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File 155272171750.png - (206.30KB , 800x525 , title3.png )
925961 No. 925961 ID: 270774

VIVA LAS VEGAS!

This quest is R18.
chapter one: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/897413.html
chapter two: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/910050.html
disthread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/124805.html
patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iraprince
Expand all images
>>
No. 925962 ID: 270774
File 155272175272.png - (154.15KB , 800x525 , 391.png )
925962

“Hello, boys.”

Kel’s standing tall in the center of the room, backed by five other women. As Ricardo closes the door behind him, she starts to stride towards him, and the women follow. “Good drive in? Took you long enough.”

“Yeah, uh —”

“Hope you got plenty of mileage out of that ass of yours,” Kel continues, brightly, “because it belongs to me now.”
>>
No. 925963 ID: 270774
File 155272176791.png - (110.11KB , 800x525 , 392.png )
925963

There’s a ripple of laughter behind her. She steps to the side and inclines her head at the vampire standing to the far left of the line. “Lieutenant. How about some introductions? Let’s start off by telling Ribeye here what we’re all about.”

The woman takes one step forward and smiles. “Good evening. I am Basilia de Issoire, aide-de-camp to my most beloved General Gallowglass. When I am heading training of wards, as I am now, it is only necessary to call me Mignon.” As she speaks, her hands are lifted and in movement, which Ricardo recognizes as a form of sign language but doesn’t understand; she only pauses for a moment to sweep one arm out, indicating the other women in the line. “And this is the 70th Infantry Squadron of the Gallowglass Horde.”
>>
No. 925964 ID: 270774
File 155272178575.png - (154.76KB , 800x525 , 393.png )
925964

The wards roar. Ricardo flinches back, startled by the sudden wave of noise; Mignon seems unaffected.

“70th Squadron,” Mignon calls, “what are you?”

“MEAT FOR THE MACHINE,” the women scream. Ricardo’s ears are ringing.

“And what does that make everyone else?”

“CATTLE FEED!”

“That’s right. And what is the machine?”

“WAR!”

Ricardo notices that one of the wards isn’t yelling along; but her hands are moving, in crisp, powerful motions. Mignon signing as she speaks is presumably for her.

“What feeds you?”

“WAR!”

“What drives you?”

“WAR!”

There’s a pleasant little smile on Mignon’s lips. “What fucks you to sleep at night?”

The responding roar is apocalyptic. “WAR!”

Mignon starts to walk down the line, inclining her head at each woman in turn. “And does anyone do it better than us?”

“HELL NO!”

She stops, at the other end of the line, back as straight as a flagpole. “Why is that, girls?”

When they scream their response, Ricardo feels like the air is vibrating. “BECAUSE THERE AIN’T NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BITCH!”

“You’re damn right,” Mignon says, softly. She looks over her shoulder at Ricardo. “And, ladies? What do we do with fresh meat?”

All eyes are suddenly on Ricardo. The women’s teeth glint. “TENDERIZE IT!”
>>
No. 925965 ID: 270774
File 155272180287.png - (126.37KB , 800x525 , 394.png )
925965

Ricardo blinks, getting his bearings. He already feels very, very much in over his head. When he glances over to his side, Pascal just seems kind of dazzled. Easy for him, Ricardo thinks, when none of this is being directed at him.

“I like to get right down to business,” Kel says, snapping him back to attention, “so let’s make this quick. We don’t need any real pleasantries, right?”
>>
No. 925966 ID: 270774
File 155272185075.png - (137.32KB , 800x525 , 395.png )
925966

She walks the same line Mignon has just traveled. She stops behind the first, the woman who was moving her hands during the call-and-response. Ricardo notes that, like Mignon, Kel signs simultaneously as she speaks.

“First, meet Sirloin. Top of her class —” There’s an immediate clamoring of displeasure from the other three women, and Kel rolls her eyes. “Shut it! Shut the fuck up. You don’t like me saying she’s better than you? Then get better than her, and I won’t say it anymore. Simple as that.”

The wards settle down, and Sirloin lifts her hands. When she starts signing, Kel interprets aloud. “‘It’s my pleasure to meet you, Ribeye. I’m looking forward to —’” There’s a stumble in the interpretation as Kel snorts at what Sirloin is saying, but she picks it up again quickly. “‘I’m looking forward to being better than you, too.’”

She drops her hands again, grinning, and Kel glances over. “Pascal, you never learned VSL, huh?”

“Hm?” Pascal seems a little startled to be addressed, and he sways on the spot, hands clasped behind his back. “Well, no. Only emissaries of my house learn it.”

