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File 145169272586.png - (155.74KB , 700x600 , 79.png )
691136 No. 691136 ID: 8679fe

ch 1: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/663996.html
int 1: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/676703.html

So far this is shaping up to be a pretty shitty day.
Expand all images
>>
No. 691137 ID: 8679fe
File 145169274001.png - (148.96KB , 700x600 , 80.png )
691137

I'm outside the Sukebun's main house. It wasn't really like I could ask Chidori for a ride, so I guess wherever I'm going, I'm hoofing it. I don't even know where I want to go, though.

I check my phone, just out of habit, and I've got three messages. One's from Reiss. One's from a number I don't recognize. And one is from Ne.

Like I said. Today is looking bad.
>>
No. 691140 ID: d0868f

Did you even leave Reiss with a phone?

Check all three messages. Reiss (can he even talk? Make sounds?), Ne, unrecognized.
>>
No. 691142 ID: 39247f

check ne's first. might be the scariest, might as well get it over first. either that or check it last.
>>
No. 691143 ID: 06ec1d

check ne, reiss, unrecognized.

did we leave sweat at chidori's house? can we meet up with it again? its weird but also seems to be good insurance that we dont run into trouble.
>>
No. 691145 ID: b142a5

Does Sweat have a phone? Where did it even go?

If Sweat doesn't have a phone, probably try to figure out a way to get in contact with it. It's about the most helpful ally you have right now--especially if Ne's text is a threat.

Ne first, in case it's something dangerous. Unrecognized second, in case it's Rabies or something. Reiss third. He can wait. Especially considering how he's treated you in the past.
>>
No. 691146 ID: 2ccbb3

Check the unrecognized number.

Also, you should leave Sukebun territory or hire a local Sukebun mercenary, because they might get the wrong idea after you publically denounced their ear-seppuku.
>>
No. 691149 ID: 8679fe
File 145169552130.png - (209.69KB , 700x600 , 81.png )
691149

I don't know where Sweat is. It disappeared at some point while Chidori and I were talking - that's normal, as far as 'normal' can go for a slimy penis angel. It would probably come if I called - and by 'called' i mean some kind of weird ... prayer-type thing.


I decide to check Ne's message first, since it has a good chance of being the worst one. It's a picture message, sent this morning at around 1 AM. I brace myself and open it.

It's ... I don't know. It must be photoshop or something.
>>
No. 691150 ID: 8679fe
File 145169553449.png - (176.55KB , 700x600 , 82.png )
691150

Reiss can use an internet connections to send SMS messages, though he doesn't do it often.

REISS
8:50 AM 8/10/2015

:(????

REISS
9:10 AM 8/10/2015
:( ??? ??? ??? ? :((((( ? :'(, :( ? :( ?????


I guess I didn't actually tell him what my plans were besides staying at Sweat's place last night. All he knows at this point is that I never came home.
>>
No. 691151 ID: 8679fe
File 145169558005.png - (158.29KB , 700x600 , 83.png )
691151

The next messages are from the unrecognized number. Whoever it was typed up a fucking novel.

UNKNOWN
2:52 AM 8/10/2015

hello!!!! ✨ ✨ ✨ you don't know me yet but i have heard SO much about you! i figured we'd gone long enough as strangers and i wanted to take this opportunity to PERSONALLY invite you to have dinner with me in my home!! oh oops i just realized i haven't even introduced myself yet! this is jolene~ 💖

UNKNOWN
2:52 AM 8/10/2015

and anyway!!! i want you over TONIGHT if you can make it!!! i know that you and pookiepie have had your differences, so if you'd feel better bringing some friends that's totally fine~ 💖 but i think we're really going to get along! i could always use more girlfriends to hang out with!

UNKNOWN
2:52 AM 8/10/2015

so get over here tonight okay!!! 💖 don't worry about bringing anything~ oh, and by the way - this is actually not an invitiation at all, it's a demand, and if you refuse me i'm going to have you fucking gutted like a fish. Every fucking dog in the city will be on you as soon as I say the fucking word and if you think it'll be a quick death you are sorely fucking mistaken. You're either ready to have dinner with me or you're ready to die.

UNKNOWN
3:00 AM 8/10/2015

oh i forgot to ask! let me know if you have any food allergies okay!



Okay. So. There's that.
>>
No. 691152 ID: 152955

what if ne.... time travled woooooooooaaaaaaah man oyou better watch out

rabies' new girl... shit why the fuck not. actually there are many reasons but just ignore them sounds great
>>
No. 691153 ID: 39247f

ignore ne- he probably just wants to get a response out of you. if you are feeling up to it, text reiss something simple so he knows you are still alive.
then tell joylene you are alergic to dogs
>>
No. 691154 ID: 7b7ab3

Okay. So.

Ne: creepy fucker. Should have killed him when we had the chance. Fucking hindsight.

Reiss: who even cares?

Jolene: psychotic, retarded, or both? Anyway, we probably shouldn't.
>>
No. 691155 ID: b142a5

Go to the dinner, but bring Sweat and anybody else you can get with. Obviously not the Sukebun, now, but... somebody else.

Also, if the overuse of emotes is anything to go by, it's possible that Jolene put out the hit on Chidori.

File for future reference: see if you can get somebody to make a new OS for Reiss that maintains this personality, because this is better than what he used to have.
>>
No. 691156 ID: 88e46e

That probably isn't photoshop. It's probably something that got Taken from you.
>>
No. 691157 ID: 6dbafd

>>691151
bahaha she didn't leave an address.

you've still got your scar in the photo so it's recent, how many days ago did you get the scar again?
it's unlikely it was taken last night unless you went to sleep with sweat past 1am, or sweat betrayed you and took you out to ne in the middle of the night.

either way theres some missing memory shit going on here and i'm left wondering who took the photo considering whose already in the frame.
>>
No. 691158 ID: 2ccbb3

If she wants a party, you'll give her a party.

1. Find explosives.
2. Stealth your way into Rabies' base.
3. Grab all memory fragments you can find.
4. Make sure Jolene is dead.
5. Explosion.

Try to get the mooks out of the blast radius, they're victims where Rabies and Jolene are involved.

Ne: "You broke me. The debt WILL be paid, no matter how far you rip yourself apart."

Reiss: "Will you get a job? Nothing fancy, just move some stuff for food money. I won't stay with you, and I might not come back alive; if you want me to like you, you'd better earn it."
>>
No. 691160 ID: b142a5

>>691157
Might have been right after the scar was inflicted.
>>
No. 691162 ID: 99a64d

Ask the mystery bitch where the party is and what it entails. Tell her you'll consider going but then don't.

Explain where you where to Reiss.
>>
No. 691165 ID: bb78f2

>>691151
This is obviously the person who put out the hit on Chidori.
Send the copy of texts over to her, saying I know we JUST split up after having a fight, but I figure she has the right to know that her hitter just asked you out for dinner.
>>
No. 691166 ID: 7b7ab3

>>691165
I like this. Bullshit aside, they're still friends.
>>
No. 691167 ID: d0868f

>It's ... I don't know. It must be photoshop or something.
Or something else you forgot.

>>691150
Well, I guess that you could text him that you're okay, and got stuck at Sweat's place last night.

>>691151
Text back "you didn't leave an address, jerkbutt"
>>
No. 691168 ID: bb78f2

>>691151
It's also obviously Rabies' new girl, judging from her tone though, she wouldn't take any of his abuse. Odds are they just had a breakup and she wants blood.

I wonder if getting you involved was a part of Jolene's plan, I mean, Chidori knew Ne had been sent the hit somehow, which means someone tipped her off, which was probably Jolene, to put you in the positions you've been in... potentially to set off a war between the Sukebun and Rabie's gang as a sort of revenge. Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that that Dude was right there at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I can tell the woman's unstable from the texts, she would probably make a plan as complex and unlikely to succeed as that, and would be just as pleased if any part of it failed.

Does... ANY of that seem likely to you? Did you know about any of Rabie's own exes in the past?
>>
No. 691169 ID: a107fd

@Jolene: I am allergic to carbon and iron. Who's "pookiepie" ?
>>
No. 691170 ID: bcce6e

>>691166
this
tell ne to "eat ass shitlord and tnx for the gun"
send reiss ":)"
>>
No. 691173 ID: 06ec1d

this is the same person that sent ne those emails. this is dangerous. go. dont go alone. find fucking sweat
>>
No. 691176 ID: b6178d

>>691151

Man, that's some speed typing. And, comparing e-mail styles, I guess we have a likely culprit/catspaw for the hit on Chidori. Unless that's not speed typing, but someone fucking up a pre-prepped copy paste job to throw a false flag. I might be paranoid.

Hmm. Could be Ne informed her he fucked up, prompting this rapid-fire response. Or, more likely, the real guy who wanted the package turned up, and Ne spun the story of how you fucked up the job, gave them the contact details (which they supplied to Jolene). Either way, someone's not a happy camper, and that someone is Rabies' new girl. And now Nana's killed one of Rabies' men, maybe the guy who came looking for the gun, or one who stayed to see what was going to happen next to Ne's place. That's gonna throw some oil on the fire, whatever's going on, I bet.

Thing is, what was the beef? Why would Jolene want Chidori dead so badly? At Rabies' behest, or personal reasons? Perhaps both. Seems like almost everything's personal around here, don't it?

It might be too late, but.. tell Jolene you couldn't make it last night, but that she shouldn't worry about dinner. You're not allergic to anything, least of all tasty threats. You might drop by to talk later. Assuming she is willing to give an address. (^-_-^)

Send a message to your boyfriend that you're making progress on your errands. Like 1% progress. It's going to be a long day. (^-_-^)

To Ne, just send '(^-_-^)'. If he wants to elaborate, fine, but otherwise, we're not on speaking terms.

Find some place to get breakfast. Pre-prep a message to send to Chidori. 'Could've been Jolene, Ne told me she was Rabies' new girlfriend.', and copy the messages you just got.

It might be wise not to send it yet, though. The threat of exposing Jolene to the Sukebun might be leverage you could hold over her. Also, according to Ne, you might need her to fix your BF once you find his parts (or replacement parts).
>>
No. 691212 ID: fb7dbf

uh. if you go, definitely bring sweat, maybe also a weapon
>>
No. 691232 ID: 8679fe
File 145175188565.png - (396.34KB , 700x600 , 84.png )
691232

I slam out a quick text to Reiss - "i'm still out, don't know when i'll be back" - more to keep him off my back than anything else.

It's been several months since the break-in, so if the photo Ne sent is real, it could have been taken any time in the past few months. I have no memory of waking up at any point with unexplained injuries - but then again, apparently having no memory of something means absolutely jack shit in my case.

If I'm gonna be honest with myself, I'm starting to get freaked out.

As far as Jolene goes ... it doesn't matter that she didn't give an address or anything. I know where she lives. I think back to the emails I showed Chidori, and I do have to admit that there's a serious resemblance, and it makes sense that someone who calls Rabies "pookiepie" would want Chidori dead. I make up my mind to forward the messages to Chidori once I find somehwere to sit down and regroup. I might be pissed off at her right now, but this is exactly the kind of thing she needs to know about.

Long story short, there's a lot going on here. The second I find myself thinking it would be a good idea if Sweat was around, it's here, leaning over my shoulder.

"The little throat sings," it says.

"Yeah. Hey, will you come somewhere with me tonight?" It tilts its head at me, chirping inquisitively, and I gesture for it to walk with me. "We gotta go to the junkyard. Rabies' place."
>>
No. 691233 ID: 8679fe
File 145175189606.png - (408.58KB , 700x600 , 85.png )
691233

We've only made it a few steps, but Sweat immediately stops, and it's making that screeching metal noise in the belly of its throat, the same one it made the last time Rabies was brought up. I turn around and look at it, furrowing my brow.

"Failings, failings," it pants, "my failings - lined up to look me in the face, collecting dust but at attention, firing squad - how can I face?" It shoves its knuckles into its mouth, all of its eyes darting back and forth anxiously. "To go, to risk failing you again - to flee, still failure - how shall I? How can I?" It's breathing heavily now, every inhale coming with a ragged car-crash sound. I've never seen it like this before. "I cannot refuse you but I cannot go. Torn, rent - pulled in half - you tear me, Lowry, you tear me -"
>>
No. 691236 ID: bec8db

Hug the dick angel.
>>
No. 691239 ID: d0868f

>>691233
Put a hand on him.

Hey, hey. It's okay. What's wrong?
>>
No. 691240 ID: 2d99eb

First: What are you talking about?

Second: It's not like it was a proposition, it was more like an ultimatum.

Third: Between a "total failure" and "probably failure", I would go with the second.
>>
No. 691247 ID: b6178d

>>691233

Hold its hand.

Let's think a little. That sounds like a pretty traumatized reaction to me... one involving us and Rabies or the junkyard. The reference to failings may mean that Sweat took it personally that it didn't or couldn't help. Something about going to Rabies also seems to scare it, big time. She wants you, but she doesn't want to go, hence being torn.

Maybe someone, or something, there Took some things from it (or you), and it doesn't want that to happen again, and at the same time can't bring herself to take the same risk again.

So, rather than keep insisting on bringing it along, say you'll find another way. Nothing good can come from bringing a PTSD'd (or whatever) fallen angel into an already tense situation.

Instead, ask her what happened last time you went. Giving us some idea as to what to expect is probably the best way to resolve this tearing conflict of interests. Sweat can then feel like she's helped us without having to come along.
>>
No. 691248 ID: 406895

>>691236
>>691240
These.
>>
No. 691250 ID: b142a5

Give it a hug, and maybe tell it that you're still alive and there's still a way to set things right.
>>
No. 691251 ID: bb78f2

>>691233
Yeah, hug him, but warn him that we have to ask him some ugly things.

Sweat, what did he DO to you? How did we break up in the first place, I know our relationship had to be before Rabies. I don't know why my old self wouldn't have gotten back together with you as soon as I got out from Rabies.

Unless it was to protect him or something, which would make sense, if Reiss was raping you the whole time until the procedure that took your memories, you wouldn't have cared about staying with him if Rabies eventually wanted to kill come and kill your "boyfriend", don't share that theory with Sweat though.

Tell him to be honest as possible please, try and say everything like I would when explaining it instead of with poetry, I deserve that.

Lowry, you could ask some of the Sukebun for protection instead. You're still at their HQ, and their protection never was rescinded, right? You don't even need to ask Chidori about it. Besides, they need to set up a meeting with the Junkyard peeps anyway over the murder (AND the Hit against Chidori) and they can't send either Nanako or Chidori because of the murder and hit.
>>
No. 691254 ID: 06ec1d

tell it u have no other choice, jolene will sick the dogs on you if you refuse. give it a hug :3
>>
No. 691321 ID: 2ccbb3

Punch sweat in the face. Reassure it that you're not going to accept a three-way with Junkie Psycho and Ms. Junkie Psycho, you plan on fighting them. You're just not sure HOW yet, hence the party.
>>
No. 691375 ID: a107fd

Sweat, did you get banished from the junkyard or something? It's okay, you can wait right outside and I'll go get you if there's trouble. Unless I get tied down and am in the process of being gutted like a fish. We should probably come up with another plan for that.
>>
No. 691378 ID: 401f23

oh no, give sweat a hug! tell it you can't remember its past failing so no harm no foul, but you don't really have a choice about the rabies thing and if it won't be your backup you'll have to find someone else - but you don't have many options
>>
No. 691407 ID: 88965b

ask it what its deal is, why it's reacting this way?

you have NO ONE else to go with. if sweat won't go with you, then that's its decision and you shouldn't press it, but like...if it won't go then you're on your own. are you cool with that? if not then youre gonna have to try and convince it to come
>>
No. 691438 ID: 8679fe
File 145181106780.png - (310.94KB , 700x600 , 86.png )
691438

"Hey, hey, whoa, it's okay." I cautiously reach out to touch it, and when it leans into the contact I let my hand slide down its arm and catch its big clawed fingers. "What's going on? Why are you acting like this?"

It doesn't answer at first, and I try to get it to look at me. After a beat of hesitation, it does. Its eyes have multiplied and they're unstable and twitchy, sliding around its face like raindrops on a car window. "What happened?" I press, but I'm trying to be as gentle as I can. It sucks in a breath, and I ask again, my voice hardening just barely. "What did he do to you?"

"Failure, failure - wrought upon me - showed me my weaknesses, showed me the foolishness of what I worked so bloodily to attain," it babbles, and I squeeze its hand to silently interrupt.

"Can you try to explain it to me plainly?"

Sweat hesitates, then draws its forehead close to mine. "I can show you, little throat. The memory is no longer yours? Carried away?"

"Yeah," I reply quietly. "I don't remember."

It rests its forehead against mine. The skin is hot and damp, and it smells like heavy perfume.
>>
No. 691439 ID: 8679fe
File 145181108250.png - (482.38KB , 700x600 , 87.png )
691439

it is sssss ss s s august, its august, the 23rd of august and i feel virginal i feel like i was born on the 23rd, died and born to do this for Her

i have watched Her weep like lot's wife until i feeel She will be crusted over with salt i have watched and watched i have rent my organs from my body, away from Her, to distract from the pain. but She asks and asks and begs and begs leave him alone leave hima lone he will get better

She is standing like the salt pillar and i cannot watch anymore and so i have come

>>
No. 691440 ID: 8679fe
File 145181109739.png - (502.15KB , 700x600 , 88.png )
691440

he is my enemy. he is like god, he reminds me of it, reminds me of god reminds me of the arrogance and the violence, the way his mind has eaten and distorted and twisted away until all he sees are insects crawling

he will be an insect crawling now i think it i think of him crushed and i smile

i say to him i say in a voice i have saved, a voice i never use, i say to him in the voice my siblings heard last, i say
<with your actions you have asked me for death and i in my infinite mercy cannot refuse you>

he smiles smiles smiles, he is like me, smiling for murder, i hate him as i can only hate god and i hate him as i can only hate myself

he says something and i do not listen because who will listen to an insect crawling

She weeps. i am sorry i am sorry i am sorry. my guts, stuffed with the dead and still digesting, cry out at the sound. i am sorry. i do not mean to defy Her i suffer to defy Her i suffer i suffer but what can i do, what can i do, i cannot watch anymore and so i have come

>>
No. 691447 ID: 8679fe
File 145181127933.png - (544.64KB , 700x600 , 89.png )
691447

i come for him in light and sound, i come for him in a way i have not for years years years years years it is the 23rd of august and i hear them ripping away under my hands again, the thousands, and i bless their names i pray i gloss my eyes i pray i thank them, my sweet family my siblings my loves who gave their lives for my strong hands and my long teeth i thank them i am sorry

i am sorry for your begging i am sorry for your death wails. i know you begged my mercy and you begged me my love i am sorry. look now, siblings. look how strong you've made me. i tear at him. no immortal could rend flesh this way. bodies that die are so strong so strong so strong so strong and so many died to make me this killable body. thank you i am so sorry thank you

he does not beg and i am glad i do not want him to be like them

>>
No. 691449 ID: 8679fe
File 145181131523.png - (494.99KB , 700x600 , 90.png )
691449

ah but

then

i am rent

She screams as if it were her own arm tearing not mine and i scream and scream because i cannot hear Her in pain i cannot i cannot i cannot stop stop stop stop stop. She is screaming She is weeping

ah

i see

my body is built in violence built from violence but his body is built for violence not like mine, not for love

he is more accustomed. i have killed so many so many so many i have killed the thousands but their bodies were immortal and so weak and everyone he has killed, all the pain he has wrought, so real so vital with real blood real bones, screams that vibrate eardrums. better than a thousand angel deaths. he is better he is better he is so practiced, so good at harming

i have never broken a bone before

>>
No. 691450 ID: 8679fe
File 145181135427.png - (494.52KB , 700x600 , 91.png )
691450

i crack and fold like kindling and Her pain sets me alight and i burn as i should have from the first blow i landed on the eldest of the thousands

i th ink i am dying

he thinks so too She thinks so too

i feel he cannot break me anymore i feel i will flatten and sink away into the pavement i watch my blood i watch my blood. nothing reflects in it

he places his boot on my head i hear Her call for god and i want to beg Her do not call it do not call god. do not call god do not call god. anything but this

she calls god and he crushes my skull and i die

>>
No. 691451 ID: 8679fe
File 145181137357.png - (189.32KB , 700x600 , 92.png )
691451

The memory is over. I don't know what to say to it.
>>
No. 691452 ID: 2ccbb3

... Okay...

Let's... take a step back from the spiritual here.

Replay everything with a logical approach.

1. August 23. This would likely be last year.
2. You hate your boss, you love Lowry. The first one might explain how the second is possible.
3. You decided to fight... Reiss? Was that Reiss or was that someone else?
4. You're skilled at fighting.
5. He's more skilled at real-life fighting.
6. Okay, did you LITERALLY die? Or did he just smash your brain?
>>
No. 691456 ID: 3de47d

So Rabies is a mean motherfucker. Big whoop. He's as mortal as the next motherfucker. There's got to be some way to lay him low.
>>
No. 691463 ID: bb78f2

So Sweat was post-Rabies, and this explains his own obsession with you since it literally fell FOR you after getting fucked up by Rabies, and why it hates Reiss. Reiss took you from it, somehow. When you started dating Sweat, it had won against Rabies in a different way.

Maybe that's why you left Sweat, when you realized that? Perhaps over time you felt you were just the best way it could get back at Rabies? I guess it would feel like a dishonest relationship after a while, and you could have gotten really tired about it's obsession with you too. It's stalker behavior... which means Sweat's just as dangerous as Rabies, in the end.

