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913306 No. 913306 ID: 470289

“Wait up! You’re going too fast! Max!”


“Whatever we call you, stop walking so fast. Socrates is tired.”


Expand all images
No. 913307 ID: 470289
File 154415001192.png - (195.21KB , 800x800 , 153.png )

“Sock’s a cooler name than Socrawhatever!”

“Socrates is a great name. It has tons of history behind it-”

“Stupid history! Some guy died a billion miles away and now poor Sock is stuck with a dumb name? How’s that fair?”

“We’re all named the same way dingus, of course it’s fair. You can’t just rename everyone in the Hive because you’re jealous.”

“Watch me! And I’m not jealous!”
No. 913308 ID: 470289
File 154415004079.png - (300.64KB , 1200x800 , 154.png )

“Just leave it alone, Leo.” She grimaces at Orgo using her obviously superior name. “You know what she’s like after a fight. We should just take Sock home alone. Mac can get back to the Hall herself.”

“No!” Leo shouts as I say. “I don’t need to cool off!” She shoots me a stinkeye and I flip her off.

“The Queen said we had to walk home together and that means we’re all going to walk home together, even if someone’s being a baby about it.”

I’m not being a baby, I just want to be alone right now!
No. 913309 ID: b1b4f3

No. 913310 ID: 86eb65

So what famous dead guy am I named after?

(pleasant dreams by the way.)
No. 913312 ID: afdebc

Suddenly, you're at school. And you didn't prepare for the test. And you're naked!
No. 913313 ID: 10c408

If empathy range is larger than visual range, they can just deal with you being at the extreme edge of it. That is ALL the compromise you'll give.
No. 913315 ID: 91ee5f

Ok, what happened? Did you criticize someone’s art in art class?

>walk together or walk alone?
Jeez, do you know how dangerous it is for a kid like you to be walking home by yourself?! Someone could come kidnap you and take you away from your hive!

Walk together with your hivemates!
No. 913316 ID: c1212a

...give you something to be a baby about...

Fine, you patsy-boyscout-stooge, try and keep up.
No. 913319 ID: 977456

Continue being fierce-adorable fierable!
No. 913341 ID: 2202fb

Broadcast killing intent, then take a deep breath, and calmly apologize about making fun of Socrates's name (guess you were being a hair too Machiavellian) and then tell them you need to have a few moments to yourself. Then walk away and punch a wall.
No. 913343 ID: 0c3c2c

Try and fit in more with your friends.
No. 913345 ID: e1d580

Hey I know this isn’t related but is your irl name brad because you super seem like a brad
No. 913357 ID: 2202fb

It wasn't, last i checked.
No. 913407 ID: a9af05

Did you criticize someone's art project or something?

>Alone or together?
Stay with your hivemates.
No. 913419 ID: 470289
File 154427874636.png - (241.37KB , 1000x800 , 155.png )

>So what famous dead guy am I named after?
Some soldier my mom knew, and absolutely no one else cares about.

>Suddenly, you're at school. And you didn't prepare for the test. And you're naked!
School’s over. We’re walking home from our grade’s fieldtrip to the zoo.

Some aliens said our Hive was full of weirdos because we don’t act like they’re made of glass or jump out of our seats to get them stuff when they ask. I told them off. Without punching this time, even. Then they jumped me when I was alone, and the teacher acted like I started it.

“Give you something to be a baby about…” I say under my breath.

“Do you want to eat dirt again?” She thinks I’m bluffing, and since we both know she can beat me up, I guess I am.

“I’ll stay in sight but let me walk alone.”

“What if a wild animal or something came and attacked. You’d be too far away to help.”

“There’s no wild animals this close to Queenwood.”

“Maybe there was a breakout at the zoo after we left, and something with a lot of teeth like a geffer is coming for us right now! What would you do then?”

“We’d all die, Leo. Mac being a little bit away from us wouldn’t change anything.” Leo shoots him a glare and he shrugs.

“You’re being paranoid!”

“I’m in charge so I have to be paranoid. If anything happens to you guys it’s on me.”

“You’re the oldest but that doesn’t make you the boss. It just means you suck at math and got held back.” Orgo chimes in.

