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910512 No. 910512 ID: 891b91

Chapter 0: >>/questarch/886861

Discussion: >>/questdis/123379
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Dead_Dust
Inventory: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Dead_Dust/Inventory

Yesterday was a blur. They ended up keeping you in the infirmary overnight, so they could monitor your health; between the frequent examinations and the steady trickle of well-wishers showing up to ask how you were doing, you didn't get much opportunity to make sense of your current situation, let alone ask any of the growing number of questions floating around in your head. Of all the things puzzling you about this place, the people themselves are the greatest mystery. They've been friendly and welcoming, sure; but sometimes it feels like they find you familiar in some way. They keep calling you Sigarzghar,, too, and you have no clue why.

But these confusions don't trouble you -- you find the others more worrying, such as why you were in a coma for three days, or why all your posessions are missing from your pockets. You wonder how long you'll be stuck in this place, but you don't have much in the way of leads to figure out where else to go -- there're Delaney and Quincy over on Gansett shelf, the tentacle twins on the Concourse, and... that's about it. You're not sure how you'd get to either of those places from here, so you certainly feel stuck. Right now, more than anything else, you need answers.

You suppose that's why you're waiting here. They discharged you from the infirmary shortly after you awoke this morning, and led you here, telling you that Cider has invited you to her quarters to discuss a few things. You get the impression she's in charge around here; surely she can help you make sense of why you're here and how you arrived, and perhaps what to do next. At the moment there's already a visitor in there with her, judging from the muffled sounds of conversation; you wager it's been 20 minutes already, and you hope it isn't going to take much longer.
126 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 920588 ID: 158da5

Tell her to be gentle! Geez, gotta wonder (out loud) how helpful someone this excitable could be.
No extra questions right now, for Cider.

Are you serious? We just lied about wanting to stay here, it would be a terrible idea to ask how we could leave illegally.
No. 920593 ID: bcc41d

Ponder the unsettling fact that you could easily fit your head inside Rosalyn's toothy maw. Offer a pained "Ex-squeeze me." to hint to her that she should perhaps stop breaking your back as if readying to stuff you into her mouth like a broken pretzel.

Say that it's nice to meet her - your full name's Penny Ainsley - once she lets go, and offer a more normal handshake. If she's an aide to Cider, you'll want to stay on her good side to get gossip and information from her - not that I think this will be hard, the way she's acting. (Must've embraced her new identity perhaps a little too enthusiastically.)

You'll want to learn more about the Dars and what they do, but my immediate impression is that Funtana - Cinder's spiritual/medical one - and Blin/Zahra - engineering/construction - could be good ones to join. The former because we appear to have a few vague memories intact that seem to indicate scientific, biological/dust knowledge, so training medical know-how might be in our bailiwick and could trigger additional memories. If any skill-memories survived, that'd be a useful way to shortcut some of the training-for-life they seem to think you require.

The latter, Blin/Zahra, because if they're surveying and constructing things, they'll have hovercars or whatnot. If we really want to make a break for it off this shelf one day, having access to those could be handy.

Request that Cider think about two things, no need to answer right away:

1 - Is it possible to form new Dars, to start a focus on new skills and industries? This will indicate a go-getting attitude that may lull Cider even more into a false sense of security regarding your acceptance to stay here.

2 - Are there temp jobs for the Dars that you can help out with, given the community festival that's apparently taking place soon? That way you can get to help out and experience multiple Dars' ways of doing things before you decide (and you get to scout out what they actually do and which might grant you the best means to escape, if you so wish).
No. 920594 ID: 91ee5f

>dar Grixti staffs our eateries and cafeterias
Hey, Penny, since you seemed to be envious of Cider‘s body, maybe going into the food business would help you get the same curves that she has?

>dar Funtana -- my dar -- is our medical and spiritual center.
Then again, you could also get into the medical studies to get access to body mods, if you want to get some curves that way.

>In her excitement, Rosalyn squeezes you a bit tighter than you'd prefer.
No. 920601 ID: 094652

"Stop playing Rubik's cube with my skeleton!"

Also, they don't know Terra A.D. 2000 pop culture. That's not weird. What is weird is that you do. Keep using references and see if they can jog your memory.
No. 920606 ID: bad12e


Teeth. Teeth. TEETH.
No. 920608 ID: ae9056

Ask if anybody else got admitted to Vesper within the last few days.

