choose to ride in a caravan for 15 dollars due to the accommodation for your frail condition, or to trek this journey home on foot, for free. 

 

Caravan:

You decide to purchase a caravan to venture back on the Silk Roads. It costs you 15 dollars, leaving you with 5 dollars. Unfortunately, as you start your journey, the Black Plague outbreak occurred, infecting anyone without proper shelter. You have your caravan, so luckily you arrive back in Italy without getting infected. Back at home, you are still very frail and weak, so you will need medicine to help you recover. You need some medicine to get better, but you only have 5 dollars, and the medicine costs 50 dollars. Will you sell your house to get the medicine, or will you bypass the medicine and risk dying?

 

Selling your house:

You bought the medicine and sold your house. YOU SURVIVED! But now, you and your family must work to find a new home to stay in before the black plague spreads. 

 

Bypass the medicine:

Unfortunately, you are so weak that you could not fight off the infection losing 2 hearts. YOU DIED! 

 

Trek on foot: 

You decide to venture back on the Silk Roads to Italy on foot. However, living in an impoverished community left your health very fragile, and on top of that, the Black Plague outbreak occurred, infecting anyone without proper shelter. You are infected, and your weak body could not handle the virus, so YOU DIED. 

 

Carry 25 pounds of trading goods: 

 

You chose the path of taking only 25 pounds of merchandise but this will not be enough to pay your house rent when you return to Italy. You venture across the Silk Roads safely with little complications and arrive in China with your camel and nothing else. You are unable to purchase food, making you starve for a few days and losing 2 hearts. Luckily, a family takes you in for a day, allowing you to stay at their place for a few nights before leaving for Italy. This stay costs you 15 dollars, leaving you with 5 dollars on your journey back. Without money, you are unable to purchase food for your camel to have energy for the trek home. You can either purchase food for 20 dollars, putting you in debt, or leave your camel to starve, which will cost you its life along the trail. 

 

Purchase Food:

You have decided to purchase food for your camel. Once you arrive back at home to your family, you find them homeless, due to all the debt that you have accumulated on this journey. You can either sacrifice your health and work 5 jobs to earn this money back, or you can remain in debt and homeless as the Black Plague spreads rapidly. 

 

Work 5 jobs:

You are a hardworking individual, and you manage to buy back the house for your family. However, your health has rapidly declined and you have lost 2 hearts. YOU SURVIVED. 

 

Remain in Debt:

You and your family are homeless, and unfortunately, the black plague is rapidly spreading and infecting you. This deadly and contagious disease made your body very weak, and you lost your 3 remaining hearts. YOU DIED.

 

NOT Purchase Food:

 

You have decided not to purchase food for your camel. However, as you trek the Silk Roads, your camel runs out of energy and you are unable to use it for the rest of the journey. You are stuck in the midst of the outbreak of the Black Plague. You have 5 dollars, which is enough to rent a small home for the night to hide from the Plague. The next day, you have no money to buy food so you have no energy to continue back home. You can either purchase food for 10 dollars and go in debt, or you can continue to be hungry and risk dying from starvation. 

 

Purchase food:

You purchase food for 10 dollars and make it back home. YOU SURVIVED. However, you have put your family into so much debt that you have lost your house and your camel. You will have to pick up a few jobs to work for the money back. 

 

Continue to be Hungry:

You only make it a few miles before you pass out on the roads from starvation and dehydration. No one is there to help you, so unfortunately, YOU DIED.