We were two hours into the game. It was Livia's version. I'm not sure why we decided to boot up this particular one today. Maybe it was just because we were at Livia's house.
The game wasn't going quite the way she wanted it to go however, mainly because Garcia was winning, but Livia still had a relatively good position in her creation. Garcia held most of the resources though and could largely dictate what happened to Livia's world as she wanted, so the game became one essentially consisting of diplomacy, with the other players mostly waiting to interact with Garcia if we wanted anything significant done.
Garcia was trying her best to guide Livia's creation as best as she could, but it also made her a bit short on patience, considering how many simultaneous issues required her attention at any given moment. Garcia wasn't very good at delegation. Though she gave me some small portion of her resources, neither of us trusted the other. I suppose the player with the most control always had to be suspicious of the other players, since they had the most power to change the game.
The fourth among us was having the worst time. Hendrix had never played before, and was quickly shoved to a corner by Garcia. But instead of eliminating Hendrix from the game, Garcia used her as an example to threaten Livia. Though diplomacy prevented it from being openly stated, it was well understood that if Livia did not go along with Garcia's plans, she would end up in the same position as Hendrix. And if I was going to make an attempt to direct resources to help Hendrix, Garcia would push her deeper into the hole, just to waste my time for attempting to work around Garcia's plans.
So interacting with one another did not help much. We would have to focus on Garcia herself. Unfortunately for Hendrix, this meant she was essentially out of the game, having little she could do to affect the world, while being held up as an example used to beat submission into the other players.
Garcia wasn't such a bad person. She played completely differently in some of our other games, but in this particular one, it seemed this was the role she was now forced into. To change tactics at that point would at best leave her in a position similar to Livia's, though it would much more likely be like Hendrix, due to the world the four of us had been building up around us.
In our other games, she and Hendrix were often friends and allies, but in this one, freeing Hendrix would probably mean Garcia would have to take her place. It was a difficult puzzle to solve. Unfortunately Garcia's current strategy was taking us further and further away from what Livia had originally imagined for her world, but even Garcia was helpless to stop it at this point without bringing disaster upon herself.
I suggested maybe we should stop the game for today, before the chain of events goes too far and we reach some point of no return. Garcia conceded. She put up her hands and we agreed this position was something we'll need to think on some more before we come back to it, hopefully with a better plan.
Hendrix didn't seem to care much. She had apparently already resigned herself to a minimal role in this game. So Livia saved it aside, a bit discouraged at how things were turning out with her creation.
"Should we boot up a different game?" I asked.
Garcia still seemed a bit energized from the previous game and was ready to jump in. Livia and Hendrix seemed less enthusiastic. Hendrix was already in the kitchen pouring herself a glass of juice. Livia was staring out the window at the trees beyond. I don't know if she was still thinking about her game or what.
Garcia seemed to feel a bit guilty and brought over some cookies from the kitchen to share with the rest of us. Livia munched on one absentmindedly. Hendrix had picked up some of Livia's watercolors and was doodling. She was pretty good at it.
I looked over at Garcia, "Well, it seems it's just the two of us then."
"Yeah, I think you're right. Two player game then?"
"OK, maybe Livia and Hendrix can join in later."
"Sounds good," Garcia said, pulling up a new game on Livia's computer. "Who would you like to be?"
"Maybe I'll play the Devil this time."
"I hope you don't turn him into a big joke like last time," replied Garcia, sighing.