“Well, you’re gonna want to. Especially you, Ribeye. Strip usually interprets for her when necessary, since she’s got the most knack for it, but Sirloin’s funnier direct.” Sirloin smiles a little wider and lifts her hands again, and Kel slips back to interpreting seamlessly. “‘None of you get the timing quite right.’”
>>
No. 925967 ID: 270774
File 155272187518.png - (138.50KB , 800x525 , 396.png )
925967

“Speaking of Strip, here she is.” Kel comes to stand by the next woman in line, who’s practically vibrating with suppressed energy. “She’s actually originally from the 65th Squadron, turned in 2008, but she got held back on account of, uh…” Kel crosses her arms, head tilted thoughtfully. “Behavioral issues.”

“I’m gonna twist your fucking head off like a milk cap, bitch,” says Strip.

“She doesn’t exactly play nice with others,” Kel continues, “but, uh, it’ll probably be fine. Or it won’t be, whatever. I don’t care.”
>>
No. 925968 ID: 270774
File 155272189759.png - (141.78KB , 800x525 , 397.png )
925968

“And next is Rack —”

“Hiya!” says Rack. She immediately barrels onward, before Kel even has a chance to say anything about her. “I’m so excited to meet you! This is real unusual, you know. Kel normally doesn’t train other people’s wards. I’m so looking forward to spending time with you, or at least a little bit, since we’re probably gonna pulverize you so bad that you give up and bail! But try to hold out long enough for us to become friends, okay?”

“Okay,” says Ricardo, helplessly. Kel is snickering.
>>
No. 925969 ID: 270774
File 155272220904.png - (147.39KB , 800x525 , 398.png )
925969

Kel comes to a stop at the end of the line, and rests her hand on Lamb’s shoulder. “And you’ve met Lamb, of course. Kind of the runt of the litter.”

Strip lets out a rough bark of laughter, and Rack titters. Lamb doesn’t react. “She’s lagging behind the others, but it’s not for lack of trying, I’ll tell you that.” Kel lifts her eyes again, pinning Ricardo with her strong gaze. “And I’ll tell you something else. Sparring with her is different, because she and I have this agreement, alright?”

She lets go of Lamb’s shoulder, and Ricardo is very, very aware of how hard Lamb is staring at him. Her expression is not friendly. “Lamb and I have this agreement that any time she’s in combat, with any vampire who isn’t one of her covenmates — she can go all the way, if she can manage it. She can kill ‘em. I’m not allowed to intervene.”
>>
No. 925970 ID: 270774
File 155272223105.png - (118.89KB , 800x525 , 399.png )
925970

With a few more steps, Kel comes to stand by Mignon’s side. “So, that’s basic introductions. We all know each other’s names, and that’s enough for me. Which means we can get down training.”

“Kel, we have not even seen our room yet,” Pascal complains. “We have been traveling! He is tired!”

“Cradle goons aren’t gonna wait til you’re nice and well-rested before trying to dismember you,” Kel replies cheerfully. “We start now. That’s it.” She gives Ricardo a toothy grin as she continues. “Now, I’m not gonna let you spar with Mignon, because you just wouldn’t learn anything from that. I mean, if anything, you’d just learn how much agony your body can handle before you pass out, which isn’t real useful at this stage. For the same reason, you can’t spar with me, either.” She sweeps her arm out at the remaining three women, the same way Mignon did before. “So pick somebody else.”
>>
No. 925972 ID: 094652

"CHASING MATCH WITH RACK GO"

Start by flying away at full speed, but the moment you're out of sight play it smart and disguise your scent while crouching behind a dresser or something.
>>
No. 925973 ID: c1eaac

let's spar with rack? she seems to like us the most, even if she's going to try and pulverize us. plus she's not top of the class, and she won't fight like, uh, a berserker. might give us a good unbiased-ish look at how kel's wards are trained to fight.
>>
No. 925975 ID: 7e9c89

rack!! for making friends reasons! vamps are all cool with hyperviolence anyways at this rate so.. better to get accustomed fast and try'n make new friends outside training. or through fighting. either one
>>
No. 925976 ID: 2791fd

rack is super a trap. she looks round and safe but shes going to dismember us and smile while she does it

pick strip. she's going todismember us but she'll at least be straightforward about it
>>
No. 925977 ID: 9fcd43

I feel like Rack is a trap. It's always the nice ones you have to watch out for. Let's take on Strip; if she's that angry it might be easier to get her to trip up.
>>
No. 925979 ID: c8452a

Rack. Convince her that getting thrashed and broken isn't going to stop you from trying again. If you can manage it, you'll actually have someone who wants you to succeed.

Though maybe Kel at least hopes you'll succeed, but you don't need to prove it to her in the same way.
>>
No. 925981 ID: 70df1e

i vote lamb which yes, i understand is hubris but guys we cannot back down from what is clearly a challenge or kels wards will never respect us. go for it and worst comes to worst just turn to smoke and back the hell off.
>>
No. 925982 ID: 8ca664

RACK because anyone else would kill us
>>
No. 925983 ID: c8452a

>>925981
I don't want to end the quest yet.
>>
No. 925984 ID: 10c408

Honestly? We're gonna get our ass whupped here no matter who we picked.

