Playing with the Company 4: Words about the Silence

"[Dr. Zeus] seemed to be blind to whatever might lie beyond 9 July 2355 AD."
Kage Baker, The Sons of Heaven

In the Company novels, the future is off limits; Dr. Zeus can only project its power into the past and the present. No one knows what lies beyond 2355, because no time traveler has come forward to talk about it. This date is known as the Silence.
In narrative terms, the Silence is a singularity, a Planck wall, a quantum frontier: the closer you approach it, the more the rules change and history seems to accelerate, until a narrative big bang that is the single most important moment in History. Everything builds up to the point of maximal entropy, when there is no time left and thus no options to explore.

The Silence is a keeper
I envision two distinct exciting uses of the Silence in a game based on the Company setting: as the horizon (as seen from the past) and as the climax (as experienced in 2355 in the novels).

The horizon
The Silence might be completely absent from the first part of the gaming experience, then creep slowly to the level of player awareness, then loom dreadfully over the last games. The players should experience doubt about this event until it completes. There should be an emotional build-up for the last scenes.
The Silence is also a blank slate which leaves open the future. As long as the future is not written, it can be changed -that is the theory.
As players get close to the Silence, they should:
- know more and more, allowing them to make more informed choices;
- have less and less time to act upon this knowledge to fulfill their endgame objectives.

The climax
When the scenes of the Silence unfold, players might have little real choices (they lack time) while being unable to predict the outcome with 100% accuracy. Everybody, not only cyborgs, is facing the Silence.
I would find it interesting to change the game rules at this last stage to reflect both the diminution of options and the sense of uncertainty. Why not revert to an old school simulationist model for the last epic scenes?

Not the "END" stamp
I guess we can consider that, after the Silence, the future of the world is set. If anybody won, that is not something that can be taken back. This is the end of Company history and the beginning of something else. Perhaps, once you get there, the game is over and an entirely different one begins, with different stakes. For example, the Silence may make it possible for the player characters to pursue different activities, to try to bring their own stories to satisfactory closure by achieving deeply personal goals that could not fit within the grand strategy storyline that culminated with the Silence.

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