Don't rely on Sweat, get Sukebun protection when you go. You need to cut him off. It seems ungrateful judging from it's recent kindness, but with more of the picture, I can't trust him.
>>
No. 691475 ID: dcae68

>>691463
I don't think a lot of these assumptions are necessarily confirmed by this flashback. The relationship with Sweat still could have happened either before or after the fight with
Rabies, and we still haven't really gotten any real clues about why that relationship ended.
So a few questions: if Sweat definitely died that night, why is it standing in front of us perfectly unharmed? How long ago was the fight we just saw? Who were we dating at the time? (From context it seems like Rabies, but we might as well double check) Can Sweat make us some kind of rough timeline so we know what order things happened in?
I think we need a lot more information before we decide what to do with this, and it's all information that should be pretty easy to obtain.
>>
No. 691477 ID: dcae68

>>691463
Additionally (sorry for double post, I forgot to add this in my previous suggestion), it's mentioned in the memory involving Sweat that was viewed in the first thread that Sweat has been waiting for Lowey for centuries before she was even born. I don't think it's romantic feelings for Lowry were specifically born out of the confrontation with Rabies.
>>
No. 691496 ID: 5e5b1b

well... um. comfort sweat, hug it or something.

if it has died, how is it alive now? why were it and rabies fighting in the first place? is it likely that rabies will try to kill it again?
honestly this situation sucks. you need to go meet rabies&jolene, but you cant go alone, and there arent many people (beings?) you can ask to go with you...
>>
No. 691498 ID: 9dc575

COMFORT SWEAT OH NO....
ask them how they survived maybe
thank them, maybe, because you dont remember and shit...
>>
No. 691500 ID: b6178d

Let's also look at this from the spiritual angle. Sweat was one of a host of immortal angels, one who came to despise god and turned away from its kind in exchange for a shot at mortal existence. Thousands of its angel kind 'died' (if immortal, did they really die?) at its hand to craft it this mortal flesh body with the body itself being crafted for loving a mortal, and that mortal seems to be you. The properties of the body also seems to make it vulnerable to those experienced in dealing violence and abuse, like Rabies, so uh, we shouldn't bring it anywhere close. Though, if it has known centuries of mortal existence, I'm kind of surprised it hasn't run into a psycho two-bit thug before now. Maybe there's something we're not seeing.

We also know Sweat isn't dead dead, so it probably lost something in 'dying' instead. Or it just thought it died, and didn't. Or someone fixed it. I wonder if part of its body or self-image was part of that cost. It seems like it pictured itself to have two pairs of primary wings. Now only its lower wings remain, and as far as Angel wings go 'the more, the stronger', if I remember correctly. Maybe by its self-confidence taking a beating along with its body, it demoted herself, or the loss was part of the cost of reviving?

It does seem like this was a major turning point in its opinion of its rebellion against god, going from 'worth it, despite the hurts I inflicted to my kind' to 'oh shit, I can't even accomplish something I sacrificed so much for, it wasn't worth it'. Guess that's why it's so choked up about its dusty rows of failures. It did bad things to be able to do good things, and then it couldn't and that only made things worse and hurt it to boot.

Welp, say it's okay, you won't need it to deal with Rabies... perhaps ask it what made one little throat so precious it'd pick a fight with both god AND Rabies over, because, uh, trying to come to our rescue, failure or not... is appreciated.

Also, fuck god. Who needs that guy, right?
>>
No. 691502 ID: 309350

>>691500
>>
No. 691503 ID: abc322

Sweat's in shambles just for THINKING about it, I don't think it'd get any better when you actually get there. Sweat would just be a vulnerability, tell it to stay.
>>
No. 691504 ID: 15a025

Tell the poor guy he doesn't need to come with. Try and rope someone else in to coming with you.
>>
No. 691519 ID: d0868f

>had to murder a thousand fellow angels to get a corporeal, mortal form
Well. Uh, that's kind of fucked.

>traumatized by failing you, getting killed, it being for nothing
Well, we can comfort him for that, at least.

He doesn't have to come if he can't face that. You won't ask anyone else to break themselves over you any more.
>>
No. 691522 ID: 6dbafd

ok so comfort sweat

like right now

>>691500
naaah sweat can shapeshift.

remember the hands in the last thread?

interesting developments for sweat tho.
obsessive stalker behaviours but probs a pretty great bf

anyway yeah tell him he doesnt need to go to rabies' place, but ask if he has any advice for killing him anyway
>>
No. 691544 ID: b142a5

Yeah you should probably find somebody else to go with because Sweat seems pretty upset about this.

Comfort it, tell it that things will be okay even if it can't help you in this particular situation, and think of somebody--anybody--else you could go with.
>>
No. 691556 ID: 4b209f

comfort sweat, itneeds it.
do you know how much time/how many memories you lost? it seems like this happened a year ago, and sometimes during that it's also possible that lost time ne took that picture and its real.
youre gonna have to be really nice to jolene so we can get info
and we need to figure out a rough timeline. do you know for sure the year and your age? and when you dated reiss and rabies? we need to try to piece together when all these events happened
>>
No. 691558 ID: 48fd83

that is a lot of info and you don't need to address all of it right now. or figure out how to process and think about all of it, even. sometimes "well, that happened and it sure was shit" is all you've got

i agree that it's probably a bad idea to bring sweat with you. if you had more options, it would clearly be better to let it sit this one out.

but the list of potential allies you gave us yesterday is pretty much at its end, and you can't do this alone.

sweat isn't the only one who has a terrible history with rabies. you need someone with you who's on your side.

you need to talk about this first, though, and try to get yourselves more or less on the same page. if you can talk sweat around to a point where it hopefully won't be terrified and wrenched with self-loathing the whole time it's with you, you're doing pretty good. (relatively, on this shit scale of Definitely Not Good)

(((this is contradictory to what i just said, but-- do you think bringing sweat along is likely to escalate the situation into violence? assuming there's a chance to make it through the night without blood in the first place. i still think walking in alone is a terrible idea, and in addition to being terrible, presents the wrong image to your enemies, but depending on your answer to the first question, it might be better to ask sweat to be ready to come when called. if it comes to that; i feel like having an ally appear in the midst of a group of hostile gang members is asking for them to jump you.

from where i'm sitting, taking sweat with you, if it is willing, is still the better option, but you know the risks better than i do.)))
>>
No. 691560 ID: 48fd83

although-- the list you initially gave us was of people who might be able to help with reiss. is there anyone else you know who might be willing to come with you?
>>
No. 691597 ID: 8679fe
File 145187955205.png - (204.04KB , 700x600 , 93.png )
691597

"It looks like I'm missing ... a lot," I say finally. Sweat nods. I hesitate a little - just because I don't want to make him keep talking if it's really making him feel this bad - but then I ask, "Is there any way you can help me figure out when all of this happened?"

Its face twists a little but after a beat it speaks again. "August of 2012, you and I, lovers. August of 2013, you and Rabies, lovers. August of 2014, Reiss is coming. August of 2015, now ...."

I'm trying my hardest not to be frustrated with it. I don't want to push it too far, but the longer I go the more I realize I'm missing, and the longer I sit with that knowledge the more freaked out I can feel myself getting. "What about other months? When did you and I break up, and why? I know Rabies and I started dating in June of 2013, I at least remember that much ... and I got out the next May ..." I press the heel of my hand in one of my eye sockets, trying to massage away an approaching headache. "God ... I barely remember 2012 at all. And now that I think of it I don't really remember when Reiss and I started dating, it just feels like it happened, then his theft was six months ago and mine was five and -"

When I look up again, Sweat looks ... bad. I don't know. Not like it's doing anything freaky with its eyes or anything like that, but it just looks different in a bad way, like it's not feeling the way it's supposed to, and I trail off. "Hey ... are you okay?"
>>
No. 691598 ID: 8679fe
File 145187956621.png - (222.15KB , 700x600 , 94.png )
691598

It's picking at its hands and it doesn't say anything. I reach out and touch its arm again. "You wanna go home?"

"I am needed," it protests shakily, "I cannot -"

"Hey, hey, come on," I interrupt. "It's okay. I can start looking at other people to help me. If we go in there and you break down, that's not gonna help, right?"

It shrugs half-heartedly, still fussing and fidgeting. I sigh. "At least get some rest, okay? If you feel better later we can talk more."

"You will call if I am needed?" it asks. Its voice is high and uncertain.

"Yeah."

"Swear to me?"

"I swear. Even if you decide not to come. If things get really bad, and I need you, I'll call for you."

"I thank you, again and again. Thank you, thank you." The smile it gives me is tired and lopsided. "I will rest, then, regenerate, purge myself of fear and return to you."

"Hey, before you go." I tug on its arm a little, and it obediently steps towards me. "I wanna say that ... I don't get what was going on back there, and I don't know how I felt then, but... I want you to know that the me that's here now appreciates that you tried to help me. This me doesn't care that you lost or failed or however you think of it." I reach up, and it cautiously lets me give it a hug. "So try not to worry about it, okay?"

I feel tears on my shoulder and then my arms are around air.
>>
No. 691599 ID: 8679fe
File 145187957935.png - (233.30KB , 700x600 , 95.png )
691599

I don't have time to stress about it. I still need to eat and forward Jolene's texts to Chidori, plus I need to start figuring out who I can ask to come with me, since Sweat can't. There's a shitty diner down the block and I make my way there, grabbing a booth and pulling my phone out.

To Chidori, I forward the texts, saying only "something you should see." Once that's done I start looking through my contacts.

While these weren't people I thought would be helpful finding Reiss' parts, they're still people who I guess I could call ... well, not friends, but friendly.
>>
No. 691600 ID: 8679fe
File 145187959114.png - (97.57KB , 700x600 , 96.png )
691600

There's Belial, another angel. Like Sweat, he's obtained a physical body. The two aren't really friends, but we've met a few times and he seems to think I'm okay. He could probably answer a lot of the questions about Sweat's apparent death, but he doesn't know me well enough to be of any help figuring out a timeline.

I could ask the Sukebun to lend me an entourage for the party, and they would definitely say yes. The only ones besides Chidori and Nanako I know by name are Sada and Junko. They would also at least be able to fill me in on a lot of the stuff having to do with Rabies.

The Mortician is a person who works closely with the Sukebun, and they've worked with Ne in the past too. I don't think they'd agree to come with me to Jolene's party, and they don't know me very well, but they're still a pretty useful person to have around, and I can't really afford to leave anyone civil off the list.

To add to the list of fucked-up spiritual beings, I also know a demon named Cain. He ended up living around here because he was fired from his job in literal hell or something. He'll do pretty much anything for a raw chicken and some iTunes gift cards, but he won't cooperate with angels, so if I'm trying to get someone to come with me, he and Belial couldn't be in the same group.

Finally, there's my brother, Bronsted. He doesn't live here, so he wouldn't be an option to come to Jolene's tonight, but again, as long as we're listing people who find me tolerable, I might as well put him on the table.

That's ... about it. It makes me feel a little weird that when I try to think of people who would be willing to help me, this is all I can come up with. I feel like most people have more friends than this, but maybe that's just an illusion. Maybe everyone feels that way.
>>
No. 691601 ID: 401f23

If demons are stronger than angels in this world, let's try and get Cain to come - but it's worth giving Sukebun a call first so we know exactly what we're walking into
>>
No. 691602 ID: 0543a8

i'd say wait before we contact the sukebun. lets talk to cain. he seems to be someone who could actually come with you tonight
>>
No. 691603 ID: c1eaac

Let's call the Sukebun to try and get at least an overview of what to expect, then ask Cain to come to the party with us.
>>
No. 691604 ID: b142a5

Sada's a higher-up. Definitely try to contact Sada, and maybe shake the Sukebun tree and see if anybody else comes by. Junko would be a bonus. Try contacting The Mortician just to see what they're willing to do. More is, well, more.

Other than that, Belial will probably be your best bet, seeing as having Cain around would interfere with calling Sweat up if you need it. Unless he's fine with Sweat, in which case Cain's the marginally better option if you have the resources to pony up.

Maybe try to make friends with somebody while you're at the party. Obviously someone in your own entourage, but try to buddy up closer with some of these people. Having Chidori and Sweat as your only two trustable people is... suboptimal.
>>
No. 691605 ID: bb78f2

>>691600
Call your Brother, ask him to fill in several relevant breaks of memory for you and anything else worthy to share, like the last few times you've contacted him.

Sukebun for protection.

Belial can wait until later, we should have a meeting with him, but I don't want him tangled up in the Junkyard thing. I don't think you're close enough for him to want to protect you, and it may send Sweat into even further depression by asking another Angel.

Cain seems pointless, other than for a better than mortal bodyguard. Odds are he may betray you in exchange for a greater profit, if Jolene makes the offer.
>>
No. 691606 ID: bb78f2

Oh, hey, you know what, send that Ne image to Chidori too. If she gets her hands on him, she can interrogate him further, otherwise, she'll kill him probably immediately.
>>
No. 691609 ID: 48fd83

What is your relationship to the sukebun, exactly? What would the cost of calling on them for help be?

I'd say call on cain; he seems like he'd probably be the most help for the lowest risk, as far as bringing someone with you goes. Definitely get whatever relevant information you can from the sukebun members you know; your lack of info is one of the things putting you at such a bad disadvantage against jolene, & unlike some other stuff, you can actually do something about it.

Calling your brother is probably also a good idea: he can help you establish a timeline, and maybe give you a rough idea of some of the memories you're missing. I don't know jolene, but it's likely she's going to use your missing time against you, and anything you know about that could potentially be helpful. It could end up shifting the balance of your interactions, depending on how things go down tonight.

Also, I don't know what terms you're on with your brother, but if they're ok... It might be good to hear from him, and he'd probably want to know something about the mess you're in. I'm making a lot of assumptions here, but, regardless, when things are this serious, it's usually a good idea to have someone separate from the situation know about it.

If I were in your position I'd want to have more than one person with me, but i'd judge whether bringing any sukebun members with me to this meeting was a good idea or not after I learned more about the situation, and the state of current hostilities.

If you have time, give the mortician a quick call and see if they have any help they can offer or any relevant information about the situation. Info is important here, and, again, it's important that some people that Aren't with you tonight are aware of the situation.

You made a good call sending sweat home. Hopefully soon you'll have a chance to sit with it and talk and have a moment of peace for the both of you.

Good luck with your recruiting.
>>
No. 691611 ID: d0868f

>>691600
I guess if the only way to get an angel body is mass murder, it makes sense angels with bodies would not do well around each other. They'd disagree over how the other did what they did, or why, and see any of their own shame and self disgust projected.

Do you remember why the Sukebun would be so hot to help you? What did you do to get in their good lists?

I'd also note, after Nanoko killed one of Rabie's dudes before, tensions with him and 'buns might be high. If you bring them for escort, we probably risk starting a gang war.

What does the mortician do that makes them useful? I assume they do more than pretty up dead bodies, cause that's not what you need right now.

Checking in with your actual family might not be a good idea, considering you probably have no real idea how you left things with your brother, or how much of your missing story he knows.
>>
No. 691629 ID: 2ccbb3

I suggest you call everyone except the angels for now, but have them take on different roles.

Hire a few Sukebun soldiers. Even if they intend to screw you over, they'll GLADLY slaughter Rabies' gang first.

Call the Mortician to deal with the aftermath, offer her a percentage of the spoils. She's a cleaner, right?

Cain might not be anywhere near reliable in a team, but if you keep him fighting from a distance he should be able to do some damage. Have him on sniping duty, hire one of the commanding Sukebun to handle him closely in case you summon an angel and he gets bored with shooting morons. They can provide mission control and control each other. Recommend both armor-piercers and non-lethal flare rounds.

You may as well call your brother in case things @#$% up beyond whatever reason is left. He might like your new personality.
>>
No. 691641 ID: cc08c7

Bringing Sukebun for protection would probably be okay, but make sure you at least try to tell them not to start shit with the dogs, you'll be smack in the middle of their territory and Rabies alone seems like he's more than capable of ripping basically anyone to shreds.
>>
No. 691644 ID: a107fd

At the very least call your brother and let him know who, exactly, threatened to gut you like a fish, so if that ends up actually happening, he'll have the option of wreaking a terrible vengeance without too much tedious detective work.
>>
No. 691658 ID: 1a3898

ask belial & the sukebun for help
>>
No. 691661 ID: 4b209f

your brother and belial are people you should talk to soon, but not necessarily now. your bro can help fill gaps in your memory, and belial can help you with sweat.
you should try to arrange a meeting with the mortician, too, and see if they know anything about your memories.
i say call cain and have raw chicken or something else he likes handy and arrange a meeting. the sukebun can be our failsafe.
>>
No. 691664 ID: cd90cb

Get a hold of Cain. If they're a demon they should be strong enough to help you out if things get dicey.
>>
No. 692224 ID: 0832c3

The mortician, first. No reason. I want to meet them.
Do you know Cain or Belial better?
>>
No. 692226 ID: 0832c3

I would be cautious asking the Sukebun for the favor of accompaniment, but definitely call them & everyone you can to get your memories filled in
>>
No. 693378 ID: 8679fe
File 145265349980.png - (227.48KB , 700x600 , 97.png )
693378

I call the Sukebun directory number first. It's a 24/7 line they give to everyone under their protection, and I still technically fall under that category, even if I haven't made any use of it for the past few months.

When the girl in charge of the line picks up, I give her my case number and answer my security questions. It doesn't take long after that for me to be redirected, and the next person I talk to is Junko.

"Heyo, Lowry! What's up?"

"Hey, Junko." Out of the corner of my eye I see the server approach my table, and I hold my hand up to ask for another minute or so. "Is it too late for me to cash in on some protection?"

She laughs. "If you're in the city, we've got your back. There's no expiration date on that. What's the sitch?"

"It's, uh. Junkyard stuff."
>>
No. 693379 ID: 8679fe
File 145265351275.png - (266.32KB , 700x600 , 98.png )
693379

The line goes quiet. I'm about to say her name, just to make sure she's still there, when she speaks again.

"Why would you go back there?"

"He's still got one of my t-shirts and I want it back," I reply sarcastically - but when she doesn't respond, I relent and explain. "I don't really have a choice. I'm being threatened. Jolene - that's Rabies' girlfriend - wants me over tonight, and she said I could bring people if that made me feel better, but if I don't show up she's sending dogs."

"Lowry ..." I hear her sigh, but it doesn't take her long to take another deep breath and get her normal chipper voice back on. "Well, alright. It's our job, after all. I'll send you a team of four. Five, if Sada decides to come along ... and with the shit that's been going down with Junkyard kids lately, she might want to."

"Okay. Thanks. We can meet outside my apartment at around 6."
>>
No. 693380 ID: 8679fe
File 145265352719.png - (202.46KB , 700x600 , 99.png )
693380

With that done, I immediately open my contacts again and linger over my brother's entry. We haven't talked in a really long time, besides short little canned texts on holidays.

I call him. He doesn't pick up.
>>
No. 693381 ID: 8679fe
File 145265353464.png - (172.87KB , 700x600 , 100.png )
693381

I guess Cain would be a good bet to call on, but for him to pay me the time of day, I need a whole raw chicken and at least $20 worth of giftcards, and I only have a little over $12. That's where The Mortitian would come in handy - they might be able to trade me for odds and ends. I'm about to call them when the server approaches the table again.

"Oh, sorry," I say, without looking up. "I think I'm ready to order now."

"BLLLAGRGGHHUGHGAUGRHRGHBBBBLLLLBLBLBLBLBUUGH," says Tunamouth.
>>
No. 693384 ID: 152955

get chicken and waffles. this is ihop right you should have enough
>>
No. 693385 ID: 2ccbb3

Man, nothing like the weight of the world to make you ignore a waterfall of crazy in your everyday life, huh?

Didn't know Tunamouth worked at this specific diner. Chow down on anything rumored to counteract poison or toxins.

Ask Tunamouth if he can help. Might be stupid to ask him, but more allies usually means less casualties.
>>
No. 693390 ID: bb78f2

>>693380
Text your brother. Better than voice mail. Explain the situation, and that if you've talked between now and the memory removal, you don't know, then send him the shocking picture of you and Ne as proof.

You'll need the picture to make dialogue, it will force his hand. Don't let pride prevent you from doing this. You need to talk to your brother and that concern trip is the best bet.

>>693381
Ask Tunamouth what's up, please use the paperthing as a means of communication.
Also, bacon and eggs.
>>
No. 693393 ID: b1b975

tunamouth is so good.

call the mortician once you've ordered, order something that is cheap and doesnt taste like shit
>>
No. 693395 ID: 193d5b

Order tuna
>>
No. 693399 ID: 0e2750

>>693380
>not answering the phone
>handwritten letter left conspicuously in the middle of the table
...oh fuck we didn't catch him right before a suicide attempt, did we?

>>693381
You okay, Tuna?
>>
No. 693416 ID: 6eee93

ask for a glass of water

actually maybe not
>>
No. 693535 ID: 4645ac

ask tunamouth to come to the junkyard too.

all the dogs will be too busy eating the fish coming out of his mouth and debating the physics of his existence to be a threat

also, let's get pancakes.
>>
No. 693540 ID: c30e08

Order fingerling lake trout
>>
No. 693581 ID: 15a025

How about some pancakes?
>>
No. 693582 ID: 5ea852

>>693381
I think Tunamouth is getting better. Not as much fish getting out of him.
>>
No. 693606 ID: 8679fe
File 145273606025.png - (200.54KB , 700x600 , 101.png )
693606

"Uh." I pull a menu from the caddy under the window and my eyes dart between the specials - fish and chips, a tuna melt, chicken and waffles, your standard breakfast fare - before finally settling. "Uh, I'm gonna do the pancake combo. With bacon, and eggs over easy. Plus a coffee, and a glass of water," I add.

"BLUUGHGHHGUHGH?" asks Tunamouth.

I stare at him blankly before he seems to realize, and he scrawls out his question on the pad instead.

CREAM AND SUGAR?

"I'll just add them myself if you bring them to the table." Right before he leaves, I speak up again. The thought is stupid, but ... at this point, I could use any help I can get, and it doesn't hurt to ask. "Hey, Tuna ... I know it's been a while since we talked, but ... are you doing anything tonight?"

"BLARHRHJRARRGARGHGARGAHGRHAGRRGHBLUBLBUBLBUB!" he exclaims, and then, with a little gesture of frustration, he scribbles out another message on the pad.