So based off of that, no one is gonna respect us when Rack puts us on the ground and sits on us. Strip's out because she'll probably go overboard and make our beating hurt more than it's needed.

Lamb is out because fuck that noise.

Which leaves us with Sirloin. We probably can't understand anything she'll say with VSL, but... Well, pain is a universal language and maaybe she'll make it stop when it's clear we've had enough of it.

Also we might get slight respect for foolish bravery points by picking the ace.
>>
No. 925991 ID: cfe8e9

LET'S GET OUR ASS KICKED BY RACK IMMEDIATELY
>>
No. 925992 ID: 9f39fb

Oh I really wanna fight Sirloin, I know she'll kick our ass since she's top of the class, but I love her style and I feel like we could pick up a few things from her
>>
No. 925993 ID: 4d7c28

straight up too much if a huge lesbian to get my two braincells to cooperate to pick gal
>>
No. 925994 ID: b1b4f3

Looks like the voting's a bit one-sided.
I'd rate the risk from low to high like so:
Rack
Sirloin
Strip
Lamb

I wouldn't pick Rack or Lamb. Go with Sirloin! She's the top of the class so if you're very observant you'll learn the most. Also I like her.
>>
No. 925995 ID: 26262d

Absolutely go for Sirloin, she's obviously too strong for us but it would be great to see fighting panels of her
>>
No. 925996 ID: 23dc9d

Rack seems much too friendly for a vampire and that is terrifying altogether.

And Lamb is not a good choice after Fractal said these spars will now be super hard because of our last win.

Between Sirloin and Strip, Strip seems much more straightforward as far as how she will beat us up but at the same time I am not sure how much we will get from that. Sirloin might have something up her sleeve we haven't come across that we can learn to fight against, so my vote goes to her.
>>
No. 925997 ID: 26262d

Also that is very important but don't you think about fighting here. Go to the roof. Bring the puppet.
>>
No. 925998 ID: c8452a

>>925997
There's a whiff of grey face paint off of this...

Anyway, I definitely see the benefits of fighting Sirloin. Rack is still my number one, but if it's close my second is Sirloin.
>>
No. 926000 ID: fde9cb

okay so Strip, Rack and Lamb all kind of seem like they have something wild about them. Strip is a berserker, Rack is too nice to not be suspicious, Lamb is just scary. Sirloin seems the least wild card-y of them. like, she's the top student and she'll dismantle us, but in a pretty straightforward way . nothing too out of left field.

that said i love Lamb SO much. I wanna see her in action. yes Kel gave her permission to kill, but her Good Girl Guilt meter is way up there - there's a chance she might not actually do it. plus she's made out to be the weakest of the bunch. BUT challenging the clear weakest is probably gonna get us laughed at. might as well accept fate and let Sirloin take us apart. i want to vote Lamb but I have to say Sirloin
>>
No. 926004 ID: 8a58ca

LAMB she’d be the most fun to get our shit kicked in and maybe ended by.

I don’t think rack is a trap as such, I think it’s more she’s probably good at this and wanting to be friends isn’t something that will cross her mind as she tears us apart.

Also, ask Pascal his thoughts and also say that since its you they’re training he might as well check out the room and buy more, uh, you know, supplies
>>
No. 926005 ID: b44e0e

My poor lesbian brain is actually loosing it's shit. I love all these meat women and would love to have my ass handed to me on the edge of their claws anytime.
Ricardo on the other hand....
Rack seems like she would make a good friend, even if she nearly kills him.
Lamp is off the table, she would actually kill him.
Strip seems hella cool, but kinda a wild card. She was in a diffrent squad, but she could be really fun.
Sirloin, while also hella cool, would be a clear dumb move. We know she's top student and Kel already knows we're willing to make risky moves when it benefits. This is a good excuses to try and pick up some vamp sign language. Immortality is the best excuse to learn more languages.

So for a fight my vote is Rack, just so we can properly meet her.
>>
No. 926008 ID: c8452a

>>925998
Oh sorry, but we should definitely make it clear we want to learn VSL.
>>
No. 926010 ID: ec5e34

BE A DUMBASS AND PICK LAMB AND SAY SOMETHING CHEESY ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF WAR BEING A GREAT WAY TO MEET EVERYONE AND INTRODUCE YOURSELF SORRY FOR CAPS LOCK BUT ALL THE GIRLS MAKWEME FOAM AT MY MOUTH AND IMPEDE MY ABILITY TO THINK VIA MY GIGANTIC LESBIANISM ALSO THIS IS THE BEST AND IM LOSING MY ENTIRE MIND AND ALSO ALSO THIS IS BEAR ILU IM SO HYPED FOR THIS ARC
>>
No. 926011 ID: 9dad72