Don't tell them this but I remember when we first woke up, there were a few other unconscious just like we were. And then later we saw some authority figures come down presumably to the place where you woke up to. Perhaps they bring those unconscious people here to
No. 920615 ID: cbcfcb

I'd aim for Balzan primarily, with Blin as a backup, also be sure to ask if it's possible to modify... assets?
No. 920616 ID: 158da5

If this doesn't end in self acceptance we will have failed Penny.
No. 920617 ID: 86eb65

Motorboat the excited lady.
No. 920618 ID: 05ebc7

Dar Ormi actually might not be a bad one; with this you'll be plugged into all the know regarding the local politics, useful information to have...and manipulate, if possible.

dar Nevian would be similar, but you'd have to really work that silver tongue- you could make powerful allies by slipping someone a few extra bucks in their paycheck here and there later on (or maybe skim a few cents off the top for you), or maybe doing some 'creative accounting' to make sure projects that would benefit you happen. dar Blin would be excellent if you wanted to figure out escape paths and general lay of the land, and dar Zahra for if you want to know structural weakpoints and get your hands on potentially high quality tools for digging.

With your own emergent skillset, you might be more brainy than brawny, though, and while dar Funtana might seem like a good fit for that, you'd be under the direct and most CERTAINLY watchful eye of the boss lady herself (even if she'll be pretending she's not to look nice), so I'd not recommend that one.

On the whole, I'd recommend dar Ormi, if only because I think it fits with her analytic style of thought.
No. 920621 ID: 5bdd53

Dars Blin and Funtana both seem good because they use more brains than brawn, but offer more practical skills than the other brainy dars. Preferably Funtana over Blin so we can learn more about Dead Dust, because it seems like there's something seriously messed up about people having "dust" in them that can "die" and it doesn't sound natural at all. Funtana and Blin seem like our best bet for going back to that old, dead city we found ourselves in before we came here, and I think there are mysteries there we have a destiny to investigate.

Hug the excited lady back, cause if we're gonna be stuck in this cult for a while we better start making friends.
No. 920622 ID: 05ebc7

As stated, I don't like the idea of getting into dar Funtana simply because we'd be under the perview of High Leader Cider herself, and we'd probably get away with far less 'questionable' things (that would allow us to better prep for escape) than we would if we were a degree or two separated.
No. 920623 ID: b1b4f3

Ask to be let down please.
No. 920624 ID: 080aaf

Just buy yourself some space in the hug with your hands. Also try averting your eyes. This isn't such a bad place to stay, all things considered!
No. 920643 ID: a9af05

All of this.
No. 920667 ID: 834378

Well, hug her back I suppose. Also, motorboat, but without motor.

"Hello soft lady~"

Seems she likes to meet new people? Ask her if she always gets this excited.

As far as choosing a dar goes, as Cider said, let's wait to see which invitations we get and get more info on the dar's.
No. 920673 ID: c0641d

I think Ormi might be the best fit for our mindset. They'd be the closest to security and information services, after all.
No. 920675 ID: 864e49

I still think we should mention that there were three others that got taken away, as well as those two foxes.

And also maybe ask what their policy on fraternization is?
No. 920681 ID: 2202fb

Ask about martial arts. While they definitely aren't a militaristic organization, martial arts is more than just fighting. They probably have something to some degree.
No. 920777 ID: 7f0aac


Once all the TEETH aren't so close to your everything, we should ask Cider which house she feels we are most likely to enter — essentially a thinly veiled way of asking what she thinks our personality is or will be.
No. 920850 ID: 4c908d

Cheep like a small mammal in distress. Like a hamster or a rabbit.
No. 920856 ID: bad12e


Perhaps like a ... cutebold?
No. 922053 ID: 891b91
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>Ponder the unsettling fact that you could easily fit your head inside Rosalyn's toothy maw.
>Teeth. Teeth. TEETH.
You quickly regret thinking about this, and silently hope that you haven't stumbled across a den of cannibals.

Wriggling your body, you attempt to buy yourself a little more breathing room, but Rosalyn's strength is too much for you. "I....can't.....breathe!" You gasp out, hoping she'll ease up on you, but apparently she can't hear you over her own shrieking!

>Motorboat the excited lady.
>motorboat, but without motor.
You get a crazy idea -- frankly you're a little embarrassed by it, but drastic times call for drastic measures. If you can't get through to Rosalyn with your voice, maybe you can communicate through her chest! You jam your face into the mounds before you; while her breasts are fully concealed beneath her top, the soft, stretchy fabric quickly gives purchase as your snout plunges into the pillowy depths. They're remarkably soft, and as you begin violently shaking your head left and right -- made more difficult by the heftiness of her chest -- you can't help but think that in a different context you might actually enjoy this.

Your lips graze past a nipple poking through the fabric, thick and stiffened from the sudden attention, eliciting a loud squeal from Rosalyn.
No. 922054 ID: 891b91
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She bursts out laughing and loosens her grip on you, nearly dropping you in the process as she hastily sets you down. "Whoa, nelly!" She cackles, idly massaging her breast. "That's the friendliest welcome I've had in months!"