I HAVE A BOYFRIEND, YOU KNOW! >:(
>>
No. 693607 ID: 8679fe
File 145273607278.png - (153.09KB , 700x600 , 102.png )
693607

Tunamouth stomps away to the kitchen. I'm left back here with my phone the weird emptiness in my stomach I always get whenever I know I should be feeling something. Embarrassment, I guess. Or maybe sadness. When we worked together, Tunamouth and I were kind of friends. Like everyone else, though, I just ... stopped talking to him.

Either way, that's not the issue right now.

I text my brother - neither of us ever liked leaving voicemails, and I know he wouldn't check it even if I bothered. Texts, though, can get through to him. It was hard to decide what to write, but eventually I scraped something out.

TO: BRONSTED LEWIS
10:32 AM 8/10/2015

hey, its lowry. sorry things have been weird and we havent talked. things have actually gotten like. sort of bad on my end


TO: BRONSTED LEWIS
10:33 AM 8/10/2015

uh basically like. i told you how we had that break-in and stuff and i guess this is kind of late but now im trying to get it back and it turns out i have a lot of missing memories and stuff. so if we could talk sometime and you could help me figure out exactly what im missing it would help a lot

TO: BRONSTED LEWIS
10:34 AM 8/10/2015
so call or text me when you can okay. thanks


Tunamouth drops off my water and coffee. I stare down at my phone for a minute.

TO: BRONSTED LEWIS
10:36 AM 8/10/2015
i hope you're doing okay

>>
No. 693608 ID: 8679fe
File 145273610194.png - (179.25KB , 700x600 , 103.png )
693608

With that out of the way, I call The Mortician next. They pick up before the first ring can even finish, as always.

"Yes, hello, this is The Mortician, here for all your odds and ends and posthumous needs, please note that our return policy has changed and I no longer accept returns of bodily remains after the three day grace period-"

"Yeah, yeah, hey! It's Lowry."

"Oh." I hear something crash in the background, but the person on the other end of the line doesn't react. "Hi, honey. What's up?"

"I was gonna swing by and see if I can make some trades."

"Well, sure, honey, we just restocked. You needing anything in particular?"

"Gotta make a deal with a demon."

"Ohhhh okay. Which demon?" Something else crashes, and I wait until they've covered the receiver and finished yelling before speaking again.

"Cain, I'm thinking."

"Hmm. Well, I don't Have any specific items that he likes right now - at least as far as I can remember - but I do Have some trinkets that might come in handy. And, of course, there's always our Blood 4 Buckz promotion, which, I remind you, is always open. So, technically, if you're willing to bleed a little, you can get whatever he wants."

I narrow my eyes. "Explain how."

"Money can be exchanged for goods and services."

sorry for repost; missed a chunk of text first time
>>
No. 693616 ID: 007e78

>Blood 4 Buckz promotion
I kind of think you're going to need to be as close to your A game as possible, tonight. Paying in blood really doesn't seem affordable. (No need to rub the Mortician's nose in that, though).
>>
No. 693617 ID: 2ccbb3

You're going to dinner. You can spare a pint. Not to mention you'll want to get your blood checked.
>>
No. 693681 ID: bb78f2

>>693608
How much could I get if you leave enough blood in me to do important shit I need to not be drowsy for? Like, how much would you take out of you if you wanted to continue the work you do, but could use a few bucks on the side if you weren't running the business yourself?
>>
No. 693731 ID: 15dff5

yeah no lets not give our blood away
>>
No. 693736 ID: abb5c7

>>693731
Lets Not bleed yo.
>>
No. 693834 ID: a258cb

A little blood sacrifice isn't gonna hurt too much, and you need the protection imo...
>>
No. 693873 ID: 88e46e

Let's not give away more of ourselves. Especially not without knowing what exactly it does, since Mortician seems used to Taking and Having.
>>
No. 693879 ID: a476a7

>>"Explain how."
>>"Money can be exchanged for goods and services."
HA

How much for a chicken and gift cards?
>>
No. 693881 ID: 8679fe
File 145280626698.png - (204.99KB , 700x600 , 104.png )
693881

I massage the bridge of my nose. "Refresh me on the blood-to-buck ratio, here?"

"A dollar per tablespoon if you're selling, or $32 for the whole pint - if you're buying blood, however, that turns into $2 per tablespoon, or a discounted rate of $60 to buy an entire pint."

"Uh. Right. You know what, I think I'll ... put that on hold. Til I can get there and see what else you have."

"Of course, honey." Another crash, and this time The Mortician doesn't bother covering the receiver. "Oh, you worthless piece of garbage, just leave it! I'll do inventory myself if you're going to be this hopeless! For fuck's sake."

"You, uh. You sound busy, so I'll let you go," I mutter.

"Okay, Lowry. See you soon."
>>
No. 693882 ID: 8679fe
File 145280627823.png - (203.13KB , 700x600 , 105.png )
693882

We hang up, and I've gotta say Tunamouth has great timing, because he brings me my food just a second later. I thank him and he goes "BLARAGAHGARGAHGAGRHGRHGAH."

It's okay. You know. It's diner food. Whatever. I finish pretty quickly and get ready to pack up. The tab comes out to about $8, and for old times' sake, I give Tunamouth a pretty good tip. I now have about $2.

At this point, I could go straight to The Mortician's, unless there's anywhere else I should stop or anything I should do first.
>>
No. 693883 ID: 8679fe

the lack of a heart cutout on The Mortician's turtleneck in former panels is an artist error; it's not relevant in any way.
>>
No. 693909 ID: fb7dbf

let's go to the mortician's, i guess.
>>
No. 693916 ID: 38b10a

head on over, doesnt seem like theres anywhere else we need to be yet.

wonder if you could steal a chicken somewhere.
>>
No. 693922 ID: 007e78

>>693882
To dollars isn't gonna get you much unless you're willing to bleed yourself. If you're not willing to bleed, it's not worth seeing the Mortician.

Unless there's anywhere else you can scrounge up some cash?
>>
No. 693938 ID: 4b209f

might as well go to the morticians-- you wont be as dizzy from the blood loss since you just ate. a pint of blood doesn't sound too bad, and is enough to get cain to join you. unless you think you might not need him, with all the sukebun planning to come with you?
>>
No. 693942 ID: 8679fe
File 145282007425.png - (197.31KB , 700x600 , 106.png )
693942

Since I quit my job, I've mostly been staying afloat by either selling blood to The Mortician or just trading for useful stuff with them. So far they haven't done anything weird with it. As far as I know.

It's a bit of a hike to their place, and by the time I get there, the sun has stretched its way across the sky. It's around 11.
>>
No. 693943 ID: 8679fe
File 145282008536.png - (135.28KB , 700x600 , 107.png )
693943

The door's open, as always, and I duck under a string of junk clipped up in the doorway to enter the dark, cramped shop. The Mortician's on the phone.

"No, I can't do bulk - no, I do them one at a time, sweetheart, that's how I've always done it, they're too valuable to not check every single one - well, then, find someone else to trade you, yeah? Oh? What's that? There is nobody else? Well yeah, that's why you're here, huh?"

They notice me come in and put their hand over the receiver with a quick "hold on" to whoever they're talking to. "Oh, Lowry, honey, I'm sorry, but I'm on a call right now, you don't mind dealing with my thrall, do you?"
>>
No. 693944 ID: 8679fe
File 145282009567.png - (78.84KB , 700x600 , 108.png )
693944

"Uh. Sure?"

"WHISPER!" they scream. "GET OUT HERE!"

"AaaaAA aaaaa AAA aaA."
>>
No. 693945 ID: 8679fe
File 145282010698.png - (149.94KB , 700x600 , 109.png )
693945

"HhehhHEHEHELLO," says the thrall. "I, I, I, I, iiiIIiiiIi- I'm WHISper..." It bumps into the counter and lets out a loud yelp, then immediately curls into itself. "SORRY sorryr SORry sorry ... I'm WHisper ... Uh, aaaAAA, uh, welcome to our, um, sorry, sorry, WELcome to our, shooOOOp? H-How, uh, aaaa, how can, I? Help yoU?"

The thrall's hands scrabble with a kind of nervous eagerness over the counter, as if to clumsily point out the items beneath the glass. "IIiiIi, um, I can, sh- I can ShhOOOooow you, some of thtth, AAAAA, the, thINgs, we fOUnd this week! I'm Whisper. Um. If, aaa, if, if, if, only if, uh, if you waaaAAnt...."
>>
No. 693949 ID: 007e78

>>693945
Thrall, huh? How's that working out for you?
>>
No. 693951 ID: 5ea852

Why do I have the urge to tease the shit out of it?
>>
No. 693952 ID: 2ccbb3

Sure. We'd better wait for your boss before you give us the tour. Can you describe what you got?
>>
No. 693954 ID: fb7dbf

whisper is really cute and it sounds like a nice being, but i have a feeling it's not gonna be much help.
maybe you can indulge it while you wait for the mortician to finish their call, ask it to show you some stuff (nothing fragile!)
>>
No. 693967 ID: 09bd04

Nothing else to do but let him show you what they've got. Smile patiently to get him off edge a little.
>>
No. 693983 ID: ba9e25

Be kind to the thrall!! Ask them what they have to offer, and be patient with your questions. Figure out money-wise and energy level wise if you can afford to do the deal.
>>
No. 693993 ID: b3ae55

Hello, thrall friend! Show me your wares!
>>
No. 694042 ID: 1a88ab

>>693983
yeah
>>
No. 694137 ID: 39247f

kiss whisper!!
>>
No. 694160 ID: b1b975

>>694137
MAKE OUT
>>
No. 694161 ID: 88e46e

>>694137
>>694160
>sexual assault
Disgusting.
>>
No. 694180 ID: 113637

can we adopt whisper...... the mortician isnt nice to it
>>
No. 694195 ID: 38b10a

>>694160
why do i get the horrid feeling it'll just fall apart if we hug it

anyway check out whats for sale
>>
No. 694197 ID: 5ea852

>>694180
And do what with it? We're obviously in no position, economic or otherwise, to run a charity for abused whatevers.
>>
No. 694480 ID: 4b209f

what're thralls? also i love whisper.
explain that youre here to get blood drawn but if they cant uh. yeah youd be happy to see what's in. we dont really have $ but yknow maybe we'll see something cain would want or maybe one of our memories?
>>
No. 694530 ID: 39247f

>>694161
err, when i said kiss i thought more like a boop on the nose. ask before you kiss?? sorry
>>
No. 695064 ID: eb1f23

A thought- as mentioned before, Jolene is pretty likely to be the one who asked Ne to kill the sukebun. I don't know whether that means its good or bad to bring the sukebun but you will almost certainly be putting their lives in danger by doing so. I don't think you should bring them.
>>
No. 695241 ID: 8679fe
File 145317075235.png - (116.90KB , 700x600 , 110.png )
695241

>what're thralls?
>can we adopt whisper...... the mortician isnt nice to it

While I have to agree that I don't feel great about the way The Mortician treats Whisper, there's not really anything to be done about it. Thralls are beings - either living or created - who are bound to serve a magician until three tasks are performed. Until those three tasks, which the magician sets, are carried out, the thrall has to do whatever else the magician asks. A lot of magicians set either all the tasks or just the third as things that are pretty much impossible so that the thrall is trapped in their service forever, and it's still technically legal. It's fucked up.

If I remember correctly, The Mortician's thrall is a homunculus ... even if he got free, there's really nowhere for him to go. He doesn't have any family or home to go back to.

Anyway, like I said, there's nothing I can do. As long as Whisper is wearing that mask, he's bound to The Mortician, and he's their property. "Adopting" him would be theft. Besides, I'm pretty sure The Mortician could like, remotely detonate his guts or something if he went missing.
>>
No. 695242 ID: 8679fe
File 145317076736.png - (164.04KB , 700x600 , 111.png )
695242

With all that being said, I wanna be nice to the thing, so I do my best. "Uh... I'm really here to check out the Blood 4 Buckz thing, but I don't know if you can-"

"AAAaaaAAaaaAAAaaa no, nooo, I can't - I'm WhhhIsper," he explains apologetically. "Only Master ccaaAn take the blood, no... I'm sorry, I'm sssorry, I'm SoOOrry-"

"No, no, no, it's fine," I cut in quickly. I do my best to shove my mouth around into a smile to put him at ease. "I'd love to see what else you've got. Thanks, buddy."
>>
No. 695243 ID: 8679fe
File 145317078353.png - (104.52KB , 700x600 , 112.png )
695243

"BbbBuuuUDDy," Whisper burbles. "Buddy!! B ... buddy, I'm WHISPER, your BUddy ..."

He clears his throat (I think?) and gets back on task. "MMmmm, aaaaAA, as, as, as, as you know, aaa, we haAve, aa, three - th- three TIERS of, of, items! For trade o-or sale ..."
>>
No. 695244 ID: 8679fe
File 145317079729.png - (184.98KB , 700x600 , 113.png )
695244

"T-Tier one can be tradED FOR, aaa, for, for odds and EndS, yes! Um, uuuUUm, AAa, we have, aaa .... a fEW things."

I look into the case he points out. From what I can see, they have:

- a switchblade comb
- a sticker sheet
- a deck of cards, the seal unbroken
- a dog skull (Whisper assures me it's very fresh)
- a child's stuffed toy
>>
No. 695246 ID: 8679fe
File 145317081084.png - (152.44KB , 700x600 , 114.png )
695246

"Aaaand th - and thEn!! Next is t- is tiER two! Um, i-items here can be tr-tradED for but, only with i-items tthhthat, hhhhh - that hhhh - thAt hhAVE d-d-d-distinct, ah, distinct, aaaaa, monETary value..."

In this case, there's:

- a flash drive
- a keyring
- a brass talisman
- a burner phone
- a locket with a lock of hair inside
>>
No. 695247 ID: 8679fe
File 145317082411.png - (225.67KB , 700x600 , 115.png )
695247

"FiiiIIiiInally, finally here, h-here, weE have, aaaaa, there's, tier thrEE... th-these items, aaaa, c-cAn only be, aaaaa, items of i-immENSE monetary, ah, ah, value, or equal trAdES!! S-So ... a MmmMmMemory for a mEMory ... and s-.... and s, and s-, and so o-on ... aaand aaa, aaAAaa, th-there's no, aaa, previewing of, aa, memories, sorry, SSorry ... yoU can just?? ahaa?? think of it AS, as, as, as, as like ... a capsule machine... haaAAA...."

This case has:

- a clear plexiglass box full to the brim with memories
- adrenaline, both in a bottle and in ampoules
- a pill bottle full of large tablets. The bottle is labeled "methedrone"
- several bags of dark blood
>>
No. 695256 ID: bb78f2

>>695247
Whisper, these memories, can you tell me if any of them are mine? Several were stolen from me some time ago, so... well. I'm not sure what your policy is when it comes to memories of its owner? Like, if they were illegally stolen from them by a third party, then traded here? Would you also happen to keep documentation on them?

I'm much more interested in the paper trail of these memories if one or two of them are mine, if you would please.
>>
No. 695261 ID: 39247f

HOLY POOP THERE ARE STICKERS... get the stickers. everyone likes stickers if a situation gets bad just offer everyone a sticker and everything goes well
>>
No. 695297 ID: b1b975

yeah ask about the memories. you don't need a preview. if it's yours you want it back
>>
No. 695306 ID: 90f3c0

See if any of the memories are yours. Ask about where the memories come from, maybe you can track down the source.
>>
No. 695317 ID: 4645ac

we can't exactly tell if memories are ours just by appearance - the physical ones we've seen resembled more who they were about than anything, so the entire "ours" thing would be difficult - in addition to the fact that they are apparently SUPER EXPENSIVE

um. so. let's get the switchblade comb, from what we know about the junkyard dogs maybe they would like that as sort of a peace offering. and the deck of cards too.

checking what we Have from back in chapter one, we could probably trade one or two cds for those. depending on the quality.

but on the second tier, i'm super interested in the locket with the hair in it. it might be a spell or something. do we have anything we could trade for that?

and may as well take a look at the memories, just to see. no previewing, just looking at the box from the outside.
>>
No. 695325 ID: 4645ac

>>"No, I can't do bulk - no, I do them one at a time, sweetheart, that's how I've always done it, they're too valuable to not check every single one - well, then, find someone else to trade you, yeah? Oh? What's that? There is nobody else? Well yeah, that's why you're here, huh?"

also, that was a few posts back, but this and the huge box of memories implies (at least to me) that all memories go through the mortician before they go into circulation, as in the mortician is the middleman. some questions might be in order once we get to talk to them, but try to be subtle about it
>>
No. 695344 ID: 152955

the memories are def intriguing. it's very possible one of yours is in their, also very not. i know im supposed suggest things but use your own judgement

personal fan of the skull... gotta be good for something
>>
No. 695371 ID: fb7dbf

i would say to get the skull but honestly idk what you could do with it
can we trade useless memories? like "that time you took a big shit" or something like that in exchange for one of the memories in the box?
>>
No. 695375 ID: dee33c

let's NOT get the dog skull first off, if we're going to be visiting a bunch of them, having a fresh skull might send the wrong message. we probably don't need adrenalin, blood, or bath salts either, and the locket looks like it's the mortician's hair inside? probably not too useful.

really i'm the most interested in the keyring, usb, talisman, and memories tbh....

can we get a quick inventory refresher? what do we still have on us to trade with?

for a memory, if we can't get a freebie, we could offer up the marble we have of Rabies? i think we've seen the same thing from Sweat's perspective now, so maybe we don't need our own copy as much?
>>
No. 695393 ID: a307f1

holy shit get the sticker sheet, that is Vital. its got the dolphins and rainbows on it.

also the memories I guess.... the usb could be helpful too. I think there's a good chance the mortician knows what the memories are honestly, like cryptid said.
>>
No. 695402 ID: e7ae82

nanako just killed a dog and that skull is fresh so its probably from him. If u take it to the junkyard theyll probably rip u limb from limb
Someone brought up a good thing about the mortician viewing the memories so ask them about it when we can but lets see what our current inventory is worth and go from there. A weapon is always good just in case
Im most interested in tier two things but the blood and skull are probably from the killed dog and seem like a bad thing to be taking with us
>>
No. 695413 ID: fafc4a

>>695402
if the skull is from the junkyard dog, and it seems so, who's to say the burner phone or key-ring isn't too? i mean, all his stuff had to go /somewhere/, and the mortician said there is no one else.
get the burner phone because it might give us an insight on the junkyard's latest activities. get the key-ring too, because it's such a Clue Item we need it, and it might be relevant if we end up inside the junkyard.
>>
No. 695477 ID: 4b209f

that locket actually looks pretty intriguing, ask Whisper if he knows anything about it?
also i want those stickers omg.
and dont get the switchblade-comb thing we already have a pocketknife!
>>
No. 695507 ID: acf9cc

Get the burner phone. Information is valuable.
>>
No. 695566 ID: a36391

Buy the comb.

Name it Maria Conchita Teresa Rosalita.
>>
No. 695783 ID: 2067a4

Huh...you might want to check out that phone, see if there's anything on it. D'you think Whisper would let you take a closer look at the items before you buy anything? Also, check out those memories for sure. The stickers are tempting, but unlikely to come in handy.
>>
No. 695784 ID: 2067a4

Also...hm. Can't you get around the memory-for a-memory by choosing a specific memory and writing it down before you give it away? Or would that qualify as cheating...
>>
No. 696395 ID: 3641d4

Should totally grab some memories.
>>
No. 696616 ID: af6e04

Jesus Lowry that's the most horrifying smile I've ever seen.

Can we buy Whisper? We could use more friends and The Mortician doesn't seem too attached to it anyway.
>>
No. 697620 ID: 8679fe

Right now, I Have:

- $2.65 USD
- two tampons (without applicators)
- one menstrual pad (wrapped)
- an assisted open pocketknife
- a half-eaten granola bar
- city map (obsolete)
- my cell phone
- my cell phone charger
- my hitachi magic wand
- two shirts
- a milk crate
- assorted cds (mostly alternative)
- a few extra pairs of underwear
- an electric water heater
- one cup of instant ramen
- a box of tissues
- a handgun
- slightly above average cognitive function
- slightly below average emotional capacity
- average physical capacity
- 22 years and some change worth of memories
- 22 years and some change worth of experiences/knowledge
>>
No. 697622 ID: 8679fe
File 145393697970.png - (102.92KB , 700x600 , 116.png )
697622

I'm considering the phone, the keyring, and ... kind of the stickers, for some reason. I'll have to make trade offers for them.

I also ask Whisper if he knows the sources of any of the memories, and he quickly shakes his head. "I'm sSSssorRY, i'm SORRY, I'm - aaaaa - i'M WHISper ... only, aaa, o-only M-Master knowS, YES, aaa, s-sorry ..."

Conveniently, The Mortician seems to be done with their phone call just at that point, and they come over to check on us. "Doing alright, honey? Starting to see how useless my construct is, hm?"

"No, uh." Admittedly, Whisper hasn't been much help, but I don't want to get him in trouble, so I steer the conversation away from his involvement as quickly as I can. "I just had some questions that I wanted to ask you. Specifically about these memories. I'm missing some, and I was hoping that if you had any you knew were mine, that I could get them back."

The Mortician sighs. "Lowry. You know I don't talk about sources."

"I'm not even asking that. I'm just asking if any of them are mine."

"Bargaining for specific chips is a messy game, Lowry. Do you have memories - or, even less likely, items - that will be worth me taking the time to look through them? Because, ahaha, I know you don't have enough blood."
>>
No. 697624 ID: b1b975

If you've got anything you'd prefer to forget, now would be the time. I doubt the hitachi + gun would even equal one memory, but if it would, it's worth a shot.
>>
No. 697629 ID: f20f1b

dont give the mortician the gun, thats valuable as hell
bargain for the keyring+phone+sticker first
maybe some cds? maybe the ramen too.
like, youre sitting here giving something away to MAYBE get something else, lets not?
>>
No. 697630 ID: bb78f2

I don't suppose there's a favor I could do for something in exchange for some way of finding the lost memories, is there some magic ass technique or use of a paper trail that DOESN'T betray your business code that I could gain in exchange for the favor?