These are all REALLY good choices - I would love to see us fight Lamb, because even though she's labeled as the runt she is the biggest threat of death atm. That takes balls
>>
No. 926012 ID: 2e6ab7

Oh, I vote Sirloin! Hopefully it'll make us look like were ready to learn and up for a challenge, plus then we get the opportunity for a whole shonen training arc where we start off real cocky, fall on our ass miserably, then train a bunch and one day have a rematch and win!
Unrelated but god, Fractal, my poor gay heart over this update. You're killing me (thank you)
>>
No. 926013 ID: 7c1ffe

Lamb continues to be the biggest of gender hostile lesbian moods.

I vote Strip. She seems like she'll fight the most straightforward at least. Or Lam because we're in Vegas, might as well go high stakes all the way!
>>
No. 926014 ID: 9dad72

I'm leaning toward sparrin with either Sirloin (lots to learn from) or Lamb (more on our level but, also we've been indirectly challenged by the "she gets to kill you if she can" spiel). Rack looks like she'd knock us flat, I think she does genuinely want to know us but, that has no bearing on sparring power lol. Though she *does* seem to want us to succeed.

Do not engage Strip until we've seen what she can do. (But on the other hand, we can survive decapitating, it might be a good experience to have that happen at least once under training conditions so we know what it feels like)
>>
No. 926016 ID: 465a14

>>925966
Tangential, but VSL seems similar to ASL- that's the sign for better/best there.
>>
No. 926018 ID: 0f15ab

I’d say strip or sirloin, but leaning towards strip! She seems straightforward (not that any of them are straight hehe)
>>
No. 926019 ID: 0c42cf

oh hey — is it rude to ask what affinity everyone is before ricardo decides for real?
>>
No. 926020 ID: b54723

Rack looks like she'll beat us into an inch of our life but she'll be willing to let us live so let's just fight her. The other girls are a toss-up.

Lamb while she may be weaker has been at this more than we have and she looks like she's more than willing to kill us. We should fight her later I think.
>>
No. 926021 ID: a49030

ok yes, rack city bitch rack rack city bitch
>>
No. 926022 ID: bb78f2

Strip
>>
No. 926023 ID: 6cf958

I know Rack is the top fav, but based just on this intro, I think Sirloin is the best option. With her ego and teacher's pet tendencies she might want to show off so while we're getting taken apart we'll probably learn the most.

But also. I'm love Sirloin? so I'm biased
>>
No. 926027 ID: 328640

go with Strip! you have a tendency to make people that want to rip your head off... kind of tolerate you in the end
>>
No. 926028 ID: 02e2dc

fhfhdjhfhf it's like this arc was tailor made for me. cute girls that want to kick my ass sign me UP

anyway uhhhh it feels like we're going to get the floor wiped with us no matter who we pick so.... i'm gonna go with rack because she's cute and i want to see her rip us apart
>>
No. 926029 ID: 1fc2c7

oh my god im a lesbian. oh my god. oh my god

go with rack or sirloin, definitely! we're gonna get our blood smeared across the floor no matter what but they seem like they want to get to know us, and the least likely to go overboard on us. i do like the idea of choosing strip and trying to get her to slip up, but i've got a feeling kel trains them too well for us to do that in our current untrained state.

also, won't be relevant for a while, but next time we have downtime i think we should try to get to know lamb....i know she's not very open to conversation but my heart hurt for her when kel called her the runt :( ricardo knows what it's like to be an outcast, so i think they could be friends
>>
No. 926030 ID: 02e2dc

OH YEAH AND LETS LEARN VSL
>>
No. 926040 ID: b463f2

oh, I love them all, I love them all so much, and we absolutely need to learn VSL.

I'm vote Rack because, I love her the most and need to see more of her in action. Strip or Sirloin would also be good, and I'm love Lamb buuuuuuuut don't want to put death death on the line here.
>>
No. 926042 ID: aedfd9

I vote Strip. Unlike Lamb and Sirloin, she won't Literally Kill Us, plus it might be easy to manipulate her into making mistakes via smack talk. She seems to wear her emotions on her sleeve, unlike Rack. We already tripped up Minoru into underestimating us, and it's probably our best tactic until we stop being so hopelessly outmatched.
>>
No. 926045 ID: 67bd02

be overwhelmed with an immense appreciation for women
>>
No. 926046 ID: 67bd02

>>926045
also i think we should pick strip. rack seems like the easy choice to not get our ass beat but we held our own against minmin and bunji, two extremely experienced vampires, so we should be able to at least not lose instantly against one of the stronger ones. and we know strip won't hold back, either, so we can properly gauge how out of our league they are
>>
No. 926050 ID: 10c408

>>926046
We only won vs those two because they didn't expect how much tricky shit we could pull out of ass.