Cider chuckles. "Roz, I'm pretty sure that was Penny's way of telling you it was time to put her down."

"Damn, I might have to hold you upside-down next time!" She notices your immediate look of concern. "Kidding, kidding!"

"Um, how about we start over? It's... nice to meet you, Rosalyn." You raise your arm up, offering your hand to her. "Not to mention, um, interesting. I'm Penny Ainsley."

Roz grasps your hand and gives it a firm shake. "Rosalyn ta' Balzan, but just call me Roz." She flashes a toothy grin whose exact meaning eludes you. "Seems like we're doin' things a little out of order here, but eh -- when in Rome!"

When in Rome? It sounds familiar, and you know what the expression means, but... Rome? What is that, exactly? You feel like you should know, but you're drawing a complete blank. You decide to dismiss the thought for now, but it still prods you a little from the back of your mind.
No. 922055 ID: 891b91
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"Well, Penny, it was very nice meeting you," Cider interjects, "but I really need to get changed for that meeting. Rosalyn will take things from here and help you get settled in."

Roz nods in agreement. "C'mon, let's go scope out your room."

With that, you follow her out into the hall. "So, do you always get that excited, Roz?"

She grins sheepishly. "Yeaahh... kinda. People say I overdo it, but I really, really can't help it. I just love it when we get newcomers!"

"Oh, speaking of," you add, "Has there been anyone else new here in the past few days? Or am I the only one?"

"Funny you should mention that! A new girl joined us a couple days ago, and you two'll be rooming together 'til your ismijiet. Her name's Mint, and she's a real sweetie!" Roz frowns a little. "The past couple days've been tough for her, though. She's been getting some killer nightmares, they've really done a number on her mood. So, y'know, be extra nice to her, okay?"

"Okay, I'll try." The two of you start heading down a flight of stairs. "So uh, that's it? No one else?"

"Nah. Before you and Mint, the last time we had newcomers was maybe a few weeks ago. Why do you ask?"

"Well, when I woke up a few days ago, I was in a room with a few other people. They all had the red powder on them, like me, but they were still unconscious. I saw them being led onto a ship later on, so I thought maybe they'd ended up here."

"Did you see a metal spine kinda thing on their backs and running up their head?"

"I saw guy putting something like that on one of them, yeah."

"Ooh, ouch. I hate to break it to ya, but those people? They were hollow. Like... the lights are on but no one's home."

"You mean they're braindead?"

"Nah, not braindead. They just took such a big overdose of taffa that it wiped 'em out completely." She continues speaking as the two of you start heading down a hallway several floors down. "The spine thing controls the hollow body, makes it easier to move 'em around. I hate to say it, but by now some guy's prolly fixing 'em up for the black market."
No. 922056 ID: 891b91
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Roz finally stops at a fairly nondescript door. "Anyway, here we are, room 136!" She chirps as she swings the door open.

The room is relatively small, with a bunk bed pushed up against one wall and a closet, standing mirror, and a couple chests of drawers bordering the opposite wall. Ample light streams in through a bay window, which spans the width of the room. A thin, lanky girl sits on its cushioned seat with her back to you, gazing outside.
No. 922057 ID: 891b91
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"Mint, sweetie," Rosalyn calls out cautiously, "We have a new friend for you -- this is Penny, she's a sigarzghar too... you two are gonna be roommates for a little bit, okay?"

"...Okay," Mint finally responds in a tiny, forlorn voice. She doesn't so much as turn her head to acknowledge you.

"Is there anything I can get you? Something that'll help you feel better?"

".....No thanks, I'm fine." She punctuates it with a small, despondent sigh.

"Okay sweetie, well, you just let us know if you need anything at all, okay? We wanna help you."

"I know, thank you..."
No. 922058 ID: 891b91
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"Alright!" Rosalyn starts again, her previous enthusiasm fully returned. "How about we get you out of this ratty old thing --" she tugs at your jumpsuit for effect "-- and put together a wardrobe for you, hmm?"
No. 922059 ID: ad51b8

no that's... wait, how long have we been wearing this thing? Yeah, maybe some fresh clothes will be nice. hell while you're at it ask if they have a shower or a bath around her that you can use. I mean sure we're planning on ditching these guys when we can but doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the free room and board they're offering.
No. 922060 ID: bcc41d

>Motorboat save
This becoming a thing made me chuckle.

>When in Rome
Ask Roz about the saying. Does she know what it means?

... and if she doesn't, what does it mean that you both kind of knew it? That you were once part of the same culture or group who used similar idioms?

Sure, you wouldn't mind a second set of clothes, but you'd like to keep the jumpsuit. It's got deep pockets and if you pick one of the worker dars, you may as well save some money on getting work clothes.