Something, anything. I'm looking for a solution, and your my best bet. If you were in my shoes, after potentially crucial lost memories, what would YOU do, Mortician?
>>
No. 697631 ID: 7b2246

don't trade off the gun; you need to hang on to your useful items

some of the things you have might be tradeable for the lesser-tier items, like the map and the cds.

will selling the mortician some of your blood affect your ability to handle tonight's events?
>>
No. 697633 ID: bb78f2

Oh wait,
...Could you trade her for a memory you have? If they have value, consenting to trade a memory of your own would probably be enough for her to trounce through her stock. We'll just write a description up of what we're giving her so we don't try and get that same one back, done deal.

We could also maybe use your boyfriends monitor head to look at the memories and keep them permanently as a separate memory as viewing them through your boyfriend's head. That can work, right? He just has to be loaded with a compatible OS and install the right programs to translate the visual information he's receiving into a video file.
>>
No. 697635 ID: bb6515

We're done forgetting. No memory trades.

Handgun may be very useful soon, so maybe not a good idea to trade it, maybe also a bad idea to let someone know we're packing heat before our visit, but given how much Ne was whining about the difficulty of getting the weapon in, it proobably qualifies as 'immense monetary value'.

On the other hand, ever wonder if it was Jolene's intention that we'd get the weapon? She could've leaked the plot to the Sukebun if she knew that we'd get sent. At any rate, she might already know we have it, so it might be a good idea to lose the piece, if that's the case. Could be a crazy frame-up in the works.
>>
No. 697637 ID: b1b975

>>697624
this was a terrible idea and i redact my previous stateme nt do NOT give the mortician the gun.

but the random junk is definitely worth at least the stickers so at least acquire the stickers.
>>
No. 697644 ID: 7b2246

what's the price of raw chickens... wherever it is you buy food? if it's under $14, you could get everything you need to recruit cain in exchange for 1 pint of blood
>>
No. 697659 ID: 6b84fb

trade the assisted open knife for the switchblade comb! like for like
>>
No. 697663 ID: f20f1b

>>697659
"trade a weapon for an accessory" sHE DOESNT EVEN HAVE HAIR
>>
No. 697665 ID: 0543a8

buy the stickers. give them to sweat. it would like them
>>
No. 697666 ID: 270478

the hitachi and water boiler should be enough for the phone and keys,,, see if the mortitian will take the cds for the usb too?
>>
No. 697669 ID: f20f1b

>>697666
Thats overbidding.
City map, milk crate, some cds?
>>
No. 697732 ID: 39247f

yes yes stickers are most important. exchange the ramen for the stickers
>>
No. 697796 ID: e84caf

>>697630
Yeah, asking to do a favour is probably your best bet right now, maybe show the Mortician your inventory while you're at it.
>>
No. 697816 ID: b1b975

>>697796
Better to keep them guessing about what you have. That's pretty standard bargaining--don't show your entire hand.
>>
No. 698083 ID: 514ea4

that handgun is pretty desireable, huh? id trade it.
in any case, do you think this stuff is from the dog nana killed earlier? and what memories are considered 'desireable', exactly? like, what makes a memory valueable?
>>
No. 699237 ID: 8679fe
File 145470071906.png - (138.87KB , 700x600 , 117.png )
699237

Before I start thinking about the memories, I decide to take care of smaller trades. I know I want that phone and keyring, because they likely belonged to the junkyard dog nanako killed this morning, and knowledge is power right now. Also .... for some reason .... I really want those stickers. Like, I really want those stickers. I can't put my finger on why.

I'm used to bidding with The Mortician, so it starts without preamble and goes fast. "I have a city map and some CDs. I want the phone and the keys."

"Is the map new?"

I furrow my brow. "Not exactly."

"I'll give you the keys for that. The phone needs more."

"Milk crate."

"I don't want it."

"Electric water heater."

"Deal."

"And, uh, the sticker sheet - I'll give you a cup ramen."

"Done."

The entire exchange takes less than a minute, and we pass the items over the counter. After looking the phone over to make sure it still turns on, I Take all three items. The Mortician hands my items to Whisper, who reshelves them in the cases.
>>
No. 699239 ID: 8679fe
File 145470073921.png - (79.56KB , 700x600 , 118.png )
699239

"You still thinking about those memories, honey?" The Mortician prods.

"Yeah." I scrub my hand absently over my nose and mouth, staring down at the clear box. I could definitely get one or two for the gun, but I really don't want to give that up, especially since I'm going to be walking straight into the Junkyard tonight. It occurs to me, faintly and briefly, that me having it might not even be a surprise to Jolene, but I can't really worry about that right now.

"I have a Hitachi vibrator," I offer lamely. The Mortician raises their eyebrows.

"Don't act dumber than you are, Lowry. It's not attractive."

I let out a dull little laugh. "Could've just said no."

"You could just swap out some memories you don't want anymore," they point out mildly.

"No." My voice is firm and hard. "I'm keeping all the memories I have right now. Giving them away is kind of the opposite of what I'm trying to do right now." I pause, then let out a weary sigh and speak again. "Can I trade labor? You have any favors I can do for you?"

"That's why I have a thrall, sweetheart. Free labor."

I want to point out that all they've done is complain that Whisper is useless, but I don't want to draw any more attention to him than necessary, so I decide to drop it - but I'm about to start thinking about Blood 4 Buckz when The Mortician speaks up again.

"But, there's something you can do that my thrall can't." They lean against the counter, rattling their skinny fingers against the glass. "Now, you know I trade in blood - but the issue is that most of the blood I have now is consentually offered. It has specific properties. I have a certain project I'm working on at the moment, and I need blood unwillingly shed. You collect me a vial, I'll not only give you a memory in return - I'll let you look through them and choose whichever one you like."
>>
No. 699240 ID: bb78f2

>>699239
Girl, you're trying to get some vitae, aren't you?

Does the person need to be alive for that? I see you nicely picked that Junkyard dog's corpse clean.
Discuss with me the proper process and the requirements of this noncensentual withdrawel of blood.

If I obtain consent AFTER the blood is drawn, does it change the properties? Can I vaguely require something of them, then draw the blood as a surprise and it counts?
>>
No. 699241 ID: b1b975

Well, you're going to Jolene's anyway. If things get ugly, just scoop up some poor sap's blood and call it a day. If you can't get it, then you don't get the memories. No harm, no foul. Sounds like a deal.
>>
No. 699245 ID: 401f23

Don't promise anything, since things might not go sour at the junkyard, but take a vial or two just in case.
See if you can subtly find out if Whisper can be freed! We need to help our buddy!!!
>>
No. 699255 ID: 15a025

Let's go drain some poor saps on the streets!
>>
No. 699304 ID: 39247f

how about we try to free whisper after tonight... the last thing we want right now is another person wanting us dead.
>>
No. 699337 ID: a107fd

What's the demand curve on that offer? If we drag somebody back here alive, kicking and screaming, with enough blood still in them for, like, a hundred vials, how much would that be worth?
>>
No. 699348 ID: 2ccbb3

This don't seem right, but take as many vials as possible. Would be a shame to let all that blood go to waste.

Seriously, people kill each other for product and then leave all the bodies or dump them in the river. Whatever happened to experimental testing on corpses or ritual sacrifices?

Feels like the price of life gets dirtied every year...
>>
No. 699472 ID: 938aea

Here's what we'll need:
-A beer.
-A roofy.
-A syringe.
-Some dumb schmuck.
The plan writes itself, really.
>>
No. 699490 ID: 77eebd

Oh man. Dealing in blood, huh? Sounds kinda iffy, but it makes sense. There are worse things a person could do. Do we need the blood from anyone specific, or? Also, I'm guessing animal blood isn't an option..?
>>
No. 699502 ID: 03c8e7
File 145478881143.png - (134.48KB , 700x600 , 119.png )
699502

>What's the demand curve on that offer? If we drag somebody back here alive, kicking and screaming, with enough blood still in them for, like, a hundred vials, how much would that be worth?

I'm not doing that.

>Here's what we'll need:
>-A beer.
>-A roofy.
>-A syringe.
>-Some dumb schmuck.
>The plan writes itself, really.

I'm not doing that either.


But ... there's already a chance that things might get nasty tonight, and I've got nothing to lose either way. "Sure. I can't promise anything, but I'll take some vials in case the opportunity comes up."

"Well, I hope it does, because this is important," The Mortician replies tartly. Still, though, they rummage through some boxes and press two capped glass vials into my hand. "Let me know if you go more than a day or so without getting any, alright? So I can ask someone else."

"Yeah. Will do." I Take the vials, then lean against the counter again. I still haven't gotten the stuff I need to contract Cain, but one pint of blood would definitely be enough to get it all. I don't think it would totally put me out of it - it's around 11:30 now, so I'd have several hours to recover. I'd probably feel a little light-headed and weak, but on the flip side, it's a matter of whether I think having another ally there would balance that out.
>>
No. 699503 ID: 2ccbb3

>>699502
I don't think Cain is worth all this mess. Just get a few more mercs and have them take the spoils (you're not planning on doing a major heist, here).
>>
No. 699513 ID: 401f23

Do it. If there's bloodshed later on, one pint won't make much difference one way or the other
>>
No. 699514 ID: 6eee93

nah. above all, you need your clarity.
>>
No. 699536 ID: fb7dbf

hhhhhh. can you trust cain to have your back once you've paid him? if yes, i guess you can do without a pint of blood
>>
No. 699747 ID: b1b975

My vote goes to give blood for the money. Cain plus 4-5 Sukebun members should be fine even if you're a little dizzy.
>>
No. 699776 ID: 2a90dc

>>699513
>>699747
These.
>>
No. 699835 ID: 4645ac

let's do the blood for bucks. our best option right now, and if we have some spare money after buying the shit cain needs we can get a smoothie or something to make up for that lost blood.

also tell the mortician they should provide some orange juice for blood donors. if you take care of them they'll come back (don't do that)
>>
No. 699905 ID: 8679fe
File 145489105596.png - (200.03KB , 700x600 , 120.png )
699905

"Hey." The Mortician looks up, eyebrows raised, and I continue. "I wanna sell some blood, too."

"Oh, good." Their face creases into a broad smile. "How much?"

"Just a pint."

"Fair enough." I swear I didn't blink, but suddenly they're over the counter and pressing close. I roll up my sleeve.

I want to say that by now I'm used to the process, but I don't think I'm ever gonna get used to watching The Mortician's head stretch and split the way it does. I look away as they engulf my forearm elbow-deep in the lowest of their mouths, and to my credit, I only wince a little bit when the sharp barbs at the root of their tongue pierce the soft underside of my wrist.

I guess I'm also never gonna get used to the noises - loud, obscene slurps and muffled gurgling, a little bit of what I think might be choked laughter, but I don't want to think about it too hard.
>>
No. 699907 ID: 8679fe
File 145489124993.png - (83.50KB , 700x600 , 121.png )
699907

It takes about six or seven minutes. By the end, yeah, I have to admit that I'm suppressing my gag reflex. When they finally let my arm go, slick and heavy, I'm feeling pretty woozy. The Mortician counts out my payment - $32 on the nose - and presses it into my dry hand. "It's always such a pleasure doing business with you, Lowry."

I mumble an acknowledgement before glancing back over at Whisper. He notices me looking and waves timidly. Maybe ... well. I don't know. I'm really not in a position to get myself into any more trouble right now, but maybe if I can think of a plan after all this Junkyard shit is sorted, I can come back for him ...
>>
No. 699913 ID: 152955

im thinkin u need a drink
>>
No. 699914 ID: b1b975

Leave that for later. It is concerning, but you've got other things you need to focus on first.

Go get your chicken and gift cards and then pay Cain a visit.
>>
No. 699916 ID: 4645ac

that was... really gross, wow. ok. ditto on the whisper thing, though.

ok so a raw chicken is about 10 bucks and with that 20 dollar gift card we've got like, 4 or 5 bucks left over. which should probably be kept.

so let's eat that half a granola bar and head to a walmart or something
>>
No. 699923 ID: 2ccbb3

Ask the Mortician if they know the quality of your blood. If you have meth in your veins, you would rather know now than later.
>>
No. 699930 ID: af41d6

You need some chocolate chip cookies and orange juice. That'll help. We can buy them along with the chicken.
>>
No. 699931 ID: 604398

wave goodbye to whisper, speedwalk The Fuck Out Of There with your loot
>>
No. 699936 ID: 0543a8

grab some snacks for yourself, a chicken for cain, and let's head on over to meet that demon.
>>
No. 699980 ID: 4b209f

maybe wave a lil. we should try, at least. no one deserves that.
ok, what's next? buy the giftcards and meat? and find a place we can check that phone
>>
No. 699999 ID: af6e04

Give Whisper another scary smile. We should definitely try to free him, hopefully without bringing the Mortician's wrath down upon us. But we can think about that later. Next stop, wherever we have to go to buy that stuff for Cain.
>>
No. 700018 ID: 68de2b

wave goodbye to whisper!
also yeah >>699936
>>
No. 700228 ID: 8679fe
File 145497016810.png - (277.94KB , 700x600 , 122.png )
700228

I wave to Whisper and try for another smile. I know that right now I should be feeling something for him, and I hope that just knowing that is enough, even if the feeling itself is a no-show.

There's a mom and pop grocery down the road. I eat my granola bar on the walk over and then duck in to pick up the chicken, a $20 iTunes gift card, and a single-serve bottle of orange juice. Together, it all comes to about $30 - I got really lucky. I have around $4 total left.
>>
No. 700230 ID: 8679fe
File 145497018302.png - (190.09KB , 700x600 , 123.png )
700230

I finish the orange juice off on the walk to Cain's place. The city has changed since the last time I was there, so I get a little turned around, but when I finally find his apartment building and climb up on a dumpster to reach the door, it's easy to find his unit.
>>
No. 700231 ID: 8679fe
File 145497019517.png - (140.17KB , 700x600 , 124.png )
700231

The door is unlocked and open, the way it always is.
>>
No. 700232 ID: 4645ac

say hello, i guess. maybe we should text him saying we're there?
>>
No. 700237 ID: 15a025

Spooky. How about we call and let him know we're here.
>>
No. 700238 ID: b1b975

Yeah, uh, maybe text? Seems like just going in might be... not a great idea.
>>
No. 700240 ID: 4dd7d1

Throw the chicken and the gift card through the spooky blood portal.
>>
No. 700268 ID: 2ccbb3

Wiggle your tail a few times and gargle "Cain" over and over until he's annoyed by your humor to answer.
>>
No. 700291 ID: 31f7bc

"Cain! Get your twisted, little, demonic butt out here! I bought ya lunch!"
>>
No. 700295 ID: 0543a8

hey buddy i got u some chicken
>>
No. 700336 ID: 401f23

Jut shout to him that you've got his chicken. If we toss it in there without explanation he might deny that it's part of a deal.

Also... Before the events of tonight kick off, we should remember that Ne told us Jolene's the only one who can fix Reiss. I'm not feeling particularly fond of Jolene, Reiss, or Ne at the moment, but there may come a time where we have to decide whether or not to kill her/Rabies and risk never getting Reiss repaired before dumping him like Lowry wanted.
>>
No. 700358 ID: 8679fe
File 145499037438.png - (192.30KB , 700x600 , 125.png )
700358

I lean a little closer to the doorway and call out. "Hey Cain!"

No response. I wait a second longer, then try again. "Cain! Caaaaaaain!"

When I'm met with silence again, I shoot him a text letting him know that I'm here. I hear it ding on the other side of the shifting morass in the doorway - then, suddenly, the hallway's shaking. There's a noise that starts as a low rumble from the depths of Cain's apartment, but it quickly swells and unfurls into an earsplitting shriek. I'm not prepared for it, and I stumble back, covering my ears instinctively.

The liquid in the doorway tears like a sheet, and Cain appears. Ichor bleeds from his mouth like tar.

L̼͕̦͚̼͎̟Ó̲W̜̣͚͖̳͉̥R̴̳͔̟̥̹͖̺Y͈̜͈!̡̟̜̱ͅ
>>
No. 700359 ID: 8679fe
File 145499039299.png - (256.58KB , 700x600 , 126.png )
700359

"Uh." I drop my hands to my sides again and squint at him. "Cain? Hey. I, uh, brought you chicken and stuff. But you, uh, don't look super happy ab-"

YO̧U ̵M̢EWLIN̛G LITTLE͞ CUNT. ̛DO̷ ҉YOU ́H͜AV͟E͘ AN͏Y ÌDE̶A ̸WHAT ́YO̢U̸'V͢E ̶DONE͠?̵ D͏O͡ YOU HAV́E͢ TH҉Ę FA͞I͡NTEST͞ IN̷K͜L̨I̢NG͜? OR ͏IS YOUR MIS̀E̕RAB͘LE L̷I͢TT́ĹE̴ ͏G҉RA͞ṔE ̧OF͏ ͘Á ͜B͞RA̧IN TOO LIMI͠TE͠D̵ ̵T̢O̴ C̶OM̴P҉RE͡HEŃD ͟Y̢OU̡R ÓWN TRA̡NS͜G͞RES̶SÍOŅS̵?҉

I squint harder. "Uh."
>>
No. 700360 ID: 8679fe
File 145499041067.png - (156.79KB , 700x600 , 127.png )
700360

Cain takes a long, shuddering breath, his shoulderblades rolling back as he slumps against the doorframe. After a moment of silence, he holds his phone out at arm's length. "I was getting a full combo in Otome Shiki Renai Juku and then your text notification showed up right in the middle." When he rolls his head around to look at me again, his eyes are full of murder. "You broke my combo, Lowry. You broke my fucking combo. So you had better have a really fucking good reason to be here, and a really fucking big chicken."
>>
No. 700362 ID: 152955

alright bro. we want protection. we got chicken. we got itunes cards for your loveca
>>
No. 700368 ID: b1b975

Oh, was it EX, too? Buddy. Pal. Ohhhh boy.

Show him the chicken and gift cards, and also apologize.

If you can full combo Otome Shiki, offer to do it for him. If you can't, don't say anything about it.
>>
No. 700369 ID: 4645ac

man why the fuck do you have smile and cool cards on your pure team.

anyway, we got chicken, and we got you a giftcard so you can buy more loveca and get some better cards. you gotta come with us to the junkyard for dinner with jolene, though

maybe we can ask and she'll get you a chicken too
>>
No. 700375 ID: 31f7bc

>>700368
This.
The reason we're bothering him, besides getting to bask in his glorious presence, is that Rabies is back with a new, psychotic girlfriend. She's demanding you join her for dinner on pain of horrific, agonizing death. So you could use a little backup/company during the event.
>>
No. 700383 ID: 4b209f

would indulging cain by showing faint interest in the game distract him? if not dont say anything, just apologize and hand over the goods. tell him what's up.
>>
No. 700398 ID: 6eee93

dunk this anime trash back into hell where he belongs
but first tell him you need protection and you have The Goods
>>
No. 700403 ID: bb78f2

Why didn't you just turn notifications off in the middle of games?
>>
No. 700444 ID: b1b975

>>700403
as far as i know it's all or nothing. this is a fairly frequent problem with people that have notifs on, and having text notifs off means having to check your texts every time you suspect you may have gotten one
>>
No. 700457 ID: 2ccbb3

"Cain, we got a mission. Real money. Focus, man.

How would you like to butcher an entire gang while following a group of frontline Sukebun, then take some of their organs?

Rabies is going off the deep end, and his 8!+(# is sucking the brains out of him. We need to deal with this NOW, or they'll do something crazy and we'll all get screwed.

Also, I didn't call the angels for this gig. I will call for backup if we @#$% up though.

Also, you do realize that there's a better way to increase your point velocity than full combos, right? You need to double-tap the long notes, it breaks your combo but you get ^2 points."
>>
No. 700459 ID: 7bb271

>>700368
also this. also ask if he's trying for that nozomi event. if so that sucks.
>>
No. 700489 ID: b1b975

>>700369
They're probably SRs or URs with really high attributes. My one UR is pure and ends up on all of my teams, so.
>>700459
Well, I mean, I don't think he'd be playing Otome Shiki for the loveca unless he's disinterested in Nozomi, but it's entirely possible that it came up in the score match. Even then, though, I don't think he'd just stop playing if his combo was broken if that were the case, so I'm going to say probably not--or this isn't taking place concurrently with reality.
>>
No. 700492 ID: 8679fe

>>700459
>>700489
i normally try not to go ooc on quest threads but this is hilarious and too fucking good to avoid talking about so: acid soup takes place in late august of 2015. cain exhausted all his love gems on the nico event in early august and is not trying for the maki event that went on in late august.
>>
No. 700527 ID: 8679fe
File 145505118415.png - (113.32KB , 700x600 , 128.png )
700527

I don't know anything at all about this game. Still, I figure maybe he'll like it if I show some interest. "Oh, man, that sucks. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. O-Otomi ... shicky... renny juke must be. Really fuckin' hard."

He stares at me. I swallow and try again. "But, uh, a broken combo's not the end of the world, right? Can't you just, uh ... double-tap the long ones and ... get double the points or something?"

He blinks. "Are you fucking stupid?" I open my mouth to apologize again, but he sighs dramatically and turns into the doorway, waving his hand idly to dispel the swirling membrane and to gesture for me to follow. "Whatever. Come inside."
>>
No. 700528 ID: 8679fe
File 145505120673.png - (231.48KB , 700x600 , 129.png )
700528

I hold the plastic bag out for him once we're inside. "So. Here's contract stuff. So you can use the giftcard to like ... buy better anime girls and stuff, right?"

He snatches the bag out of my hand, sticks his head in, and then flops onto the couch. "Okay. What do you need?" He rips the shrink-wrapping off the chicken and shoves his hand straight into the cavity, withdrawing the plastic baggie of entrails. "I'm not doing anything, so I'm up for whatever."

"I need you to come to a party with me." I watch as he rips the baggie open and drops a wet, shiny organ into his mouth like a grape. "Rabies' new girlfriend wants me to come to dinner. And if I don't go she'll kill me. So I'd feel a little better with you backing me up." I shrug. "Maybe you'll even get a second chicken out of it, too."