They were also drunk, and even then we had to stall them by making it WEIRD long enough for Ricardo to recover from turning into smoke.

This is a one on one bout with trained combat wards. We're not going to do much more than get picked apart when we run out of tricks that only work once.
>>
No. 926070 ID: 3e7944

Girls girls girls :hearteyes: I vote for Sirloin, cause a) im gay and want to see her fight and b) top of the class may give us a sense of what is taught in the class
>>
No. 926075 ID: f5cc0e

STRIP! STRIP! WE GOTTA FIGHT STRIP! WE NEED OUR HEAD POPPED OFF LIKE A MILK CAP, BITCH!! FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES OF COURSE!!
>>
No. 926083 ID: c8452a

>>926019
Probably less important if it's rude or not, for this group, and more important that we're kinda simulating ambushes from enemies. Our enemies wouldn't tell us, so maybe our allies won't either.
>>
No. 926101 ID: ee3259

I vote sirloin bc i love her x1000000 but, like marn asked, can we find out their affinities first or will they crap all over us for asking
>>
No. 926103 ID: ee3259

alex's note about the fact that enemies wouldn't tell us is good... if we don't ask Kel, does Pascal know any of their affinities? Maybe he'd be able to let Ricardo know before the fight or if he noticed them during the fight
>>
No. 926105 ID: 745f93

>>926000

Lamb's Good Girl Guilt seems to point more toward a stance of "exterminate as many of the evil monsters that I've become as possible, as penance to God for living as one," than a genuine hesitation to kill fellow vampires imho. I'd absolutely take the warning as literal, personally.

I think that Sirloin is the best pick here. It shows that you're not afraid of a genuine challenge--where else to gamble with high stakes, if not Vegas?--and why wouldn't you want to learn from the top of the class, right?

Not to mention that, as mentioned by others, Rack and Lamb seem very much like pitfalls to trip you up. Kel's snickering at Rack's friendly greeting seems like a hint, especially. You don't want to seem easily fooled (Rack's friendly kindness) or easily goaded (the implied challenge re: Lamb), after all.

Much as I'd love to see him fight one of the others, too, I'm thinking Sirloin is the best pick. But, I'd absolutely see if Kel will share information about their affinities first--although--to be honest, I doubt it. Enemies wouldn't tell you their affinities, just like they won't wait until you're well-rested, right?
>>
No. 926106 ID: c8452a

>>926105
Agreed about the literal warning. I don't think it was a challenge.
>>
No. 926125 ID: 1f20b4

I say Strip for no reason Ricardo will be able to appreciate.
>>
No. 926128 ID: caccde

Definitely Sirloin. Best of class, no potential psychout moves, and knowing what fake it til you make vampire confidence looks like never hurts
>>
No. 926135 ID: 3225aa

>>926105
oh youre right
i change my vote to sirloin
>>
No. 926138 ID: 465a14

I'll vote Sirloin.
>>
No. 926155 ID: e3a778

It almost seemed like Rack purposefully cut Kel off before we could be given any actual information on her. She’s definitely hiding something. Like others have said, we’re getting our asses kicked no matter who we choose, so I vote Rack out of curiosity.
>>
No. 926214 ID: 33ca78

I vote Sirloin
>>
No. 926294 ID: 98dd16

fight lamb or die trying.

it's a good way to die.
>>
No. 926299 ID: b1e435

>>926294
>>
No. 926418 ID: f62d1c

lamb, definitely

there's no way kel can give her that sort of intro and pass up on the chance to see why
>>
No. 926422 ID: 270774
File 155305831590.png - (155.14KB , 800x525 , 400.png )
926422

“I don’t suppose there’s any chance of me finding out what everybody’s affinities are first?” Ricardo ventures.

“Absolutely not,” says Kel.

“Okay. Figures. Uh… I definitely am interested in learning VSL,” Ricardo says; and when he does Sirloin squints at him a little and then taps Strip’s arm, and Strip quickly signs something for her. Clarification, he assumes, if she was trying to read his lips and didn’t catch all of it, but that’s just speculation. Either way, Sirloin gives him a little smile that seems genuine, if a bit detached. “But, uh,” he continues, “for now… Rack. Why don’t we get to know each other?”

“Yes,” Rack hisses, bouncing on the spot. “Yes, yes, yes!”

“Coward,” Strip spits. Sirloin signs something at her and she scoffs. “I’m not being a bitch.”

“You’re bein’ a bitch,” Rack chimes in. She’s already starting to limber up, cycling through stretches that seem routine to her; the other wards are filing towards an open doorway in the far wall, one that presumably leads to a staircase up to the mezzanine ringing the walls of the ballroom.

“Pascal,” Kel calls. Pascal looks up quizzically. “Come on, you’re joining us up here. No backup. This is for Ribeye, by himself.”