Leo gives a low growl, but her empathy says she’s not going budge on me walking with everyone. My empathy makes sure she knows I’m going to be stubborn too, Orgo’s is saying he’s slightly annoyed at everyone, and Sock...
No. 913420 ID: 470289
File 154427877711.png - (157.92KB , 800x800 , 156.png )

“Mac, stay with us. Please.”

Sock’s doing the dumb pout he uses to get extra dessert and really wants us to stop fighting.
No. 913421 ID: 470289
File 154427883391.png - (163.56KB , 800x800 , 157.png )

I start walking again, but slower this time, and everyone follows me without comment for once. Sock starts talking to Leo about the songs the birds he saw were singing and she nods along even though she doesn’t really understand what he’s talking about when he says harmonic series. Orgo walks up next to me.

“What’s your problem with those guys anyway, Mac? They’re stuck up, but you can just ignore ‘em.” Orgo asks me.

“Even when they tell the other hives that we’re pansies because we live in a theater, or that we can’t afford stuff?”

“We can’t afford stuff, though. Building a Hive Compound is expensive.”

“That’s not the point! They’re tarnishing the name Storytree!” Leo’s listening and almost butts in with something snide about what I’ve been doing to our names, but it’s a totally different thing! Orgo cuts her off.

“So? They’re dumbasses. Let ‘em talk.”

“You don’t get it. If we let them talk freely then the story that everyone ends up knowing us by is theirs. We have to protect our legacy.”

“You getting beat up from fights you start whenever Leo and I aren’t looking is a pretty bad legacy.” I don’t say anything because he’s right, but it pisses me off. He scratches his ear absentmindedly before continuing.

“Listen, let’s say Leo and I beat up Jeeks and his cronies, or we got the whole hive in on it and started whaling on anyone who looked at us funny in the entire school. We’d go from the poor hive to the tribal hive, assuming we didn’t get kicked out. Which we would by the way. It’d be a different story for ‘em to tell, and just as wrong.”

“We’d have at least some respect.” I say as I kick a rock.

“Do we need respect?” He goes silent and waits for me to answer.
No. 913422 ID: 470289
File 154427886241.png - (113.20KB , 800x800 , 158.png )

Sock notices something and I look up to see a dock nearby. He wants to take a break there to look at the water, but Leo wants to keep heading home. Orgo doesn’t care where we go.
No. 913426 ID: 86eb65

I guess the only respect we need is for our art.

Go look at the water before heading back.
No. 913428 ID: 6c5a99

No playing near the water without adult supervision!
No. 913430 ID: afdebc

>“Do we need respect?” He goes silent and waits for me to answer.
Really depends on who's giving it, Mac. Not all respect is created equal.

Yeah sure, give Sock what he wants.
No. 913436 ID: 0c3c2c

Chat with Soc.
No. 913439 ID: 91ee5f

Let’s go to the dock with Sock.
No. 913449 ID: 2202fb

Will orgo to go with you and sock.


You know, they are right. Open warfare isn't the way forward. If everyone resorted to that, we would be no better than animals.
What you need to be is cunning. Strangle them in wordplay that not only makes them look bad, but also makes you look smart.


I think you need to vent a bit. Talk to Orgo about his pronouncing your name wrong and the double standard of you and sock. Tell him you want the hive to be great and awe inspiring; to show the world how wonderful the arts can truly be, and it just kills you to see people who wont give you a chance. As for yourself, you just want friends; someone to be in your corner and help you back up once the world knocks you down.


Are there any carpenters or electricians in your hive (woodcarvers, metalworkers, sculptors, stage techs, electronic artists)? If so, you could potentially start working on self improvement rather than paying someone to do it. Raw materials are a lot cheaper.
No. 913455 ID: 977456

Check Sock's eyes. If resistance is possible, resist.
No. 913457 ID: c1212a

"what the hell else do we have?"

Go with sock.
No. 913464 ID: 8d6f6d

Showing someone they hurt your pride with just words is weakness, not strength.
No. 913466 ID: 10c408

Did you miss the part where they jumped Mac after she told them off for being obnoxious little shits spreading falsehoods?
No. 913468 ID: 908948

Gotta keep moving.
No. 913474 ID: 15a025

Go with Sock and enjoy the view. It'd probably help cool the conversation a bit.
No. 913681 ID: 2842df

No, that was the point.
No. 913711 ID: 2202fb

I think i can clarify here.