Say, that's a thought. Does receiving the clothes, food, room and board put you in some kind of immediate or long-term debt? Obviously you're not receiving everything for free... are you? How is that kind of stuff tracked here?

(When you remove the jumpsuit, check the innards for a tag or logo for signs of manufacture or even sharpie-written name initials - the clothes you were wearing when your old self overdosed are a clue in and of themselves of who they used to be.)
No. 922061 ID: 91ee5f

Can we also get some food? Being asleep for a few days without eating means we’re most likely starving right now!
No. 922063 ID: 834378

Sure. How do we go about picking our wardrobe? I hope they have some options because my mind is empty. Except for some sort of standard crop top with thicc boardshorts.
No. 922064 ID: e51896

>Say, that's a thought. Does receiving the clothes, food, room and board put you in some kind of immediate or long-term debt? Obviously you're not receiving everything for free... are you? How is that kind of stuff tracked here?
If I remember correctly from the previous thread, isn't Vesper non-profit? I think we're fine as far as money goes.

Scary, human (or rather people) trafficking on those hollow people. That could of been us if things got worse. I hope those people weren't someone we knew in our past life. If so, we might have to save them maybe.

anyway, Mint has been having nightmares? we had a dream while we were unconscious that felt very real. Perhaps ask if sigarzghars tend to have weird dreams often. (Don't mention what you saw in your own dream. keep it a secret)

also, I'd leave Mint alone until she feels better. Let her approach you when she is ready.

Lastly, the clothing, we'll get new clothes, but ask if we can keep the jumpsuit for later... (unless she literally tears the jumpsuit off your body, as she seems very forceful... oops, try not to think about how lewd that is)
No. 922067 ID: 124d9b

If we are changing clothes, we should look for clothing with lots of pockets on the top and bottom, for inventory space. Just planning ahead.
No. 922069 ID: f1a100

Rome is or was a city-state in Italy. At one point it was an empire that encompassedthe entirety of the mediterranean. By the way, what planet are we on?
No. 922070 ID: 05ebc7

Wardrobe good, would like to keep the jumpsuit, though. The pockets are hella useful.

As for what kinda wardrobe? I think we're more cool with stuff that's comfortable, yet practical. Pockets are a must on all things, and it needs to cover us well enough. Maybe something light, yet with darker colors for casual wear (and fashionable contrast).

Agreed, but don't put it so harshly. Just ask 'do I owe anything for all of this?'
No. 922071 ID: 05ebc7


I'm thinking she'd look good in cargo pants? Shirt is variable. I dunno about a jacket or anything like that, though.
No. 922074 ID: b1b4f3

Ask her what her belt's for.
No. 922078 ID: fd2d31

So what? camo colored cargo pants, tanktop and pilot jacket?
No. 922082 ID: 094652

Oh good, you're not the only one with dead knowledge from a planet your qabel could never have experienced under normal circumstances. Ask if they have any theories about these phrases - maybe it's just cosmic alien dust that siggies are susceptible to when they reincarnate.

>New wardrobe
"Does it come with a bra, or is that also an alien concept to you? No, no, I like your prominent independence from support."

"Roz, did you hug the joy out of this fluffy little pastry?"
No. 922100 ID: 2202fb

Wow, she is not ashamed of her body.

Get something utilitarian
No. 922102 ID: 2202fb

how about sports bra and cargo vest
No. 922105 ID: fd2d31

>sports bra and cargo vest
So next you're gonna say army boots and a punk haircut along with the cargo pants, just to complete the 90's punk hacker look?
Punk hacker Penny.
No. 922106 ID: fd2d31

Shit, i forgot the fingerless gloves and color tinted sunglasses, can't go without them.
No. 922108 ID: 2202fb

need that good pp
No. 922109 ID: 05ebc7

Sounds nice, actually!

Also let's not talk about that out loud.
No. 922110 ID: bad12e


Let's keep the jumpsuit but make it look a bit less like our GRANDMA's jumpsuit.

Cool onsie-thing with more of trunks (just above the knee?) and shorter sleeves because we aren't afraid of showing off our TOTALLY SOFT AND SNUGGLEABLE BODY.

And maybe a neat top as well, like those cool jackets worn open, like you see on cool characters.

No. 922134 ID: fd2d31

Since you're obsessed with showing off the soft floof, then it'd make more sense to trim clothing down to something like a two-piece sports swimsuit, strapon thigh pockets for carrying things and maybe a optional jacket if the inherent floof isn't insulating enough against the elements.
No. 922136 ID: 2202fb

might as well just go naked.
No. 922181 ID: 158da5

Clothes would be great. Underclothes especially.

Also could she quickly give the definitions for the more unique words when she says them? Just to get us used to them.
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