“Oh, bah,” Pascal mutters, under his breath. He relents, though, taking Ricardo’s jacket off his shoulders before turning away. “Good luck, Ricardo! You, euhhh… you’ll do…” He tilts his head as he folds the jacket over his arm. “Well, you won’t die, I don’t think. I will cheer for you!”
>>
No. 926423 ID: 270774
File 155305832765.png - (110.13KB , 800x525 , 401.png )
926423

Soon enough, Rack and Ricardo are left alone on the ballroom floor as the others all find a spot leaning against the railings of the upper level.

“This is a friendly spar,” Kel yells out. Her voice echoes just a little, bounding off the polished parquet and the paneled walls. “For training purposes, got it? It stops when somebody surrenders or can’t fight anymore.”

“If you surrender, you don’t belong here,” Strip adds, in a snarl.

Kel leans back, one hand still gripping the railing. “True enough. Anyway, try not to kill each other, yeah?”

And with that, Ricardo assumes, the match has officially begun.
>>
No. 926424 ID: 270774
File 155305834090.png - (80.32KB , 800x525 , 402.png )
926424

“I guess I should tell you a little bit about myself,” Rack says.

Ricardo blinks. He’d already started sinking into a combat stance, and now he doesn’t know whether to relax or not. Probably better not.

She’s still stretching, idly, bending from one side to the other. “I’ll tell you my real name when I get it back from Kel, so for now Rack is it. I could never decide whether I wanted to be an actress or a fashion designer or a doctor, so I became a vampire to give myself time to do everything I want to.” She finally seems to finish stretching and straightens up again, shaking her hands out. “I’m single right now, and I’m a Libra. My favorite movie is Jawbreaker. Umm… I think that’s a good start, right, Ribeye?”

“Uh,” says Ricardo. He’s still half-crouching. “Okay.”

“The thing is I don’t really need you to tell me anything about yourself,” Rack continues. She’s started walking towards him, at a leisurely pace, and Ricardo instinctively walks backwards to maintain the distance. “I already know you pretty well.”

Ricardo furrows his brow — at least, a little deeper than it was already furrowed. “You don’t know anything about me.”
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No. 926425 ID: 270774
File 155305835481.png - (124.55KB , 800x525 , 403.png )
926425

https://open.spotify.com/track/1YxYWZv2wZL1oXjS53tVe7?si=_znUEjOXS6WYDIYiiWRtpQ

“Sure I do. You’re the kind of guy who doesn’t have any friends.” Rack’s smiling. Her eyes are wide. “Before all this, you worked a lot of different jobs, but you didn’t like any of them. When it was time to move on, you put in your two weeks and didn’t tell anybody but your managers. You always left without any of your coworkers even having your number.”

Ricardo’s getting close to the wall. More alarmingly, Rack’s assessment is accurate. That doesn’t mean anything, though. It can’t mean anything.

“You’re the kind of person who doesn’t make an impact on anybody’s life,” Rack continues brightly. “You’re furniture. You’re kind of a background character. People want to know more about you, but not bad enough to actually ask.”

“What are you talking about,” Ricardo hisses.

“Are you not into this topic? Some people don’t like to talk about themselves.” She claps her hands, once, softly. “Okay! Let’s change the subject. Your mom’s name is Andressa Castro, but she goes by Andy.”
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No. 926426 ID: 270774
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926426

What?

“She drives a blue Toyota,” says Rack. Ricardo’s chest is tight. Is this panic? Is this what real panic feels like? “There’s a dent in the back left bumper, like she got rear-ended or something, and she still hasn’t gotten it fixed.”

Ricardo knows he doesn’t have to breathe, so he tries not to, because every inhale is ice cold. His head is pounding.

“She’s a general contractor, and when she gets home from work every night she has a scotch and water.”
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No. 926427 ID: 270774
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926427

“Stop it,” Ricardo rasps. He’s thinking about his mom’s car, about the dent, about the stain on the back seat from when a can in the groceries exploded while he was sitting next to it. He’s thinking about the time they couldn’t find it in the parking lot after a day at fucking Six Flags and thought it had been stolen, but they were just remembering the wrong row. He’s thinking about his mom standing in front of the kitchen window with a glass of scotch in her hand. “What did you do —”

“Whoa, you okay?” Rack leans forward, frowning. “You don’t look so good!”
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No. 926431 ID: c8452a

Oh shit, she's a psychic. A mind-reader of some persuasion. It might also be effecting his emotions unnaturally. Not sure how to combat that, try thinking of brick walls or just trying to physically stay calm. Staying composed while also fighting is the best suggestion I have.