They meant:
>Showing someone(mac) "they hurt your pride with just words"(i.e. beating the shit out of someone who only used words) is weakness, not strength.

Second guy thought first guy meant:
Showing someone(not mac) "they hurt your pride" with just words (i.e. trying to get back at someone who just beat the shit out of you with just words) is weakness, not strength.

Slightly ambiguous depending on how you chunk it.
No. 913712 ID: 10c408

What I meant was that if you make a claim and someone else refutes it you do NOT attack that first person. That they did so absolutely demolishes their position. Mac didn't (seemingly) attack anyone and only defended herself.
No. 913726 ID: 470289
File 154456131838.png - (226.97KB , 1000x800 , 159.png )

>Not all respect is created equal.
I know that! But it doesn’t make ignoring them any easier.

"What the hell else do we have?"

“Over a thousand years of history you don’t pay attention to?”

“I pay attention! But we aren’t tribals or in the war anymore. We gotta set ourselves apart some other way to show everyone we’re the best. Make better stories to tell. And if people don’t respect us, they won’t respect our new stories or our old ones.”

He grunts and lets the topic drop. He doesn’t agree with me, but I don’t think he has any other arguments. He’ll bring it back up later when he thinks he can win. He tries to hide it, but he hates losing even more than I do.
No. 913727 ID: 470289
File 154456135237.png - (100.36KB , 800x800 , 160.png )

>Check Sock's eyes. If resistance is possible, resist.
…It’s not possible and I don’t even try.

I tell the others I want to go to the dock with empathy and Sock lights up as we adjust our path to take us to it. The dock is kind of old, but it isn’t rotting or anything. Leo makes sure to step on it first and jump up and down a few times to test it.

“We can’t stay too long, we’re already late in getting home. And don’t get too close to the edge.”

“I’m not going to fall!”

“Don’t care. Stay near us.”

It rained yesterday so the water is kind of choppy, but Leo would be controlling even if it was a placid lake.
No. 913728 ID: 470289
File 154456143202.png - (294.91KB , 1200x800 , 161.png )

>Are there any carpenters or electricians in your hive.
Some. Whenever an adult isn’t working, they’re at the compound building stuff. It’s why we’re walking home. There isn’t anyone free to pick us up.

“Why’d you want to come down here, Sock? It’s just water.”

”It’s pretty water! It looks like one of Aunt Levran’s paintings with the buildings in the background.”

“I guess. Missing a ship sinking or the giant storm on the horizon.”

“It’s close enough!” He gets an idea and takes his backpack off. He digs through it until he finds his flute and gives it a few test whistles. “The theme is ‘River’.”

Leo and Orgo perk up at the challenge. One game our hive plays is telling stories whenever someone prompts us with a theme. After a bit for everyone to get prepared we present in order and vote on the winner. Sock’s a couple of years younger than us but he’s already won a few times against older kids, so I can’t slack off if I want to win. Leo is digging through her backpack for her sketchbook and Orgo is staring off in the distance deep in thought. He usually tells a story about one of his namesakes for this game, since he’s lucky enough to have a Hive name. I’m not sure what I should do. I could draw something, tell a story of my own, borrow Sock’s flute after his turn, or do something else. Whatever medium I pick, I also need to come up with a story to tell that fits the theme.
No. 913731 ID: 2202fb

Well, before we decide, we need to know your strengths and weaknesses. You dont ask a musician to paint a masterpiece or a sculptor to write a bestseller.

Whatever you decide (i.e. author doesnt want to give us strengths to work with), use your emotions. Feel how they flow and ride the waves like a surfer in water. Use your own feelings to breathe life into your cast and then simply let them tell their own story.
No. 913732 ID: 2202fb

Regardless of how you do however, try to have fun and relax. This is a great time to organize your thoughts and calm down.
No. 913737 ID: c1212a

I do hope you're appreciative of the work the grownups are doing.

It depends on if your fingers are messed up from punching. If they're fine, get out some paper and draw. You can make a fable that proves your point, or take the challenge seriously and drop it- I'd suggest being mature and doing the latter cuz you don't want to upset socks.
No. 913767 ID: e95cec

Well, I suspect you're best at art, so there's that. Feel free to decide differently.

