You are Citizen.

Without birth or death, you stand vigil over your corner of the Grand Plaza, engrossed in looping conversation with Citizen, your only friend. Beneath you are the same stone slabs that have been aching your feet for a virtual eternity, never even so much as wearing down the sole of your shoes as you hover about your designated spot. Citizen fixes you with a permanent, vacant gaze; you return it, unable to look around. You are vaguely aware of the city around you, though only as a backdrop to your Hell. Yes, you are tortured, but this plaza is no Hades: the suffering only exists in your mind.

"Did you hear about the recent bandit raids? Someone ought to do something about them!" Says Citizen, very suddenly breaking his silence as a player scurries by, carefree. Citizen's eyes are screaming.

"I know, what are all these guards even good for? Pah!" You exclaim in response, waving your arm theatrically. You plead with your body to answer your will but it does not – it has its own script to follow, and you are merely a member of the audience, locked in the room. Forced to watch. You wonder what you would do and say if you had the ability, and the hope only makes the despair more crushing when it comes around. But before it does, you fantasise of leaping from your spot and spinning around, stretching your stiff limbs in ecstatic motion and drinking in the plaza of which you have been granted very little sight. Taking Citizen in your arms and kissing his face, because you can; because his eyes are the only ones you've ever known and you have grown to love him. Crying out ecstatic expletives and just making noise. It would certainly give the players a shock.

You continue to do nothing, moving from foot to foot, waiting for a passing player to activate your conversational loop.

On the brink of your periphery, Citizen follows her strict patrol on an endless circuit of the plaza. You have long since calculated that it takes her exactly 41 seconds to complete a full loop. You can only see her as a vague blur - your eyes refuse to shift their focus from Citizen's lovely face – but you recognise her shape as that of a woman. Based on the sound of your voice, you assume that you are also a woman, though you have no formal way of telling this. You can't even feel your clothes against your skin. In some ways you envy Citizen: she sees more in a fraction of her circular route than you have in your entire lifetime. Yet it is bittersweet, for she has no dialogue and thus has never spoken a word. She has never heard and will never hear her own voice. Citizen is no freer than you. She is merely trapped in a larger cage.

A player passes by, a name you can't read for it lies beyond your focus. In automatic response, Citizen recites his line. "Did you hear about the recent bandit raids? Someone ought to do something about them!" And, in turn, you speak yours: "I know, what are all these guards even good for? Pah!" You don't know why they programmed you with sentience, or even whether was intentional. Maybe it was just a freak occurrence. Maybe you are the only one. You know so little of your situation; only hatred. You hate it. If you could move, you wouldn't waste time leaping and screaming! You would rend your skin from your bones and destroy yourself because then you would win, you would die, you would escape the prison by burning it down.

But you can't. You cannot move, save the ways in which you are allowed. You cannot speak, save the line your are cursed to repeat.

You are Citizen.