"I like those odds," Cain grins. He pats the seat next to him with his dry hand. "Let's talk contract terms. Outline what 'backing you up' means, and then i can do the ritual."
>>
No. 700529 ID: 4645ac

(yeah after i commented on his team i realized i had a team full of my perfect locks and otherwise better cards for full comboing when i played sif a lot... cain knows what he's doing)

"backing up" entails not splitting at the first sign of trouble. if things go south (ie jolene decides that she wants to kill us for whatever reason, the dogs and sukebun get into a fight, whatever), we want you to help us Not Die, and get violent if necessary. don't say anything that could get us in trouble. no running away. not saying you would, but like, you know. gotta minimize those loopholes.

that's all i can really think of. other suggesters probably have more
>>
No. 700530 ID: bb78f2

If shit goes down, I want you to kill whoever you have to. Preferably the girlfriend, to be honest. Maybe Rabies too, if he shows up. If you do kill the girlfriend, Rabies will probably need to be taken care of quickly, anyway.

The sukebun will be there to back me up, but they'll just get me out of there if it goes bad. They won't remove the threat permanently. With them, I have good defense, but I need some actual offense to actually really deter conflict. Just so you know, I don't actually want anything to go down, you're there to mostly be a deterrent.

Last time shit went down with Rabies and his gang, I brought an angel. He... couldn't finish the job because Rabies was better at killing and evil and all that shit apparently. So, with a demon, we have better odds and they'll be more afraid to actually do anything.
>>
No. 700540 ID: 15dff5

.....ok wtf why are there entrails inside that chicken. do grocery stores sell chickens with the guts nicely packaged and stuffed back inside the chicken?? why??
>>
No. 700541 ID: b1b975

DOES HE EVEN EAT THE REST OF THE CHICKEN?? also fairy nozomi is coming up then. Hm

Kill the dogs if things go bad and make sure you're safe. Try to eliminate loopholes as much as you can.

Once the ritual is over, to make him feel better, ask him to show you his favorite one that he has.
>>
No. 700552 ID: cc46be

>>700529
i need you to play muscle for me, and be intimidating, and actually follow through with violence if anyone attacks me
>>
No. 700556 ID: a6d557

1. Do not initiate unnecessary conflict or aggression.
2. If any of the junkyard dogs initiate conflict or aggression, defend us ("us" meaning primarily Lowry, the Sukebun to a lesser extent if possible/necessary) to the absolute extent of your ability. This includes fatal force if necessary.
3. Do not do anything to harm us, and do not do anything that would allow the junkyard dogs to harm us.
4. Stay with us until either the event is over or we explicitly dismiss you, whichever comes first.

I think this covers all the loopholes I can think of.
>>
No. 700584 ID: cc46be

>>700556
define unnecessary....
>>
No. 700687 ID: a107fd

>>700584
"Unnecessary" means anything more than the minimum required to meet the other terms of the contract.

Might make sense to review our strategic priorities here. Lowry's personal survival, obviously, ranks pretty high. Lining up after that we've got things like:
*avoid losing any more memories/stuff
*reacquire previously lost memories/stuff
*move on with life/get new stuff
*maintain relationships with allies
*improve status of allies, thereby increasing their willingness and ability to help in the future
*neutralize or destroy enemies


Rather than a mess of legalese, it might work better to put the contract in the plainest language possible to eliminate confusion.

"Accompany me to the junkyard for dinner tonight, and back to my apartment after the meeting is over. While we're at the junkyard, be at least as polite as the Sukebun are being, and at least as nonviolent as the junkyard dogs. If anyone threatens me, explain to them the terms of this contract. If anyone attacks me, cooperate with the Sukebun in making the assailant regret having done so, but don't kill anybody, unless that's the only way to get me back to my apartment alive."
>>
No. 700734 ID: bb6515

Just in case we do need a mess of legalese, here's what I got.

A person bears HARMFUL INTENT towards a party that is not themselves if they do any of the following:
1. Demonstrate or have demonstrated in the immediate past an active, actionable intention to bring immediate physical harm to that party.
2. Demonstrate an alliance with, support for, or aid someone in their HARMFUL INTENT.
3. Demonstrate or have demonstrated in the immediate past an active, actionable intent to Take items of high value (memories, weapons, etc) from that party against their will or while they are incapable of rendering competent consent.

OUR PARTY consists of you, me, and all present members of the Sukebun.

On my signal or if I become incapacitated so as to be incapable of communicating competently, you will incapacitate (or kill) all parties present (excluding me and yourself) who bear HARMFUL INTENT towards me or towards any other members of OUR PARTY, subject to the following stipulations:
1. You will not kill any of the following people unless doing so is the only way to prevent the immediate death of someone who precedes them on this list:
Chidori, Nanako, Sweat, Tunamouth, Whisper, The Mortician, Ne, and any other members of the Sukebun who have not demonstrated betrayal to their gang.a
2. If I am capable of competently rendering decisions in my interest and I signal you to stop, you will cease the task being described (incapacitation/killing) until I indicate that you should resume whenever the conditions retrigger.

Except for the situation[s] defined above, you won't bring physical harm to anyone there, and you'll stay within a range of me such that you will be able to hear and promptly respond to any signal that I give.

All terms in this contract expire at... sunrise of the next day sound good?
>>
No. 701017 ID: ff0953

>>700734
Uh maybe sunset tomorrow.
We don't know when the party ends, and we might still be in rabies' place after it's over.

Also it's useful to have him round for protection even if the party's over.
>>
No. 702251 ID: 8679fe
File 145559570010.png - (167.98KB , 700x600 , 130.png )
702251

Because demons are, well, demons, it's really tempting to lay everything out in a dense net of legal jargon just to be safe - but in the past i've found it's a lot easier to be casual, but firm and thorough. I sit down next to him, exhaling as i sink into the couch.

"I'm not going there to try to start shit," I begin. "I mostly want you there as ... well, a deterrent, first of all, and backup in case something does go wrong. So I want you to come to the Junkyard with me, stay the entire time, and walk me back to my apartment after it's over. While we're there, I don't want you to do or say anything that would cause any negative effect to me or the Sukebun who accompany me - that includes angering the Junkyard dogs. If anyone there tries to harm me or the Sukebun, I want you to do whatever you have to in order to keep me and the Sukebun safe. You can kill them, but only if that is absolutely the only way to keep me safe. I also want you to stay near me and to pay enough attention throughout the event that you would notice if anyone were to threaten or intend to harm me."

I mull it over for a moment, then shrug. I think that covers everything, without being redundant or overly complicated. "Does that sound good to you, Cain?"

"Mm." He finishes thoughtfully chewing a giblet, then swallows and speaks. "I want an addendum. If it gets to the point where there's absolutely nothing I can do to help you - as in, if I've failed and you're already dead or something, or for some reason the dogs pull something that it is absolutely impossible for me to succeed against - I can leave. I don't want to get stuck there by the 'stay with you the entire time' clause if I'm facing imminent death and there's nothing I could have done to help anyway."
>>
No. 702253 ID: 152955

well i guess if we're already dead... then you staying wouldn't make us more alive or anything.

wouldnt mind a dead dog at that point tho. just like, out of spite
>>
No. 702254 ID: b1b975

A better definition of "impossible to succeed against" would be good. If he gives examples that hold up, seems fine. But he has to be absolutely certain that you're dead. If he isn't a hundred percent certain that you're dead, then it's his responsibility to drag your lifeless ass out of there with him when he leaves. That's just my two bits though.
>>
No. 702255 ID: 59cf00

Hm... can we rephrase that to "if staying means there's no doubt you would die, you can leave." If there's are situation where you would definitely die, you won't be any help to us anyway, so there's no point in forcing you to stay, and I feel like this phrasing is less vague.
>>
No. 702257 ID: 39247f

would a simple "don't kill yourself for me" suffice? after all you don't want him to die anyway and it seems like a good catch all. might be better to go into specifics though in case our wording fucks us up later
>>
No. 702265 ID: e7ae82

his wording of "if you're already dead or something" sounds like he's got some kind of loop hole up his sleeve....feels like you want some reassurance that he actually will be helping and actively doing what you're asking.
Maybe in the event of your death or very serious injury, his task switches from accompanying you home, to returning you home. If you're in no shape to walk, he's still obligated to get you back to your apartment. Once you're in your apartment, regardless of your state, then he's free to leave.
>>
No. 702270 ID: 401f23

If there's something impossible fo you to succeed against, you should go get help. But yeah, you're released if I die.
>>
No. 702278 ID: 8679fe
File 145560082505.png - (368.09KB , 700x600 , 131.png )
702278

I pick at my nails as I consider his addition. "How about we just make it, like ... if staying means you would die, obviously you can leave. I don't want you killing yourself over this, and if I'm dead there's no point in you sticking around." I consider a moment longer, then add, "But if I'm not dead - and I mean you are not absolutely 100% sure I'm dead - and you have to leave to stay alive, you have to grab me and drag me out with you and get me home."

"Mmmm ... okay. I'm good with that." Cain plops the entire chicken onto his TV tray and turns towards me. "Wanna seal the contract?"

"None of this kiss shit," I warn him. "I talked to Belial about this kind of thing and he told me you don't actually have to kiss for demonic pacts."

"Party pooper," Cain pouts, "but fine. We'll do it the boring way." He spits into his hand, and I spit into mine, and when our palms meet in the middle the apartment seems to shake and bend.

L̡OW͢R̢Y L͠EWI̕S. T҉O͏DÁY Į ̴A͞M ṔL͘E̢D͘GED҉ ́INTO ͏Y͠O͜UŔ S͘ER̷V̨I̧C͠E.͝ ̸MA҉Y M͢Y U͘N͟H͟OĻY ͘W͟OR̢KS S̕ERV͏E͏ Y͞OU̵ WE̸L̨L. He grins at me, and I keep my face impassive even when he squeezes too hard, causing the bones of my fingers to creak and ache. AS I̛T H́AS͡ ̸B͡ÈE͢N SAI̶D, ͝S̛O͏ ͢IT ŞHAL͟L͞ B̛E͏ ̵D̨O͏NE.
>>
No. 702279 ID: 8679fe
File 145560084133.png - (132.55KB , 700x600 , 132.png )
702279

"Um. Cool, thanks." When he lets go of my hand, the straining of the building shudders to a halt, and I wipe my palm off on my coat. "So, uh ... the Sukebun are gonna meet me at my place at around 6 tonight. You wanna do the same?"

"Sure." He's already pulled his phone out, brows knitting in concentration as he scratches away the silver coating on the back of his gift card to reveal the redemption code. "Pleasure doin' business with you, as always."

He's re-engrossed in his rhythm game, and it's about half past noon. I still have plenty of time before the rendezvous at my apartment. I know I'll have to go back there to shower and get dressed - I at least know better than to show up looking the way I do now - but until then, I have some time to kill. I could visit or call some of the other contacts I put together at the diner, check on Sweat or Chidori and Nanako, or do pretty much anything else I can think of that's worth doing.
>>
No. 702283 ID: b1b975

Check on Sweat first, then Chidori + Nanako. Then maybe try calling your brother again? And maybe drop Belial a line to ask about Sweat's death after you've checked on it.

Then freshen up. It's party time. Terrible, terrible party time.
>>
No. 702284 ID: 2ccbb3

>>702278
Methinks you're never going to heaven. No biggie; Sweat and the others said current management sucks anyway.

Call up Nanako, ask for a weapons loadout. Tell Chidori to stay alive, you want to have another party when this is over.
>>
No. 702291 ID: 59cf00

Check on Sweat, then try to call your brother again, then go talk to Belial.
>>
No. 702293 ID: 59cf00

Also, sorry to double post, but I want to emphasize that I actually don't think we should bother Chidori and Nanako right now. Chidori might still be angry, and Nana should be resting. At most you can drop a line saying something like "Sorry about earlier, how is Nanako holding up?"
>>
No. 702296 ID: 401f23

Lowry, what do you do for fun? Maybe go do that!
And/or check up on Whisper.
>>
No. 702297 ID: 36e2ef

Sweat, Sukebuds, Belial.
>>
No. 702300 ID: 0878c4

check on sweat, then let's go talk to belial
>>
No. 702307 ID: fb9eec

lets see if belial can be any help to us, check on sweat, and then go home and rest for a bit if there's time before 6.
>>
No. 702327 ID: 5f940c

Maybe check in on Reiss?
>>
No. 702333 ID: 3641d4

Go home and shower. Also check on your bf, he probably misses you a lot.
>>
No. 702354 ID: 8679fe
File 145564361578.png - (195.41KB , 700x600 , 133.png )
702354

I decide to head over to Sweat's place to check on it. Cain clears the membrane over his door with a disinterested wave of his hand so I can leave, and within a few minutes I've dropped onto the lid of the dumpster again, and I'm walking.

I pull my phone out, thinking maybe I'll try Bronsted again, and notice I have a few messages.
>>
No. 702355 ID: 8679fe
File 145564363178.png - (107.43KB , 700x600 , 134.png )
702355

FROM: CHIDORI ITOU
11:01 AM 8/10/2015

Thanks. I heard from Junko that you're going.

FROM: CHIDORI ITOU
11:05 AM 8/10/2015

Be careful.



FROM: BRONSTED LEWIS
11:30 AM 8/10/2015

Hey. Sorry. Haven't really been feeling up to talking on the phone. I'm kind of busy today. Can you call me later this evening?



FROM: NE
11:59 AM 8/10/2015

[IMAGE ATTACHED]

>>
No. 702356 ID: 1d6b76

Thank Chidori and ask how Nanako is doing, tell your brother that that's fine, and then take a deep breath and open up the Ne image. He's probably escalating things since you didn't reply to the last one, so it might be more graphic than the first.
>>
No. 702362 ID: 774f3b

You should text Bronsted back, even if it is just a short reply. Try and call him back this evening, when this is over. Take a look at the img from Ne
>>
No. 702366 ID: 39247f

Thank Chidori. Maybe ask her if she wants updates if you have the time during the dinner? She might want to know how its going, or maybe not. That is why you are asking.
Tell your brother that's okay and open the Ne image. Even though we might regret it, it most likely has to be done.
>>
No. 702390 ID: bb78f2

>>702355
Is Ne just spamming that same image over and over again?

Fuck off Ne, you've made your point, unless that point isn't that I shouldn't have let you live, then you're doing it POORLY. Either give me information relevant enough to forgive you, or have another reason to always look over your shoulder. Don't fucking troll me, it's a waste of both our time. If you're really getting kicks off this, then you're appearing desperate for pleasure. Be a professional, it suits you better.
>>
No. 702564 ID: 39247f

Maybe if you sent Ne some stickers the situation would be better
>>
No. 702565 ID: eaa5d1
File 145568509645.png - (111.00KB , 700x600 , 135.png )
702565

I've never liked texting much, but it's at least better than phone calls - they feel rushed and overwhelming and annoying, but with texts there's room to breathe. Plus they're ten times easier to ignore. Today I'm being responsible, though, and I tap out replies as I walk.

TO: BRONSTED LEWIS
12:40 PM 8/10/2015

yeah, that's fine. i have something to do tonight so i might call pretty late. if i miss you i'll try again tomorrow.



TO: CHIDORI ITOU
12:43 PM 8/10/2015
thanks. i hope nana's doing ok. i can keep you updated while i'm at the junkyard if you want.

>>
No. 702566 ID: eaa5d1
File 145568511061.png - (132.82KB , 700x600 , 136.png )
702566

With that done, I exhale slowly and open the image Ne sent.

Jesus fucking Christ.
>>
No. 702567 ID: eaa5d1
File 145568512245.png - (196.18KB , 700x600 , 137.png )
702567

Since there's nothing to do but ignore that, I put my phone away again and continue in silence until I reach Sweat's place.

It smiles and greets me as soon as I walk in, but the smile quickly dissolves into concern. "Lowry ... your body does not seem well ...." It moves towards me, but its movements are more hesitant than I'm used to, expression soft and reserved. "Bodies are very precious... to test their fragility is unwise."
>>
No. 702569 ID: b1b975

Tell him you needed money so that you could actually go to the Junkyard and not get completely wrecked.
>>
No. 702570 ID: 628880
702570

,,,,kiss
>>
No. 702571 ID: 774f3b

Sweat's never eaten blood? It's missing out... blood is regenerable anyways, is it alright?
>>
No. 702576 ID: c17cdf

Hug Sweat and reassure it that you feel fine and are planning to rest. Also, hey, just saying, if you would be into a kiss, you could always do that too ... just an option ...
>>
No. 702579 ID: 2ccbb3

Tell him that blood can be restored easily.

Actually, you should probably drink a lot of water. Ask Sweat if his sink is filtered or if he has orange juice, milk, ritual pomegranates, etc.
>>
No. 702580 ID: 6eee93

ask it if it has blood and also if it needs said blood
>>
No. 702581 ID: 7b7ab3

Trading a little blood for convenience's sake is the least of your problems today

Now hug Sweat, ask him how he's doing, see about getting some water, and just rest until it's go time.
>>
No. 702585 ID: 88965b

tell it what you did today and reassure it you're fine. or at least tell it that you're going to BE fine, because you have things to do tonight. don't bring up that it can't go/you want it to go....i don't think that would help
>>
No. 702588 ID: 39247f

Yeah we should have killed Ne

Give sweat a sticker
>>
No. 702594 ID: 152955

money can be exhcanged for goods and services.
ne must die because we had to see bad memes
>>
No. 702598 ID: eaa5d1
File 145568944026.png - (221.43KB , 700x600 , 138.png )
702598

"I'm okay. I just needed to sell a pint of blood so I could get Cain on my side."

Sweat's expression darkens, and it looks away in a way i could almost call petulant. "Snakes given minds and tongues that speak. Another unwise decision." It turns away from me and steps back over to the lonely mattress on teetering feet, huffing softly. "One I cannot fault you for, for you are faultless, but ... "

"It's okay, Sweat. Cain's too lazy to be really devious," I mumble. I follow it over to the center of the near-empty room, furrowing my brow slightly at its uncharacteristic distance. "But really, don't worry. I was careful about the terms." I rub at the back of my neck, where a hot point of tension has started to collect. "But now I just have to get some fluids in me and recover before tonight. I was thinking about seeing Belial, but I guess that depends on how long I decide to rest." The little cluster of pain isn't going away so I give up, letting my hand fall back against my side. "Do you have anything I can drink?"

"Ah... I can make whatever you'd like ..."

"Even just water would be fine," I say, giving a relieved sigh as I drop down onto the mattress. "But I should probably have juice or something. Or you could just lend me some of your blood, if you have any," I joke dryly.

Sweat pauses. "You ..." It turns its head slightly, bright eyes reflective in the dark room. "You desire ichor, little throat?"
>>
No. 702599 ID: 152955

that was whats known as a joke. feel free to keep your blood sweat and just grab a ginger ale from the fridge or the store or whatever
>>
No. 702603 ID: bb78f2

>>702598
No Sweat, I have less blood. Liqour's a bad idea. Snrrk.
But uh, water's the healthiest option. Combined maybe with a cookie.
>>
No. 702605 ID: 7b7ab3

Just joking, angel face.

What does ichor even do anyway? It can't be like normal blood.
>>
No. 702606 ID: 90f3c0

Would drinking Sweat's blood have any positive effect? Because it sounds like a completely terrible idea. Drink some juice.
>>
No. 702614 ID: 88965b

jk jk. just need some juice, or water. and maybe a massage for whatever this pain is in your neck
>>
No. 702633 ID: 0878c4

nnnnn that doesnt seem like a good idea
>>
No. 702645 ID: 3bb9f3

would that... be helpful?
>>
No. 702649 ID: 2c322d

no but I'm intrigued would that help us
>>
No. 702650 ID: 3adcf8

Explain you were joking and apologize if you've hurt its feelings. After it gets you something to drink tell it you have a little gift for it and present it some stickers.
>>
No. 702651 ID: dd28b1

>>702650
Yeah!
>>
No. 702653 ID: 774f3b

Ginger ale, stickers. Maybe if its very eager for you to drink ichor you can when this is all over but right now you have to take care of this yourself.
>>
No. 702690 ID: 09bd04

What would come of that?
>>
No. 702691 ID: eaa5d1
File 145574552720.png - (250.75KB , 700x600 , 139.png )
702691

"It's called a joke, angel face." I smile tiredly, folding my overcoat and setting it down next to the mattress. "I'll just do juice for now."

It returns to the mattress holding a cup of something unidentifiable - when I taste it, it's cloyingly sweet and artificial, but it's something, and I'm not in the mood to complain. "Hey," I venture, "what would that even do, anyway? Drinking ichor, I mean."

"Mm." Sweat takes a seat beside me. "The nature of the immortal is unbridled desire - is it not so?"

I grunt affirmatively with my nose in the cup.

"But I am mortal now, to a degree. So consider mine bridled." It cants its head to the side, idly twisting a rope of white hair between its fingers. "Still ... desire, malleable, so dependent on the world around me. Mercury and ice. To drink of me is different than to drink of Belial; to drink of him different than to drink of Cain - do not drink of Cain," it adds quickly.

I swipe my thumb across my mouth and set the drink down on the floor. "Wasn't planning on it. So if it changes so much, what would it do right now?"

"Always the same," Sweat responds easily. "Mine - for my desires are bound to you, and always have been, and always will be. And thus, my blood, meaningful only for you, thrums expectantly - it boils and breaks against my flesh, pushing always towards and for you, and would be whatever you require. Heavy lids lifted, rent flesh re-stitched -" it shrugs loosely, seeming to suddenly lose interest in the list. "Like me, it would fold itself, reform and lose shape, to be needed."

"That sounds super useful. Why haven't you ever mentioned it before now?"
>>
No. 702692 ID: eaa5d1
File 145574553833.png - (198.22KB , 700x600 , 140.png )
702692

Out of the corner of my eye, I swear I see it stiffen. It wets its lips briefly, then answers with its eyes fixed firmly on the opposite corner of the room. "It is intimate."