Possibly, Rack just did serious research but I doubt it.
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No. 926433 ID: 7e9c89

uh. i think if she leans in to ask if we're ok any further she is going to hit us so BACK UP...... if she's a psychic, i guess try to clear yourmind as much as possible before anything else?? either attack first, or tell her something else about you. she's not wrong, but you're not that anymore! you don't have to be
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No. 926434 ID: c1eaac

OK so rack has a psychic affinity, clearly. my other predictions that i'm gonna put here for posterity (based on what minmin said about the different personality types) are:

strip - power
sirloin - shifter
lamb - either psychic or specialist

that said, let's uhhhh focus on not giving rack the time or means to talk, since her affinity pretty clearly has some verbal component. give her an elbow or a knee to the jaw asap. will turning into mist clear ricardo's head maybe? esp if this also has to do with eye contact?
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No. 926435 ID: 70df1e

vampires heal fast right? like, really fast? just fuck up your own ears real quick. it'll hurt to pop your eardrums but the pain is temporary and rack cant use her powers on you if you cant hear her.

plus doing something so drastic will probably impress kel and the rest
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No. 926436 ID: 67bd02

god damn it i TOLD yall. she's a hypnotist and she's trying to get us in a state of panic so that she can manipulate us with her weirdass powers. let's just rush her, but even that's probably a trap so get ready to shift into something fast
>>
No. 926437 ID: c1eaac

>>926435

oh wait yeah i second this. pop your eardrums ricardo, they'll definitely heal. just shove your pinkies in there real hard and go for it.
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No. 926438 ID: cfe8e9

GROUND YOURSELF. you're here and now, your ma isn't here, rack can't hurt her while you're duelling with her. she's safe, and you're in a duel, and you need to fight back.

take just a moment to steady yourself, then launch into a CAREFUL physical attack. she's counting on you to be too rattled to think about what you're doing. focus very, very hard on how you're attacking and defending, and keep a very close eye on what she's doing.
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No. 926439 ID: 81586f

Yeah she's trying to fuck with us. What she's looking at (Since she IS probably looking at our memories) is none of her business, so why should she care at this moment other than to mess with us?

Sock her in the mouth, because frankly she shouldn't be standing around talking about business that isn't hers in a fight, she should be swinging punches and maybe talking some trasn. She isn't taking us seriously enough if she feels safe opening up with that. Let's make her take us seriously.
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No. 926440 ID: cfe8e9

>>926435
POP YOUR EARDRUMS IT'S FOR THE GREATER GOOD
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No. 926442 ID: 6ce5eb

OH SHIT i am, unfortunately, definitely with the eardrum mutilation. even if she isn’t unnaturally imposing panic onto ricardo, it’s obviously getting under his skin either way (good boy guilt?), and it’ll hurt like a bitch, but if we can shift our nails and pierce them, it might. be good??
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No. 926443 ID: c8452a

>>926435
Fuck, that's awful, I hate that image in my head. Also great idea, you're probably right, and he should definitely do this.

Just try calming down first and if it doesn't work, pop the ear drums.
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No. 926444 ID: 2b310f

INTERESTING

I love her, she's gonna smash us.

My guess is that she can tell things from when we were human. Pascal mentioned that his hypnotism doesn't work on vampires (he specifically says it only works on humans) and I would think there are similar restrictions on other psychic affinities.

But we can absolutely use the fact that she's only talking about Ricardo's past to our advantage: shit has changed, we're a vampire now. We've had some really good sex and everything!

Talk to her about more of your past. Talk about the failed relationships and bad sex. Own your past. It's the past and who gives a fuck. You've got a whole lot of future to go yet.

As you talk, pretend not to notice you're backed up against the wall, then when she goes for you: smoke, just for a second to get behind her, then come back with cougar claws.

Also maybe tell her you know someone she might like— he's into horoscopes, too.
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No. 926445 ID: 14e641

Stay the fuck away from her! Don't let her get close. She's reading you. If Pascal can hypnotize and see the future its obviously a thing she can grab memories. She dosent actually know your mom.
Worst case scenario you smoke shift to get away from her, but not for long and not a lot. Your claws are your best weapons but it seems like she's a mind game fighter so you have to keep it together and you might actually have a chance, but its going to be hard.
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No. 926446 ID: 2e6ab6

HOKAY. So she's psychic or specialist. Playing the odds says she's Psychic, so here's my personal take. 1. She's probably skimming subconscious or long-term memories here, so a mental screen will likely only be so effective. To play it safe, minimize eye contact and try to keep your thoughts relatively simple. Don't give her enough to read your strategy. As for actual actions, I'd say rush her immediately. If she moves to block or retaliate, turn into mist, breeze past her, re-solidify, and strike from behind. Go for the spine. When it's hard to kill an opponent, disabling them is the next best option. Either go for the lower spine to take out mobility, or go for the base of the skull to take out all movement, attack, and defense. If she doesn't block or retaliate, go for the throat to shut her up, or just try to punch a hole through her skull and end the fight there. Either way, moving fast and not letting her psyche you out is the best strategy I can see. Fight on your instincts, but don't be dumb.
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No. 926448 ID: 6f764d

Alright, Ricardo, you're in a duel and she's using her powers to psyche you out. Stop listening to her. First earworm that comes to mind, start whistling or humming it. Then you get to fighting. Don't plan out your moves; she'll just read them right off you. Just move completely on instinct.
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No. 926449 ID: 3e7944

Oh boy this is so exciting, i love her so much. Im honestly so intimidated by this.