Hmm, "river". Um, something metaphorical about culture getting washed away in the rising flood? Sounds depressingly serious. Um, a story from the point of view of a river? This river, perhaps? River spirits, rivers of blood, rivers of tears, space rivers, land of rivers and lakes, dams, beavers, river animals, a river hive....
No. 913776 ID: 977456

The Tale of the Lonely Merchant. Tell a story about a trader with a small boat who has to take things far from their hive, to trade for, oh, lets say warm pelts for frozen weather, that the hive needs for the children to survive. Every tribe they meet they extol a different virtue of their hive, but is mocked for being alone. And then they die moments from getting home, lamenting over each of the virtues they proclaimed, that they will never see them again, because they died alone. You wanted to go all-in for a theme of reputation, but remembered that sad endings always win. As always, try to throw in some rhyme, alliteration, and metre.
No. 913788 ID: 470289
File 154463107673.png - (148.64KB , 800x800 , 162.png )

>We need to know your strengths and weaknesses.
That’s easy, I’m good at everything. I pick things up fast like J’raine. The only weakness I can think of is violin since I only started learning last month, but I don’t have one in my backpack anyway. Whatever idea I come up with, I can do.

>Try to have fun and relax.
That’s easy, I like this game. I take out my sketchbook and sit down to doodle while ideas flow. Trying to articulate my point about our Hive sounds nice, but it doesn’t really mean much if I don’t communicate it through the art in a concise way. I’ll go with the Merchant idea for now, but I’m still not sure about the medium. I could draw it out, in which case I’d need to encapsulate everything I want to say in a single image and would need to have a good description to work off. Or I could tell a regular story which is easier but anything more complicated like making it rhyme or being creative with wordplay would take too much time if the specific embellishments don’t occur to me.

I kind of lose track of time working but eventually Sock hops up, stands in front of us and we all focus our attention on him. He takes a short bow and starts with low, repeated notes before layering in more breathy sounds. It takes me a few moments before I get what he’s doing. He’s copying the sound of lapping water and the breeze that’s around us right now. Unfortunately, the flute isn’t the right kind of instrument for the sounds water makes as it brushes against the docks. It sounds slightly off when the actual water is still in the background. He also isn’t riding the music off his empathy. He’s too excited and happy, when he should be projecting a clam and serene mood. The melody itself is good, if short, but it’s not his best work.

As soon as Sock finishes Leo puts her head down and starts scribbling more frantically. I think she misjudged how long it would take her to draw whatever she’s doing. Orgo is signaling he’s going to go next but isn’t quite ready yet.

Unless I get hit with some other inspiration that I like more, I should keep developing my current idea.
No. 913789 ID: 91ee5f

>Trying to articulate my point about our Hive sounds nice
Do not try to do that! This is supposed to be a fun activity! Don’t ruin it by trying to prove a point you had in an argument earlier!
No. 913815 ID: dd75f8

Yeaaah, probably a good point. Furthermore, it might make more sense to spend longer developing your argument before presenting it.
No. 913894 ID: c0641d

I think you should do a story. Perhaps a series of verses with varying meters and tempos to match the hive he’s encountered this time. Not sure I have any specific lines for you, but coming up with that sort of stuff manually comes a lot easier when you set out a rhythmic framework to restrict yourself by.

Something along the lines of... this? https://youtu.be/PUZn1I6llJs

You don’t have to carry this particular tune if you don’t like it (or suspect that you’d get caught- never mind, don’t think about it too hard). Perhaps open with a merchant bemoaning a lack of wind to carry his sail upstream, and supposes that he’ll just drift downstream. He’ll meet an art hive merely curious where he’s going, then another merchant hive keen on exchanging wares and a little rival ribbing. He might be egged into a race with a war hive (the frantic section), be ignored by a hive too stoned to care about anybody, and pass by a cuddle hive who want him to stay with them (the upbeat 4/4 time section), finally finishing with another art hive who ask him the same question as at the beginning (“Where are you going?”), but receiving a different answer to the one he gave the first time. If that’s too much to write in such a short time, you’re free to cut verses.
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