"... Oh."
>>
No. 702693 ID: eaa5d1
File 145574555142.png - (190.59KB , 700x600 , 141.png )
702693

A few moments of silence pass, then I decide to break it by Taking the sticker sheet out and resting it across my knees. It seems like the kind of thing Sweat would like. "Hey, I got you something."

"Ah?" It turns to look, and I hand it the entire sheet - not like I'm honestly gonna use them for anything else - and its eyes light up so bright it hurts to look at. "Ah!" It takes the sheet into its hands, fingers moving gingerly to pinch just the edges, and tilts it back and forth reverently, entranced by the glitter embedded in the ink. "Ah ... delightful ... a gift? Truly? Truly? For me?"

"Yeah." I can't suppress a laugh at its enthusiasm. "It's not a big deal, Sweat."

"No," it argues vehemently, "it is significant - it is important - I am touched." It looks back down at the stickers, and its expression softens and opens in awe. "What manner of object? What purpose?"

I can't remember the last time I laughed this genuinely, but everything it says makes me snort all over again, and I bury my amusement in the rim of my juice cup. "They're stickers. Oh my god. You peel them off the sheet and put them on stuff. Like decoration."

"Adornments ..." it murmurs. It drags a claw lightly over the rainbow sticker, lost in thought. "Then I must be cautious," it says finally, with conviction, "and deliberate on what things will be graced ..." The sheet is gone from its hands then, because I guess it must have Taken it, and it turns back to me, gently working its fingertips under my hand to press into the underside of my palm. "Thank you, sweet bones, pretty flesh. I am happy."
>>
No. 702697 ID: 15a025

Make a note to get some more stickers if you find any. Sounds like Sweet really likes them.
>>
No. 702703 ID: f7a64f

I'd say it's not the fact that they are stickers that make him happy. Sweet just said that his heart beats for Lowry, I think it's more a "Lowry did something nice for me" reaction.
>>
No. 702705 ID: 40cf56

>>702693
Sweet mercy, this angel's too cute.
And look! Its halo lit up!
Tell it you're happy if its happy.
Maybe give it a hug. Gotta love that big bird.
>>
No. 702712 ID: 39247f

I KNEW THE STICKERS WOULD COME IN HANDY STICKERS ARE ALWAYS USEFUL!!!!!!!
>>
No. 702715 ID: 02422f

>>702712
Sticker: emotion in it's purest, most concentrated form.
>>
No. 702729 ID: 0543a8

the stickers have pleased it. you have done well

consider drinking ichor. you need everything you can tonight. you might as well try it since you might get killed anyway lmao
>>
No. 702758 ID: dd28b1

HUG!!!!
>>
No. 702768 ID: 09bd04

np
>>
No. 702892 ID: 6eee93

grip its hand tightly. hope you survive the night.
>>
No. 702896 ID: 6eee93

also can you ask it to like. nut some ichor in a bottle just in case. is that weird to ask an angel to jizz its blood in a bottle for you. i'm asking for a friend
>>
No. 702898 ID: 4041c8

>>702758
Yes.
>>702896
>i'm asking for a friend
Smooth.
>>
No. 702934 ID: fb7dbf

hhhhug
>>
No. 703134 ID: 1ca426

Okay, nap time. Possibly cuddle nap time.

That was the most cute.
>>
No. 703140 ID: ba9e25

ask sweat if. Maybe Later we can Nut an Ichor
>>
No. 703146 ID: 68d539

>>702705
>>702758
>>702934
>>703134
These.
>>
No. 703460 ID: 2c8ccb

This is so lovely. But it's too lovely. I'm suspicious as to why you and Sweat broke up. Obviously you have an affinity, and I doubt Sweat would have broken up with you.... so why did it end. I think you're both in a comfortable position to talk about things right now, so maybe you should ask.

I'm just worried that maybe that reason still exists and will come back to wreck your friendship/relationship all over again. I think if you're going to become closer you should do so whilst knowing more about why you split in the first place. Let's not risk possibly repeating the past and play it safe...
>>
No. 703484 ID: bb78f2

Hug it, but make sure it stays platonic, stop it if it makes any moves or assumptions.
Don't need NO romance right now, need a friend. And friends DO cuddle. I'm not dumb, there IS some mood here, maybe we want some D right now, but even with that ever present mood and potential desire for some Angel D, but nope, Sweat, you can't give us the D.

We just got done with two abusive relationships, and we don't know why this one became an ex, so we need to establish some boundaries.
>>
No. 703497 ID: eaa5d1
File 145591851495.png - (366.61KB , 700x600 , 142.png )
703497

Again I have the weird, tugging sensation that comes with knowing I should be feeling something. I've been getting a lot of practice smiling lately, and I try it out again, closing my hand around Sweat's clawed fingers. "I'm really glad you like them. I can get you more later, if you want."

I'm not sure if I'm the one who pulled Sweat closer, or if it pulled me, but either way I soon find my face resting lightly against its shoulder. The warm dampness that seemed disgusting only a day ago is now almost homey, like the steam that clings after a hot shower. I wonder how long I must have been avoiding Sweat, if it only took me this long to warm up to it again. I don't really remember.
>>
No. 703498 ID: eaa5d1
File 145591852529.png - (223.40KB , 700x600 , 143.png )
703498

"I am afraid," it says softly. I nod.

"I know. I'm not, but I know why you are." I pull away slightly and rest my hand on its shoulder. "But I'm being careful."

It lets out a noise that's half sigh, half hum, and I scratch idly against its shoulderblade. "Don't worry about it for right now. Let's take a nap, and ... I dunno. If I still don't feel up to snuff when I wake up, can we talk about the ichor thing?"

Sweat's cheekbones glow gold, and it lets its hands drop from my shoulders back to its lap. "If that is truly what you wish, little throat."
>>
No. 703499 ID: eaa5d1
File 145591853739.png - (212.83KB , 700x600 , 144.png )
703499

We settle down, and before I drift off I pull out my phone to set an alarm. It's 1:00. I know I'll want at least a half hour to get back to my place, shower, and get dressed, so I mull over whether I want to also leave myself enough time to see Belial, or just sleep through straight til 5-ish.
>>
No. 703500 ID: 6eee93

can't hurt to go see him
>>
No. 703501 ID: 301a01

didn't we say that demons and angels don't get along? if we already have cain, we probably shouldn't go for belial if the two of them will argue. if not, lets go for it.
>>
No. 703502 ID: c17cdf

Sleep til 3:30, then go talk to Belial. We don't have to recruit him, we're just going to talk. As long as we're asking him about Sweat's death, we can see if he knows anything about the breakup, too.
>>
No. 703504 ID: 401f23

Wake up earlier, even if you decide not to see Belial you'll still have time to do other things that way
>>
No. 703507 ID: bb78f2

>>703499
I still don't know the point in seeing him other than to ask him about Sweat at this point. I'd just say sleep, because sleep is awesome.
>>
No. 703508 ID: 301a01

>>703501
i retract this statement, lets go ask belial about sweat (i thought we were focusing on recruitment)
>>
No. 703509 ID: b1b975

Probably talk to Belial, yeah.
>>
No. 703550 ID: 0543a8

talk 2 belial about why u and sweat broke up
>>
No. 703564 ID: 0a5f83

why not ask sweat before you go? better to get the info from the source rather than secondhand imo
>>
No. 703589 ID: 39247f

if you talk to sweat about the break up it might get upset so i think we should talk to belial instead
>>
No. 703621 ID: 2c8ccb

I don't think Sweat would get upset with you for asking Belial instead of it. But I also think it's slightly more respectful to ask Sweat itself. You can ask Belial about angely things anyway, but it's probably better to ask important personal things of the being they directly concern.
>>
No. 703660 ID: eaa5d1
File 145594034571.png - (364.97KB , 700x600 , 145.png )
703660

I set an alarm for 3:30 and lay down. If anything, there are things I want to ask about Sweat - things it seems to find too upsetting to tell me about. I hear the mattress shift as Sweat lays down beside me, the soft warmth of its breath on my shoulder, and I keep my eyes closed.

The room is quiet except for the rustling of feathers and the distant sounds of traffic outside. I inhale deeply, feeling my chest lift my folded hands, the way it tightens my throat and my back. "Hey, Sweat?"

"I am here."

"Why did we break up?"

The silence afterward is a held breath. I'm holding mine, I realize, and I let it out slowly, feeling my chest deflate like a dismantled fairground tent. The mattress creaks. I think Sweat has moved to lay on its back, like me.

"Because of my failures," it says finally. "My immense, continuing failures - inborn, innate - held up to your radiance ..." It chuckles softly, and I hear a soft slide against the sheet, the sound of it placing one of its hands under its head. "Even angels know shame, little throat."

I consider, quietly. "What are you ashamed of?"
>>
No. 703661 ID: eaa5d1
File 145594035575.png - (223.42KB , 700x600 , 146.png )
703661

"The leveled stare at my own mirror reflections, unrelenting and unchanging - glimpses of my own hands, peripheral - the physical knowledge of my own organs, heavy and settling," it murmurs. "What else is there? Can it be called hubris? What tower was I building?"

I let my eyes open and glance over at it. It's staring up at the ceiling. "Oh, little throat. How can I explain? My very being is love for you - how callous, how immodest am i, to ask for the same from you?" It feels my eyes on it and turns to look at me, letting out a slow sigh. "Do you understand, beloved one? I finally understood - one day, somehow, through my own fog - I understood the immense conceit I had constructed. I played pretend like a child. Fancied myself worthy of reciprocation -" here it laughs, hard and edged - "and expected you to devote yourself to my vile form." It turns away again, humming out another pained laugh as it drags a thoughtful finger over its lips. "And the realization ... can you die of shame? Can you die of regret? Perhaps if I'd crafted this body more skillfully, I would have."
>>
No. 703668 ID: 47160d

Wait so then you didn't love it even then?
>>
No. 703669 ID: 301a01

can we like. comfort sweat or smth. maybe ask it for clarification? but lets not push it
>>
No. 703679 ID: c17cdf

>>703668
I don't know, I feel like it's more that Sweat feels so poorly about himself that he thinks it would be impossible for Lowry to love him back - whether or not that was actually true. I mean, in the memory we got from Ne, everything seemed pretty mutual.

It almost sounds like Sweat is saying HE broke up with LOWRY, in a kind of "I'm leaving you for your own good, you deserve better" thing. I think we should gently ask for clarification, but don't push it too hard, and then ask for Belial's version of events to see how it lines up later.
>>
No. 703684 ID: 39247f

if it realizes what it done was wrong, is there anyway we can forgive it? even if we aren't particularly sure what it did. perhaps it will be best to wait for forgiveness, but it also might help.
>>
No. 703685 ID: bb78f2

>>703661
Wait, so laymen's terms, who broke up with who? Did you break up with me because you didn't love yourself enough, or did I break up with you because you didn't love yourself enough?
>>
No. 703740 ID: 3adcf8

It sounds like Sweat was codependent and realized its own hurtful behavior, was deeply ashamed maybe even horrified, and broke up with you to spare you its obsession.
Maybe offer it forgiveness and ask it if it feels safe with your rekindling friendship. If it does feel safe squeeze its hand and try to sleep.
>>
No. 703742 ID: 99a64d

>>703679
I think the issue is that Sweat loves Lowry significantly more than she loved him, he broke up with her because he didn't want her to be stuck in that kind of weird lopsided relationship.
>>
No. 703777 ID: a26590

y'all are gonna piss off Lowry again if you don't use the right fuckin' pronouns. cmon now
>>
No. 703793 ID: eeeaca

>>703685
>>703740
>>703742
Sounds like a mix of all of these.

Go for reconciliation like >>703684 says.
Ask for Belial's version of events later, we don't need them before we go to rabies' place.
>>
No. 703824 ID: 99a64d

>>703777
Aw shit, oops. In my defense, calling a person "it" is really hard to get used to.
>>
No. 703855 ID: 4645ac

yeah sweat's basically saying it was unfair of it to entirely construct itself with the expectation of lowry loving it. it's saying that it broke up with lowry because of the absolute imbalance - lowry couldn't love as absolutely as sweat could, sweat fell from heaven and killed its siblings and ate them to become mortal, only for lowry, because it loved lowry

and it figured out that that wasn't fair to lowry. that it couldn't place that weight on her shoulders, that lowry couldn't match that kind of thing. so it ended the relationship.

which is... incredibly sweet of it. if i believe anything, i believe that sweat is one of the only people in lowry's life that we can 100% depend on. i don't know if sweat loves us that much anymore, but we can trust it. we already know angels never lie.

god this just makes me feel so affectionate, even if it's like the bare minimum of thoughtfulness. sweat is looking out for lowry, even considering itself a threat to her happiness. it deserves our trust and friendship.
>>
No. 703861 ID: 152955

it sounds like it was just a really imbalanced relationship. getting into details of who broke up with who wouldnt really prove anything other than it wasnt gonna work in that point in time
>>
No. 704181 ID: 57fc24
File 145608133156.png - (261.03KB , 700x600 , 147.png )
704181

I think about asking more, but when it comes down to it ... I think I know what happened. And I don't think pinning down the details is going to do anything useful for either of us.

I'm quiet for a minute, then I laugh, breathy and hoarse. "You know, Sweat, sometimes I think you're the only person I can really depend on."

It hums, almost uncertainly.

"Really." I shift so that I'm facing it, propped up on my elbow. "It sounds like ... you did the right thing. Even though it must have really hurt you."

Its eyes widen slightly, but it stays quiet, still thoughtfully dragging its fingers over its face.

"Whatever you think you did wrong," I continue, "I forgive you for. I think you've more than made up for it." I reach for it, and it lets me pick its hand up, warm and heavy in my palm. "And I wanna be your friend."

There's a beat, a sharp inhale, and its free hand darts up to scrub at the tears that are suddenly collecting at the corners of all of its eyes - face, throat, and stomach. I keep my hold on its hand firm, trying to be reassuring, and when it finally speaks, its voice is shaky.

"Thank you, Lowry." It gives a little laugh, choked and uncertain. "How precious. How infinitely precious to me."

"Mm? What, friendship?"

"Yes." It bends its neck to press its cheek lightly against my hand, eyes closed but still tearful. "I feared, so much, not only your hatred, but ... that it would be justified. To live in ruins of my own making." It lets go of my hand and lays down again, sniffling quietly. "The meaning of this gift - I cannot say." It reaches out and pushes against my shoulder gently, urging me to lie down. "But you should rest ..."
>>
No. 704182 ID: 57fc24
File 145608134433.png - (322.29KB , 700x600 , 148.png )
704182

"Yeah." I settle down, and then, after a moment of thought, scoot forward to nestle into Sweat's arms. It gasps quietly, surprised, then softens and loops its arms around me. The heavy weight is soothing and comfortable, and the press of its chest against mine is somehow innocent. I think I fall asleep faster than I ever have.
>>
No. 704183 ID: 57fc24
File 145608135638.png - (178.66KB , 700x600 , 149.png )
704183

The blare of my alarm jolts me into awareness, and the mattress I find myself on is nowhere near as warm and comfortable as the one I fell asleep on. I groggily look around after slapping my phone into submission and spot Sweat clinging to a corner of the ceiling, eyes wide and hostile.

"What's going on? What's wrong?" I stumble to my feet and curse inwardly - this might have been one of those too-long naps that backfires, because I feel sluggish and lightheaded. When I look back up at Sweat, I notice its eyes are fixed on my phone, following it intently as my hand sways back and forth. "Oh ... what, the alarm?" I wave my hand back and forth, demonstrating my phone's newfound docility. "Look. It's done."

Narrowing its eyes, Sweat slowly scuttles back down the wall and straightens up, still eyeing my phone suspiciously. "Displeasure. Immense displeasure. Vile shrieking, unholy and unwelcome."

"Okay, okay. Next time I'll have you wake me up instead." I pinch the bridge of my nose, trying to quiet my throbbing head. "Ugh ..."
>>
No. 704184 ID: 57fc24
File 145608136513.png - (101.41KB , 700x600 , 150.png )
704184

Finally seeming to get over its newfound hatred of my phone alarm, Sweat tip-toes over to me, head cocked. "Lowry? Are you unwell?"

"I dunno. I was hoping that nap would perk me up some, but that didn't really happen."

It shuffles its wings slightly, shifting its weight back and forth. "I ... I still offer my blood, if you'd have it. As much as I can give, but only if you will take it, little throat."
>>
No. 704188 ID: f22fa7

give lowry the juice
>>
No. 704189 ID: bb78f2

>>704184
That MIGHT fix what you were missing. Which means you might go back to sweet Lowry mode. First ask if that might turn you back into Sweet Lowry by repairing the things other than your memories that were stolen. You need to be Hardened Lowry for this meeting, otherwise it's going to fall apart.

If no, and you'll still be hardened, go ahead. If it's a risk, no, don't take it. That will be the last thing we do in this quest if we never reacquire what was missing.
>>
No. 704190 ID: b1b975

Take the blood. You've already been a little intimate with it today, so some buildup has happened. So.
>>
No. 704191 ID: 1d4b09

please accept sweat's juice
>>
No. 704192 ID: ccea7c

Given the gravity of taking the ichor I don't think it should be taken so lightly now, especially after how close you're getting. Maybe find something else to perk you up, cold air and some non-blood based nutrients might be good.
>>
No. 704194 ID: 2ccbb3

This is a bad idea. Sweat's blood may re-arrange your psyche into something alien. You seem sickly, but nothing a good pre-dinner breakfast meal won't fix.

That's basically a carton of orange juice, a carton of milk, an omlette, two burgers, and all the vitamins that Sweat's been toying with in the pantry.
>>
No. 704196 ID: 301a01

there doesnt seem to be a con to taking the ichor right now? maybe ask it to clarify on the effects but it seems like a good idea?
>>
No. 704198 ID: fb7dbf

yeah ask for more details. how does it work, whats gonna happen, any side effects, etc
>>
No. 704206 ID: 6eee93

save it. you're gonna see worse things than the junkyard
>>
No. 704225 ID: 99a64d

Remember to always drink your juice, kids.
>>
No. 704242 ID: ebc59f

Juice It
>>
No. 704255 ID: eeeaca

nah man, go get some calorific food.
bacon and eggs, toast and beans, protein and vitamin pills
>>
No. 704304 ID: 2c322d

JUICE JUICE JUICE JUICE
>>
No. 704306 ID: 39247f

drink the lIchor
>>
No. 704483 ID: 774f3b

Don't Drink the Ichor. Maybe later. Don't drink it now. Don't drink the juice.
>>
No. 704520 ID: f46ffb

juice
>>
No. 704532 ID: cc773c

i think this is a bad idea, dont drink the juice
>>
No. 704555 ID: b5e492

You'll have to be on top of your game tonight, feeling drained and shitty won't help. take th juice
>>
No. 704595 ID: 152955

im gonna play devil advocate and say Dont drin kthe juice
>>
No. 704612 ID: dee33c

ichor feels like such a Final Boss item, it feels like jumping the gun to take it so quick in before things have even gone south.
>>
No. 704617 ID: 5e9308

DRINK THE SWEAT JUICE
>>
No. 704618 ID: 4201a2

You're not even injured. Don't take such a huge step so lightly. Save the ichor when you really need it.
>>
No. 704620 ID: d609c1

Don't take it yet. Just get info about it for now.
>>
No. 704701 ID: 3aba0f

juice

no seriusly mayb ask aobut it first but id really go for that Sweat Juice my dude
>>
No. 704714 ID: e69fca

now i dont want to be a party pooper but that sounds like a Bad Idea
>>
No. 704719 ID: 8679fe
File 145621364009.png - (169.64KB , 700x600 , 151.png )
704719

I'm conflicted. Weighing the options in my mind, it's hard to make a decision. I rub the back of my neck, grimacing as my fingers work at the same stubborn knot from earlier. "Man, I dunno ... I mean, what kind of stuff will it change? Like ..." I gesture vaguely at my scar with my free hand. "I know the way I am isn't how I used to be, but ... I think it's how I need to be right now, you know? I don't wanna get caught off guard ..."

Sweat shakes its head. "Perhaps if I were still ascended ... but no, little throat, I am of the flesh now, and thus to drink of me is a thing of the flesh. Pumping blood and twitching muscles - these things I can rejuvenate. All else I have given up."

"So we're sure that all that'll happen is ... I'll physically feel better?"

It nods slowly. "Alas. If I could offer more ..."

"No, that's ... that's actually good," I interrupt. "I don't think I want to mess with anything more than that right now." I sigh, think a moment longer, then nod. "Okay. Okay. I think I wanna do it. If you're still okay with it, I mean."

"Of course."

"Okay, so ... how do we ...?"
>>
No. 704720 ID: 8679fe
File 145621366003.png - (241.06KB , 700x600 , 152.png )
704720

Sweat sits on the floor, and I follow suit. I watch quietly as it drags a claw lightly against its palm - it slices into the flesh like butter, and the cut immediately beads with bright pearls of honey-like liquid.

"Does it hurt?" I ask, almost absent-mindedly. The blood shimmers, viscous and tense.

"Yes." Sweat extends its arm, presenting its lifted palm to me. "A little."

I lean forward. "How much should I ...?"

"A few drops should be all you need." Sweat's flushing gold again, eyes lowered. "But, as I said, I will offer as much as I-"

"No, it's okay. A few drops, then." I lean forward again, just enough to close the gap, and drag my tongue carefully up the cut. Sweat inhales shakily, and I feel its hand quiver, but it stays still.

Even though it looks thick, it feels like the ichor evaporates immediately on my tongue. I think of the way it feels sometimes falling asleep, when the bed falls away and you're pleasantly dizzy and disoriented - if that had a taste, I guess, it would be this. Drinking feels more like breathing in than anything. I'm distracted trying to describe it to myself, in my head - I think about the last time I got high, or the last time I had sex, both months ago - I think about when I used to go to church, when I cared about it so much that sometimes the hymns made me cry - it's all close but none of it is exact, and -

"Lowry - Lowry -"

I jerk backwards, suddenly pulled out of my spiraling train of thought. Sweat is shivering, and it smiles faintly at me. "A few drops," it reminds me faintly.
>>
No. 704721 ID: 8679fe
File 145621367404.png - (174.61KB , 700x600 , 153.png )
704721

"Oh -" My hand flashes up to my mouth, and I wipe up a stray droplet of blood, head buzzing. "Sorry. I didn't realize I was ..."