I feel like charging her, try to stop her from talking might be the best option? but idk if she will see that coming either from like premonition or just like knowing how to get a rise out of us? but i cant really think of anything else right now.

Also i miss our mom now :(
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No. 926451 ID: b1b4f3

>>926427
Go aggro. Immediately. She's a psychic affinity, she's reading your mind and picking at your strongest memories, to distract you.
You might not be able to stop remembering things but you need to learn to fight through distraction anyway.

Ricardo deafening himself is a good idea but I'm not sure he can just shove his fingers in there. Earholes are small, he'd need a pencil or something. If he claps his hands against his ears really hard he might be able to get them ringing though? Or if the pressure wave is strong enough that might burst his eardrums just like that.
...what about claws, by shifting his hands? Would those be long and thin enough?
>>
No. 926452 ID: c8452a

>>926451
Yeah, he can definitely shift his fingers for that.
>>
No. 926453 ID: ce9ee8

>>926446
yes to all of this! smokescreening her and going for her spine is a good plan. also you rupturing your eardrums would be metal as fuck and i don't think anyone would expect you to do that. it seems like mutilating yourself to win a fight is a bathory thing (see: minmin losing his shit when pascal lopped his arm off) but DO IT cuz it will be cool as hell. or at the very least it will be surprising. avoid eye contact to be safe but don't actually look away from rack, aim higher or lower than her eyes, like her hair or her chin.
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No. 926454 ID: 094652

Think "Naughty Schizophrenia" - keep your thoughts hidden by all that porno and switch your strategy every 5 seconds!
>>
No. 926455 ID: aedfd9

Start thinking lots of misinformation! Picture yourself living in the wrong kind of house, wrong kind of pet, wrong kind of second parental history... see if you can trip her up!

For physical fighting, turning into mist might help? It'd help you hide your fear, at least, and maybe you could try to suffocate her or sthg?

Also.... maybe at some point, Ricardo should call his mom. I bet she's worried about him. She seems nice.
>>
No. 926456 ID: aedfd9

Oh shit, I definitely second everyone who's saying eardrum mutilation. Fursona shift your cat paws and scratch it up in there, Kel will love it (and Pascal will be impressed too)
>>
No. 926458 ID: 10c408

I knew we should have fought Sirloin. At best, this stunt means that Rack is testing our mettle with good intentions and terrible consequence.

That said she's probably going to attack you at some point. See if thinking about grabbing Rack and throwing her at the nearest wall causes any kind of reaction while you start to close the gap.

and for god's sake TUNE HER OUT.
>>
No. 926459 ID: 4328b4

I think that the eardrum rupturing, while it might work, is a really bad idea. We told Pascal off for the stunt with his arm in the duel with minmin and bunji, I don't want to pull the same shit here. Not while we have other options, at least. And the worst that can happen here is we eat shit and lose and learn that okay maybe in the face of this stuff we do take the extreme option at the first opportunity.

Idk, the eardrum thing just seems too extreme for this particular fight.
>>
No. 926463 ID: 489abb

yeah i definitely agree with the 'we JUST told pascal off for doing this shit we probably shouldn't IMMEDIATELY do the same thing the first time we get into a fight' also i think it's a bad idea to pop your own eardrums bc i suspect you'll NEED TO HEAR especially if she's fast and might misdirect you/psych you out/outrun you. I don't actually remember how psychic things work but would it be possible to start thinking of naked pascal. also despite how unnerving this is i honestly doubt she's going to go directly for ricardo's mom, which is probably the fear she's banking on. unless this is part of a lengthy 'this is how kel finds out about ricardo's mom and marries her' plot but like i don't think that's how she's trying to psych him out.
...anyway my point is i don't think self-mutilation is going to impress pascal. back up, yeah, i don't know if she's going to hit us but i HIGHLY suspect there's an eye component to it; what she may do is the whole. grab by the chin + make ricardo look into her eyes and when she does THAT i think we're dead. (ALSO UH. DON'T TAKE YOUR EYES ENTIRELY OFF HER BUT MAKE SURE WE'RE NOT /RIGHT UP AGAINST THE WALL ALREADY/ SO WHEN WE TRY TO BACK UP WE RUN INTO IT WITHOUT EXPECTING)


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