It lets out a mild, shapeless noise and slides the pad of its thumb across its palm. The cut closes up like a zipper. "Your body?"

"I feel good," I say, and it's true. I run through a mental checklist, and it's almost like I hadn't realized how much better I felt til I thought about it. I'm wide awake, clearheaded, pain-free - I roll my shoulders and note the absence of that annoying sore spot at my nape. I feel better than I have in a while, by a long shot. "Really good."

Sweat smiles, tilting its head slightly. "Wonderful ..."

"What about you? You okay?"

It looks down at its hands, still smiling gently. "Ah ... I'm very happy," it admits. "To finally offer something to you ... to be of use ..."
>>
No. 704722 ID: 152955

sweetheart...(sweatheart)?
well we got the juice
>>
No. 704723 ID: bb78f2

>>704721
Sweat, you've been plenty useful, I couldn't have gotten this far without you. Who knows where I'd be without you. Significantly worse off. This is where I am now, and I'm certain it's a better place than... whatever that other Universe is where you never fell. You're an Angel, you can see that universe, at least according to It's a Wonderful Life, and you know I'm right.
>>
No. 704739 ID: 0307e5

reassure it! tell it its a good friend and it was very of use and yeah, and ask it if its feeling okay
>>
No. 704749 ID: 64fde3

you think the mortician would trade some of that for a memory?
>>
No. 704750 ID: e84caf

You sure?
>>
No. 704752 ID: fb7dbf

>>704749
uh, what? there's no way we're doing that
>>
No. 704760 ID: 3adcf8

Oh Sweat... Offer a hug and tell it its previous kindness has been plenty "useful". Thank it for the ichor and apologize again for losing yourself while drinking from it.
>>
No. 704796 ID: 6eee93

>>704749
sweat's ichor only has that effect on those it loves. to the mortician, it's functionally useless. besides, it probably evaporates or something once it's out of its body.

time to head to belial's? are we taking sweat?
>>
No. 704804 ID: 2ccbb3

Consume some fish, a carton of milk, anything to keep the juice properly diluted.

Alright, you're ready. Plan the assault and get this party started.
>>
No. 704816 ID: 15a025

Give him a hug for helping you out.
>>
No. 704845 ID: 0307e5

>>704752
we are not doing that
>>
No. 704868 ID: eeeaca

>>704723
>>704760
this pls

what's sweat like with other angels?
i think we're ok to go to belial or maybe straight to rabies'.

hug goodbye though, promise you'll be back as soon and safe as possible
>>
No. 705118 ID: 8679fe
File 145634650809.png - (226.25KB , 700x600 , 154.png )
705118

"Hey, hey. You've done a lot to help me. I wouldn't have gotten this far without you." I reach my arms out for a hug, and it gladly closes the distance between us. "You're a good friend, and you're better than 'useful.'"

I let go first. "Thank you again for the ichor," I add, "and I'm sorry about ... you know."

"I'd not have you think of it," Sweat insists. "For your safety, little throat, anything."

"Well, I'll make sure to come home safe, then." I give its hand a quick squeeze before turning away. "I'm gonna go see Belial now ... you want me to come back here after the party?"

It's reluctant to let my hand go, but it finally lets its fingers fall away, smiling softly at me. "Please. Please do."

"Okay." I wave as I walk down the hallway to the stairwell. "See you soon."
>>
No. 705119 ID: 8679fe
File 145634652043.png - (121.46KB , 700x600 , 155.png )
705119

I pull out my map briefly once I'm outside Sweat's apartment complex - even though the city's changed, the position of angelhomes never does, so as long as I know the general direction to go I'll be able to find my way to Belial's, regardless of whether I recognize the streets and plazas in between. It's northwest, and close, and I get there within twenty minutes of brisk walking. I don't call to warn him I'm coming up, because he knows.

His door is truncated - sometime in the past few shifts the buildings surrounding his home must have misaligned, and I have to suck in my stomach and squeeze through the strangled frame.
>>
No. 705120 ID: 8679fe
File 145634654317.png - (149.45KB , 700x600 , 156.png )
705120

Belial's sitting at his computer, scrolling through some kind of news article.

HELLO, LOWRY. He tabs away from the window and swivels around, reaching one detached hand up to scratch lightly at the corner of his face. OH, WOW, HAHA. YOU'RE ALL FULL OF ICHOR. I WAS WONDERING WHEN YOU TWO WERE GONNA FINALLY STOP PUSSYFOOTING AROUND AND JUST GET TO IT. He pauses. GET IT. PUSSYFOOTING. IT'S BOTH A SEX JOKE AND A JOKE ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU'RE A C-

"It wasn't like that," I mutter. His head clicks and lettering flashes across it - "AMUSED" - and I scowl at the word.

HEY. MY EYES ARE DOWN HERE, BUDDY. He stretches in the chair, and I hear a noise at the base of my skull that sounds a little like a yawn. ANYWAY. TO WHAT DO I OWE THE INCONVENIENCE?
>>
No. 705122 ID: 6eee93

hey i'm going to the junkyard and there might be some deaf dogs, i don't know sign language so i was wondering if i could borrow your head for a bit
>>
No. 705123 ID: 14b288

do all angels have buttwings? or just sweat and belial?

anyway, go straight to the point. you're missing memories, you'd like to know more about the circumstances of your relationship/breakup with sweat
>>
No. 705125 ID: 4645ac

hey, belial. nice vessel, i'm jealous.

well, let's get to the point, i guess. we want information, what's it gonna cost?

belial probably knows the same amount as sweat, and has no personal attachments to it, so they might be a good source of information on us and sweat and anything else, really.
>>
No. 705126 ID: 00b120

Huh. So it looks like we can tentatively count buttwings, multiple eyes, and digitigrade sticklegs as constants between angels, or at least the ones with bodies. I was expecting him to talk in riddles like Sweat does, though, so I wonder why it's so different.

Anyway - Hey Belial! Lookin' good. Say, what do you know about the time Sweat was apparently murdered? What does "dying" mean for a fallen angel? Also, what do you know about my former relationship with Sweat?
>>
No. 705134 ID: ae7826

Fools! You should not have drank the juice! But since we're here, ask to drink its ichor too
>>
No. 705135 ID: 99a64d

Your door, it's inconvenient as fuck. I'm here to lodge a formal complaint. Nice tits by the way.

Are his hands actually floating or are his arms just invisible?

I'm a very forgetful person and I remember you as being exceedingly helpful.
>>
No. 705138 ID: b1b975

>more about the circumstances of your relationship/breakup with sweat
>Say, what do you know about the time Sweat was apparently murdered? What does "dying" mean for a fallen angel? Also, what do you know about my former relationship with Sweat?

Seconding these.
>>
No. 705206 ID: 8679fe
File 145636486292.png - (105.74KB , 700x600 , 157.png )
705206

>do all angels have buttwings? or just sweat and belial?

Sweat and Belial are the only angels I know, so I can't say for sure. There are enough physical similarities between them to make me think there must be some kind of "standard," though.

I sigh and slam the tiny door, letting the motion follow through into an accusing finger pointed behind me. "That's inconvenient as fuck, you know."

SO IS A CITY THAT THROWS TEMPER TANTRUMS. Belial shrugs, or at least tries to - I get the idea, so I give him points for trying. BUT, HEY. HOME SWEET HOME.

"Whatever." I cross my arms. "I'm here because I'm a very forgetful person, and I remember you being helpful."

OHHH, THAT'S RIGHT, LOWRY 2.0'S GOT JOKES. I FORGOT. He gets up and crosses the room, pouring himself a cup of coffee from the waiting pot on his kitchenette counter. He doesn't offer me any. GET TO THE POINT, CAPONE.
>>
No. 705207 ID: 8679fe
File 145636488398.png - (83.54KB , 700x600 , 158.png )
705207

"I wanna know about Sweat. Some specific things - the time it ... well, died, I guess ... and whatever you know about when we were in a relationship. I don't have the memories myself."

AND ASKING SWEAT DIRECTLY ISN'T PROVIDING ENOUGH INFORMATION, he finishes for me. YOU KNOW YOU'RE KIND OF THE REASON THAT THING CAN'T EVEN TALK PROPERLY, RIGHT? He returns to his desk chair and flops back, cradling the coffee mug against his chest. It occurs to me I don't know if he can even drink it, or if he even intends to. FUCKING IDIOT. GETS DOWN HERE AND THEN SPENDS A FEW CENTURIES IN COMPLETE, LITERAL ISOLATION WAITING FOR YOU TO BE BORN, BECAUSE IT WANTS YOU TO BE THE FIRST PERSON IT TALKS TO.

"Now who needs to get to the point?" I snap. I feel like I can see the coffee going cold, and it's annoying me.

OKAY, FINE, FINE. SO IT GOT MURDERED, RIGHT? BY THAT UPSTANDING CITIZEN OF A BOYFRIEND YOU HAD BACK THEN. AND YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT THAT EVEN MEANS FOR THINGS LIKE US.

"Do you, like, technically have to be thinking at me in all caps?"

SHUT UP, LOWRY. ANYWAY. THERE'S TWO WAYS ANGELS CAN DIE. He holds up one of his disembodied hands, demonstrating on his fingers. ONE, OR THE WAY ASCENDED ANGELS DIE, VIOLENT ASSIMILATION. YOU HAVE TO DOLE OUT THIS KIND OF DEATH AS PART OF THE RITUAL INVOLVED IN GETTING A BODY. THEY HAVE TO BE ATTACKED - THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE BY ANOTHER ANGEL - AND THEY HAVE TO BE EATEN. ABSORPTION, BASICALLY. THE IMMORTAL BEING OF AN ANGEL CAN ONLY BE 'KILLED' BY BEING TAKEN INTO ANOTHER ANGEL.

I swallow thickly. "So that's what Sweat means when it talks about ... its siblings. And eating."

YEP. Belial's head clicks back to "AMUSED" again. SUCKS TO BE IT, BY THE WAY. THE RITUAL IS SET UP IN REALLY RELATIVE TERMS - YOU HAVE TO EAT, AND EAT, AND EAT, UNTIL YOU REALLY START TO QUESTION WHETHER IT'S WORTH IT. UNTIL YOU WANT TO GIVE UP. AND THEN YOU HAVE TO EAT ONE MORE. SO THE MORE YOU WANT A BODY, THE MORE YOU HAVE TO EAT. I'M WILLING TO WAGER IT WAS MUCH, MUCH EASIER FOR ME TO GET A BODY THAN FOR IT. I DIDN'T EVEN REALLY CARE - I SECOND-GUESSED IT AS SOON AS I GOT BORED, AND THEN I WAS AS GOOD AS DONE. HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT HAD TO GO BEFORE IT STARTED QUESTIONING WHETHER YOU WERE WORTH IT?

"Belial. The point."
>>
No. 705208 ID: 8679fe
File 145636489662.png - (73.05KB , 700x600 , 159.png )
705208

His head clicks. "ANNOYED." OKAY, OKAY. SO THEN YOU'VE GOT YOUR BODY, YEAH? YOUR NICE, STRONG, KILLABLE BODY. YOU DO KNOW THAT'S WHY PHYSICAL BODIES ARE SO POWERFUL, RIGHT? IT'S BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT HIGHER STAKES.

"Yeah, Sweat mentions stuff like that a lot," I reply. I want to sit down but there's nothing else in his apartment, and for some reason I don't like the idea of sitting on the floor. Not when he's already being smug. "So what happens when you kill that nice, strong, killable body?"

THERE'S NO WORD FOR IT, REALLY. BUT I PERSONALLY CALL IT 'INCUBATION.' HAPPENED TO ME ONCE, TOO. OVERDOSE, he explains mildly. YOU'RE THRUST BACK ... SOMEWHERE. SPIRALING AWAY IN THE COLD AND DARK. AND IF YOU WANT, YOU CAN REBUILD. He cocks his head at me. I WONDER IF YOU REMEMBER. SWEAT DIDN'T WANT TO, AT FIRST.

I think for a moment. "At least," I say finally, slowly, "I know that I don't remember it being around for most of the time I was with Rabies."

YEAH. THAT'S BECAUSE AFTER IT GOT STOMPED IT WAS HAVING SOME SERIOUS SECOND THOUGHTS. DYING HURTS, YOU KNOW. AND REBUILDING A BODY FROM THE OUTSIDE IN IS A LOT OF WORK. BUT ANYWAY. WHAT I KNOW, AT LEAST, IS IT DOESN'T TAKE WELL NEAR A YEAR TO REBUILD A FLESH BODY - BUT THAT'S HOW LONG IT TOOK SWEAT. AND I GOTTA THINK THAT'S BECAUSE IT CONSIDERED NEVER COMING BACK.
>>
No. 705235 ID: afc44e

oh.
shit.
is there anything we can do to make sweat feel better?
>>
No. 705243 ID: 99a64d

>>705235
I think we already did that when we took the ichor.
>>
No. 705246 ID: 2ccbb3

>>705208
I don't blame it. That was BRUTAL.

But waiting and bloating for THAT long means the stakes were worth considering. Then it gets pummeled on the first day of combat?

I think Sweat's brain broke because of the logic error. Hundreds of years of experience, thousands of lethal sins, and a crazy, hopeless thug has a HIGHER probability of success than the battle-hardened death artist? That this wasn't some lucky win but an expected force of nature? Then the answer clicks; Sweat realized whose world is more REAL.

And after millennia of artistry I think that the concept of reality truly scared it. Makes sense, reality scares a lot of people.

Belial, how do we help Sweat face realism? Not reality per-se, just what it needs to face Rabies on a battlefield rather than a duel.
>>
No. 705247 ID: 832015

Is Belial annoyed because of how you've interacted with Sweat thus far?
Regardless, if you could feel or remember you'd probably have a better idea yourself how to do right by it and even right now you're trying, but it looks like shit has already went down and you've only just regained some memory of it.
So yeah Belial, help us out here.
>>
No. 705286 ID: bb78f2

>>705208
Belial, I don't suppose you can find out maybe how to fix me, at least to go back partially. I need to be 2.0 me for probably the next week, but eventually I'd like to go back to 1.0 or at LEAST 1.5.

Can you tell me things about how I was before I became 2.0? How I was acting? Maybe about my current boyfriend at all? He's mostly a blur, but I think he was abusive too, like Rabies. One memory I recovered showed him taking old me past my old house to... somewhere else, and 1.0 Lowry didn't have the balls to get him to stop the car. It was creepy, considering it was our first meeting, apparently I just hitch hiked on his ride.
>>
No. 705355 ID: b1b975

>>705286
The entire encounter pretty much reeks of sexual assault. I definitely wouldn't say that it was because of a "lack of balls."
>>
No. 705364 ID: bb78f2

>>705355
Yeah, but I was saying it terms Lowry would say, or trying to. I guess... it was hard putting everything together which is why my explanation fell apart at the end. Yeah, okay, dude is a sexual assaulter. Would Lowry straight up say that? I don't know.
>>
No. 705407 ID: 99942b

>>705208
Can he tell us anything about Rabies or Reiss?

Actually, maybe he knows a guy who can do something about Reiss who isn't fucking your abusive ex.
>>
No. 705416 ID: 32320c

i Really wanna know why Sweat's so... focused... on us.

I like it (even though it can occasionally be annoying), and I don't mind, especially since it cares more about our wellbeing than anyone we know- but why??? Why wait for us to be born, why hang on to our every word? What's so special about us?

Or is this just something angels do occasionally- pick a mortal to focus on, sort of a replacement for a deity? Are we an idol? If we don't know, can we ask Belial while we're here? I feel like there's more to this thing with Sweat, and I want us to get to the bottom of it.

But, priorities. We should mind the time first and foremost.
>>
No. 705436 ID: c46200

also do u have any idea where my memories might be? theyre like round marble things but like probably incredibly distressing or gay. maybe both. or like who mightve taken them. any pointers would be nice
>>
No. 705446 ID: 99942b

steal his head and run
>>
No. 705451 ID: 15a025

Ah man, now I really feel bad for sweat. Is there anything we can do to help the poor guy feel better?
>>
No. 705542 ID: 152955

dam brutal
>>
No. 705741 ID: 99942b

Wait... overdose?

Ask him for drugs. Do it.
>>
No. 705862 ID: 2067a4

>>705286
I...honestly, I don't think we want to go back, and, more than that, I don't think we CAN go back. Sometimes things happen that really change people, and trying to return to how it was before isn't always possible or healthy. I'm not saying to leave things how they are, but more... Use the past to move forward? Get back what we can recover so that we can make a fully informed choice on who we want to become.

ahhh sorry if I got too philosophical on this but what lowry's going through really struck a chord with me. Uh. Especially the numbness part, and. Well.
>>
No. 705867 ID: bb78f2

>>705862
It's why I suggested Lowry 1.5 (which would be Lowry 3.0 technically, but I'm looking for a blend of the personalities for the sake of Lowry's ultimate happiness), and given the fact that metaphor's become literal in this world, Lowry's capacity to enjoy things was practically surgically removed from her. We don't know if mental healing is even possible while a nonphysical concept is NOT actually within us. I just want Belial to list some practical options for the end game goal of repairing us so we can enjoy things, or make it possible with therapy. We took a small step forward with the Ichor.

In essence, I just want Belial to give a name to the "Thing" that's missing and help us refine our goals. I'm not asking to go back unrealistically after trauma, just enough so that Lowry has the capacity to find her own happiness, because with the way this world works, that might not be possible through the regular methods of healing through trauma that we're familiar with. I imagine that's part of the process, but not the full thing.
>>
No. 706044 ID: 3079c4
File 145664009089.png - (99.73KB , 700x600 , 160.png )
706044

"I feel like everything I hear about Sweat is another thing I need to apologize to it for," I mumble. Belial cocks his head at me, and it clicks to CONFUSED.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO IT ABOUT ANYTHING. IT THINKS THE SUN SHINES OUT YOUR ASSHOLE NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. WHY EXPEND TIME AND ENERGY TALKING ABOUT STUFF IT'S WILLING TO OVERLOOK ANYWAY?

"That's not how I want to do things," I argue. "That's ... just not how I want us to act. I don't want it to just ... do whatever I say. I don't want it to feel like we aren't equals."

WHY?

"I don't know!" I burst out, frustrated. "It's not right!"

"RIGHT" IS FOR HUMANS. YOU CAN'T FORCE IT ON AN ANGEL. Belial sighs, the sound short and clipped between my ears. THIS IS ANNOYING. LET'S JUST KEEP GOING. WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU MISSING? MEMORY-WISE, I MEAN.
>>
No. 706045 ID: 3079c4
File 145664010499.png - (114.81KB , 700x600 , 161.png )
706045

Even if I was feeling great physically, the specific type of mental energy needed to argue just wasn't there, and I let it drop, echoing Belial's sigh as we changed topics. "A bunch of different stuff. And, as far as I know, a lot. Whole chunks of time." I give in and sit down on the floor. "Whoever it was took everything about me being with Sweat ... some stuff about Rabies, and about Chidori helping me out ...and at least one really, uh. Really horrible thing with Reiss."

EVERYTHING ABOUT BEING WITH SWEAT?

"Yeah. I didn't even remember we were together at all until I recovered one memory having to do with it. I asked Sweat why we broke up, because ... I don't know. I worried that something had been wrong. That I'd had a really good reason, or something. But it said that it was because it ... started feeling ashamed that the relationship was so lopsided, or something. Because its whole reason for being was me, and it was impossible for me to match that."

Belial chuckles. IS THAT WHAT IT SAID?

"Angels can't lie, Belial," I remind him coldly.

OF COURSE WE CAN'T. BUT A 'TRUTH' IS DEFINED AS WHAT WE WHOLEHEARTEDLY BELIEVE. He leans forward in the chair, and the "AMUSED" plastered across his flat face looks as much like a shit-eating grin as stark white letters can. YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT I THINK, LOWRY?

"Fifty-fifty. But you're gonna tell me anyway, so we can skip the coin flip."
>>
No. 706046 ID: 3079c4
File 145664011701.png - (122.08KB , 700x600 , 162.png )
706046

I THINK IT GOT SCARED. IT DOESN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND THAT, WHICH IS WHY NOT MENTIONING IT ISN'T A LIE. BUT I THINK IT STARTED TO GET SCARED OF HOW MUCH IT LOVED YOU, AND HOW LITTLE IT WAS GETTING BACK. His head clicks, now reading "SWEAT," and when he speaks again, it's Sweat's voice reverberating through my head, raspy and layered. OH NOOOO, IT TURNS OUT THE LITTLE PANCREAS IS ACTUALLY, YEAH, LITERALLY JUST A STUPID LITTLE INEFFECTUAL HUMAN AND HER EMOTIONAL CAPACITY IS LIKE A PATHETIC FRACTION OF MINE ON A GOOD DAY!! IS THIS REALLY WHAT I CANNIBALIZED THOUSANDS OF MY SIBLINGS FOR? HOLY SHIT, THIS SUCKS! MAYBE I FUCKED UP!

I watch him in stony silence, waiting for him to be done. He tires of the joke quickly, like he does with most things.

LISTEN. I'M NOT GONNA PRETEND I UNDERSTAND SWEAT'S MOTIVATIONS. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, HUMANS ARE GOOD FOR SEX AND NOT MUCH ELSE - I MEAN, HONESTLY, WHAT ELSE ARE THEY EVEN CAPABLE OF - SO MAYBE I'M PROJECTING A BIT. He stands up, crosses the room, and dumps all of the now-cold coffee in his mug into the sink. My ear twitches. BUT THAT'S MY HOT TAKE. DO WITH IT WHAT YOU WILL.
>>
No. 706049 ID: 39247f

i'm not quite sure how to feel about belial. thank him, i guess? even if he is kind of an ass he did answer what we asked him to. were we going to ask him to go to the dinner too? i cant remember
>>
No. 706050 ID: bb78f2

>>706046
Belial, what was even worth eating thousands of your siblings for you?
>>
No. 706051 ID: 91cfcf

>>706050
Belial mentioned it was a lot easier for them, and Sweat only had to eat thousands because it really wanted a body.
>>
No. 706052 ID: bb78f2

>>706051
Okay, not thousands, but what WAS the inciting incident to make it want to come to the mortal realm. Be it one, tens, one-hundreds, or thousnads, it means the sacrifice and death of your siblings.

So even if it was just TWO Belial had to eat, that's still two you have to kill, which I imagine is a big deal. Just because it was easy in comparison does not mean it was easy.
>>
No. 706063 ID: 2ccbb3

>>706046
Important question: Why did Sweat hate his boss so much? How much can you tell us about corruption in heaven, or the topological shape of angels in their regular forms?

In fact, why fight demons at all? Or is that a human assumption? Are demons parallel to angels, or an alien entity entirely?

Like I said; realism. Sometimes you can give the whole world to a girl and she'll never be capable of any more affection than giving away a tiny lollipop. Sweat needs to face that kind of stuff.

So what do you two angels do to pay the rent, anyway?
>>
No. 706077 ID: 76faf3

I think this calls for a "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeell shit."
>>
No. 706106 ID: 1b3b5e

>>706046
Wait, did he just call us "human"?
*nice* ass by the way.
>>
No. 706155 ID: 0543a8

ask belial what it wanted a body so badly for

also NICE ass
>>
No. 706200 ID: 06c8e2

>>706106
In this context it probably means "mortal" or something along those lines, I'd imagine.
>>
No. 706207 ID: af6e04

Try not to get lost in the angel ass
>>
No. 706250 ID: 6d6dde

Belial, if that's such a pathetic reason, why could you possibly be here?
>>
No. 706256 ID: 88e46e

>>706250
inb4 it's sex
>>
No. 706265 ID: 98cd73

>>706106
>>706200
It's hilarious because the only actual human we've seen so far is the genderless thing sweat was fucking when we first walked in on him.
>>
No. 706291 ID: 96bc86

ok but at this point were gonna be late, shouldnt we hop to it?
>>
No. 706326 ID: 152955

ya boys got a point i mean, ykno i cant imagine lacking this mortal coil is missing a lot other than having no meat to jack
sweet ass belial
alright well i cant think of any other questions i mean we told him the kind of thing were missing so we can go over that again later i guess
we really should hop to it ykno shower, consider a shirt, clip your nails, whatever
>>
No. 706362 ID: 99a64d

I mean, he's not wrong, not like it changes anything though. You're still going to try to be a friend to Sweat.
>>
No. 706406 ID: 3079c4
File 145681071535.png - (106.44KB , 700x600 , 163.png )
706406

I keep my eyes definitively away from Belial's ass. I cross my arms as he turns back to face me. "Okay, so if Sweat's reason is so pathetic, what was important enough to get you to shuffle on a mortal coil?"

OHHH, WE'RE QUOTING HAMLET NOW. HANGING OUT WITH CHIDORI AGAIN? He claps his hands once and rubs them together, rocking forward on tapered feet. ANYWAY, THAT'S A STUPID QUESTION. CHEESEBURGERS, ACID, AND ASS. WHAT ELSE IS THERE?

"You're joking."

ANGELS CAN'T LIE, he reminds me gleefully. He claps my shoulder as he walks back to his desk chair, giving an exaggerated sigh as he flops down. FOR REAL, THOUGH. THAT WHOLE THING ABOUT 'OH IT'S OKAY THAT THERE'S NOTHING DO TO IN HEAVEN, BECAUSE YOU WON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING ANYWAY' - YEAH, NOT FOR ME. BEING ASCENDED IS LIKE BEING A FUCKING AMOEBA IN COMPARISON TO HAVING A BODY. YOU CAN BARELY EVEN THINK IN FULL SENTENCES. ONCE LIL AMOEBA ME GOT TIPPED OFF TO HOW MUCH MORE CONTENT WAS AVAILABLE DOWN HERE, THAT WAS THAT.
>>
No. 706407 ID: 3079c4
File 145681072650.png - (106.62KB , 700x600 , 164.png )
706407

"Huh. Okay, I guess that does sound pretty straightforward." I pull my phone out to check the time - it's just about 5:30 on the nose. "Mm. I gotta get going."

OH NOOOOOO. WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT YOU HERE TO BOTHER ME WITH A BUNCH OF ASININE QUESTIONS.

"Shut up, Belial." I turn for the door, already instinctively sucking my breath in as preparation for the tight squeeze, but then I let it all out in a loud whoosh, laying my hand against the doorframe for a second. "And, hey, thanks. Seriously. For answering my questions, I mean."

GET OUT OF MY APARTMENT, LOWRY.
>>
No. 706408 ID: 3079c4
File 145681073735.png - (105.08KB , 700x600 , 165.png )
706408

The sky's turned red while I was inside. The cycadas are even louder than last night. I'm on my way home.
>>
No. 706409 ID: 3079c4
File 145681074754.png - (185.77KB , 700x600 , 166.png )
706409

I feel like I've never had a longer day in my life, and I know the night in front of me is going to be longer. I almost don't recognize the halls of my apartment complex as I pad towards my unit, and it's just muscle memory that stops me in front of the correct door.

Reiss is dozing when I first come in, but the sound of the door unlatching is enough to rouse him, his screen blinking on like uncertain eyelids. As soon as he sees me his screen is flooded with exclamation points, and he surges towards me, hands open and seeking.

One of his fingers brushes my wrist. Without warning, my mouth is full of bile, the cutting, acidic ghost of orange juice and half-digested granola, and I press my hand over my lips and swallow it back down, startled by my body's sudden rebellion. "God," I cough, stomach still churning with visceral disgust, eyes watering, and he tilts his head at me.

"? ? ?"
>>
No. 706410 ID: 152955

right i forgot This Guy was here
yeah uh ive been busy i gotta take a shower dude ill seeya in like a week or never
>>
No. 706411 ID: 4645ac

well uh that's a vaguely frightening reaction and by vaguely frightening i mean really not good and don't let him touch you again.

tell him you just felt sick for a second. i'd suggest throwing up on him but we need that stuff so we shouldn't waste it.
>>
No. 706413 ID: c46200

tell robo boy to fuck off, youre busy. grab anything weapony if theres anything of the sort left and leave as quickly as you can. you can explain shit when you get things sorted out. also dial up your brother again, this might be your last free chance
>>
No. 706415 ID: 4bc460

Yell at him not to touch you. He may be some kind of innocent puppy-thing now, but I'm finding it difficult to care. Then ignore him. If he tries to touch you again, shove him away. We're finished with him.

You need to shower and get ready, and you should probably wear an actual outfit.
>>
No. 706417 ID: dee33c

with our new-found memory of the dude im not really surprised by that reaction ): let's get cleaned up and dressed and out of here as quick as we can. maybe assure him we're ok so he's not hovering and worrying around us
>>
No. 706418 ID: 401f23

Tie him up and leave him in the corner. You don't have time to confront him rn, but what a fucking sicko. Do we kill him before or after getting him repaired?
>>
No. 706419 ID: 1c0c91

throw up on him. oops you fried his circuits oh well too bad anyway lets get dressed and get out of here
>>
No. 706420 ID: 53a0b5

there's an off button on the monitor. he needs to take a nap
>>
No. 706421 ID: fb7dbf

burp really loud
>>
No. 706426 ID: cc08c7

>Everyone flipping out on Reiss already

1. Calm down.
2. He's freaking out because you've been gone for like 2 days. Just tell him you're busy and that you're fine.
>>
No. 706464 ID: 99a64d

Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with you people. Be nice to the disabled robot guy. Give a concise explanation of where you went and where you're going. Take a shower. Go to bed.
>>
No. 706465 ID: 78a868

SUPLEX THE SHIT OUT OF HIM
>>
No. 706470 ID: 4b4dcd

>>706426
the problem is that this reiss has no idea what hes done
so yeah, talk to him like you normally would
'ive been busy, i dont feel well, i have to take a shower, dont worry about me'
>>
No. 706482 ID: a307f1

>>706470
that just calls into question what he'll be like whenever we get his shit back together. I mean it seems like the right thing to do but. what if its actually a terrible idea

although yeah for now I guess just be like "I gotta shower and head to a dinner party" bc we dont know if he actually knows he did anything.
>>
No. 706514 ID: 301a01

dont! let him!! touch you!!!
even if he doesnt kno he did anything, it still doesnt change the fact tht he did.
>>
No. 706518 ID: 99942b

>>706409

Maybe now would be the best time to leave them. They might be dangerous, but they can't hurt you in this state.
>>
No. 706520 ID: 3f9dc0

I'm uh.. not certain what everybody is upset at Reiss about? I mean there has been a lot of suspicion about what he maybe did that we don't now remember, but nothing confirmed as far as I can tell?
>>
No. 706534 ID: 99a64d

>>706520
Yeah, unless I'm forgetting something, this is a lot of hate just for having deliberately missed a turn at some unknown point in the past.
Like fuck, for all we know he was driving her to the location of a surprise birthday party or something.
>>
No. 706555 ID: cc08c7

People are forgetting the only reason we're doing all this is so we can at least get him functioning like a proper person again before we leave him. Whatever he did do Lowry's already stated that this Reiss is completely different from the old one, and we've already seen that this one gets worried when Lowry is gone. He hasn't even grabbed her or anything just brushed her hand. There's literally no reason to get violent unless you want to jump to conclusions based on one memory we'll probably never get the full story for anyways.
>>
No. 706629 ID: 2c8ccb

Look, if you want to confront him, if you want to tell him how sick he makes you, then that's ok to do. Even if he isn't the same as he once was, even if he won't learn or acknowledge anything from it - it isn't for him, it's for you. Sometimes it's ok to shout at a ghost.

But also be prepared for his reaction to not be what you want. In the state he is there is no way for him to acknowledge what happened, to apologise, to validate your feelings, nothing. There won't be anything there to react to how you choose to act now, and that will probably be frustrating. But if you need to vent at his empty shell, that's ok. There isn't anything wrong with trying to process this, and if you think something will help you then that's a good thing.

Just know that there are beings which do love you, that are worth your trust, and that one day you will be able to breathe properly and the air won't feel so stagnant in your lungs. But for now, it's ok to throw it all up, even if it seems meaningless to do so to anyone but you.
>>
No. 706639 ID: 2ccbb3

>>706406
Can't blame him. Maybe all the angels think heaven is paradise because their boss said so, and they're so busy talking to each other because they cant' do anything but talk, float, and fight, and devoid of any realism to question their position seriously.

Wait, does that mean the only real reason for the war between angels and demons is because the demons like to poke their heads into everything, and one day some random demon(s) took a visit to heaven and accidentally showed all the angels what the mortal universe was like, sparking a massive genocidal civil war between angelic champions just to fall from grace? Maybe you can ask Cain during the raid.

>>706409
Just tie him up and leave him in a corner. Or go to the Sukebun and ask them to lock him up in a safe.

If none of these things, how about you rub yourself all over him and then CLAW HIS FACE IN THE SHAPE OF A GRAPEFRUIT. That'll shut him up.
>>
No. 706640 ID: cc08c7

>>706639

He already stood there the entire time she was gone and didn't move, tying him up and being violent, again based on a single memory we never saw the end result of, is completely pointless and petty at this point.
>>
No. 706672 ID: 3079c4
File 145688332475.png - (112.80KB , 700x600 , 167.png )
706672

My first instinct is to scream, to lash out - but i don't have the energy and i don't have the time, so I just jerk away from him. "Don't touch me." My voice is quiet and it drags, not the roar I want it to be, but it's probably for the best.

He shrinks away. I shrug off my overcoat and drop it on the floor, turning away towards the bathroom. I pause in the doorway, my nails scraping restlessly over my elbows. "You don't even know what you did," I spit.

I don't turn around to check his reaction. It's probably just a stupid question mark. "If I don't pull this off," I mumble, and now it's just to myself, "you'll never be accountable. Ha. Actually, fuck accountable. You'll never even know."
>>
No. 706673 ID: 3079c4
File 145688333999.png - (304.16KB , 700x600 , 168.png )
706673

I slam the door behind me. I wouldn't even care if he wasn't sorry. I just want him to know. But even that's apparently too much, with my luck.

I crank the shower water hot enough to scald but I don't stay in for long. It's enough to peel off the thin skin of grime and Mortician-spit and angel-sweat and whatever else that's accumulated, which is all i really care about. My gums always bleed when I brush my teeth, I always choke when I clean my ears. Even with my brand-new careless programming, I guess some things carry over through pure muscle memory - like how I used to try too hard all the time.
>>
No. 706674 ID: 3079c4
File 145688334746.png - (199.59KB , 700x800 , 169.png )
706674

When I come out to the main room Reiss is powered off in the corner. All for the best. I don't want to have to deal with him while I dig through all the old clothes in the closet - all stuff from before.

I don't care what I wear, but even I at least know it should be something that looks sort of put together. I don't want to risk offending Jolene the second I step through the door.
>>
No. 706680 ID: 152955
File 145688447939.png - (182.52KB , 700x800 , lowry outfit.png )
706680

║\
║▒\
║▒▒\
║░▒║
║░▒║ Give me Shit, or give me Death
║░▒║
║░▒║
║░▒║
║░▒║
▓▓▓▓
[█▓]
[█▓]
[█▓]
>>
No. 706688 ID: 94ba17
File 145688593562.png - (266.82KB , 700x800 , lowry suggestion.png )
706688

>>
No. 706695 ID: 1d4b09
File 145688690829.png - (153.99KB , 700x800 , threecatmoon.png )
706695

>>
No. 706696 ID: 2c322d
File 145688692135.png - (245.53KB , 700x800 , yume no lowry.png )
706696

this is classy and cute. i think it'd give off a peaceful vibe.
>>
No. 706697 ID: 53a0b5
File 145688729239.png - (120.52KB , 700x800 , paperdoll.png )
706697

yare yare daze
>>
No. 706699 ID: 99a64d

Y'know now that I get a good look at you, you really need to work out more. Those biceps are pathetic, how are you supposed to rough somebody up with those noodle arms? Also you have some excess fat around the waist that probably isn't doing you any favors, but that's not as important. How are you cardiovascular-wise? Not that you can really hit the gym before you have to go to this party, but GETTING STRONK is something which you should definitely consider for the future.

>I don't want to risk offending Jolene the second I step through the door.
Well I do! You should wear a black and white t-shirt with the words FUCK YOU written in big ol' letters on the front.
>>
No. 706701 ID: 401f23
File 145688739487.jpg - (47.26KB , 694x800 , Lowry.jpg )
706701

Kill Bill inspired dress, plus one of Rabies's old jackets. That ought to get a reaction out of Jolene.
>>
No. 706705 ID: 3aba0f
File 145688777119.png - (203.90KB , 700x800 , lowry dress up 1.png )
706705

my contribution 1/2
>>
No. 706706 ID: cc08c7
File 145688780334.png - (184.80KB , 700x800 , SassyLowry.png )
706706

Something like this, but with your jacket on top. I call it: Sassmaster.
>>
No. 706707 ID: 3aba0f
File 145688786172.png - (184.80KB , 700x800 , lowry dressup 2.png )
706707

my contribution 2/2

i like this one better? this ones a bit more formal, but that might be appropriate..
>>
No. 706712 ID: b1b975
File 145688820677.png - (188.44KB , 700x800 , 145688334746.png )
706712

not as good as i wanted it to look but w/e
>>
No. 706725 ID: dee33c
File 145688886322.png - (302.78KB , 1400x800 , delete soon2.png )
706725

>>
No. 706730 ID: 702b0f
File 145688919551.png - (185.82KB , 700x800 , lowry.png )
706730

>>
No. 706734 ID: 2ccbb3
File 145688925067.png - (218.57KB , 700x800 , Lowry Townnight.png )
706734

Yukata + Beanie. Will someone more talented at drawing please improve this?
>>
No. 706735 ID: ba9e25
File 145688925987.jpg - (46.50KB , 700x800 , 145688334746.jpg )
706735

something quiet and old fashioned!! plus a little purse to Hold anything you need
>>
No. 706757 ID: 811956

consensus seems to be that her skirt has to have a slit
>>
No. 706758 ID: 811956
File 145689127779.png - (180.94KB , 700x800 , lowry.png )
706758

^oops. that was supposed to have an image attached afksjkldf
>>
No. 706761 ID: defceb
File 145689172223.png - (228.26KB , 700x800 , catsuit.png )
706761

If you're going to be seeing beasts you're going to want to dress appropriately.

On a related note: ask Sweat about getting more eyes.
>>
No. 706763 ID: defceb
File 145689230661.png - (233.46KB , 700x800 , catsuit2.png )
706763

Plan B
>>
No. 706765 ID: f22fa7
File 145689297451.png - (158.09KB , 700x800 , WEEDBLAZER66642069.png )
706765

who up clik like
>>
No. 706771 ID: 3079c4
File 145689397287.png - (184.99KB , 700x800 , steveshirt.png )
706771

honestly what the fuck you guys i've been waiting for this all night. looks like i just have to do it myself. god
>>
No. 706777 ID: 8715be

>>706771
Welp, questmaster himself suggested Steve's outfit, so I guess that's what i'm voting for.
>>
No. 706778 ID: 88e46e

>>706771
>>706777
Agreed. Steve it is.
>>
No. 706784 ID: ecc39e
File 145689719705.jpg - (335.70KB , 700x800 , lowry3.jpg )
706784

i own this literal outfit and its my interview go-to
sometimes i wear a beanie with it
>>
No. 706825 ID: ca5fd7

I was also quite disappointed by the lack of Steve I don't know whats become of this site

Anyway I kind of like Milks' designs
>>
No. 706826 ID: 15dff5

>>706695
>>706784
>>706707

the boots are a must. you never know when you'll need to kick someone's face in
>>
No. 706830 ID: 78a868
File 145692569268.png - (686.08KB , 700x800 , OHSHITIMFEELINIT.png )
706830

ya cant just show up, lowry.
ya gotta get serious.
ya gotta send a MESSAGE
>>
No. 706833 ID: 1eea39

>>706761
Im into it
>>
No. 706850 ID: 2d273b
File 145693467616.png - (189.52KB , 700x800 , egg.png )
706850

>>
No. 706854 ID: 60d7bf

>>706725
aaaaaa the second onnnneeee
>>
No. 706881 ID: 98cd73
File 145695085165.png - (173.47KB , 695x794 , temp.png )
706881

nothing much, i support the black jacket look.

cargo shorts or a skirt with pockets?
>>
No. 706887 ID: a307f1
File 145695439816.png - (262.10KB , 700x800 , acid soup doll update.png )
706887

if its from lowry's closet full of old stuff...

(listen the skirt has pockets)
>>
No. 706888 ID: c6e8e4
File 145695467911.png - (200.72KB , 700x800 , lowry.png )
706888

note: if the transparency of the shirt is annoying to consistently draw, use the swatch as a solid! (transparency is the swatch at 80%)
>>
No. 706907 ID: e1f0f8
File 145696004976.png - (174.94KB , 699x800 , New Canvas.png )
706907

>>
No. 706916 ID: 15a025

>>706763
Plan B has never looked so good.
>>
No. 706923 ID: 3079c4
File 145696701653.png - (200.51KB , 700x800 , 170.png )
706923

There's enough stuff in the closet that I can cobble together a pretty serviceable outfit - my black leather jacket seems like a must, and boots, too - after that I manage to rummage out a high-necked top and some plain black jeans, and some jewelry fished out from the corners of one of my drawers tops it off.

I gotta say that I look pretty good. I've found it really hard to care about how I look lately, but when I do decide to put in the effort, it's still kind of fun.

Right on time, too - I've just finished getting everything on when my phone buzzes, a text notification from Cain. "HERE WITH RABBITS," it reads, and I put my phone away, lock up, and hustle down the stairs.
>>
No. 706924 ID: 3079c4
File 145696702970.png - (277.07KB , 700x600 , 171.png )
706924

Junko is the first one to accost me once I'm outside, the long, crisp skirt of her dress uniform crushing against my legs as she threw her arm around my shoulders. "Oh my god, Lowry! You look hot!" She tugs at the hem of my shirt, raising her eyebrows. "Is this the shirt Chidori gave you?"

"I dunno. Maybe." I shake her off and raise my hand in greeting to the others gathered - four rabbits, Sada and three I don't recognize - and Cain, who's leaning against the Sukeban's van and playing on his phone.

"You ready to go, Lewis?" Sada is checking the edge of a long, straight blade on her belt, and she resheathes it before looking up at me. I try not to think about whether it's the same one Nanako ... whatever. I blink and shove my hands into my pockets.

"Yeah." I step towards the van, and Cain looks up from his phone, grinning.

"Sit by me!" He's got the door open, waiting for me to hop in first. "Man, hanging out with the Sukebun is cool. Like front-row seats to a school delinquent anime."

"I'll kill you," Junko tells him cheerfully. "I won't even bother to make it look like an accident. I'm just going to put your fucking head through the windshield."

He grins sheepishly and turns back to me. "How do you think this is gonna go down, anyway?"
>>
No. 706929 ID: 2ccbb3

>>706924
You know Rabies' Gang, how do you THINK it's gonna go down? Bring the heat and keep your formation during the meeting; where you lounge could be the difference between life and death.
>>
No. 706949 ID: b4c14d

well ok we've been summoned to the junkyard on the grounds that if i don't go i'll be brutally slaughtered, and we can rest assured that this dinner party is to do with the guy nanako pulverised OR the gang affiliate nanako was on her way to pulverise, under my orders. i really don't think this is gonna go down well at all. thanks for asking my dude
>>
No. 706953 ID: 6258ae

its gonna fan FUCKIN tastic thanks for asking. lets hit the damn road people put on beyoncé (2013)
>>
No. 706972 ID: 4ad010

>>706949
not our orders, but our intel

anyway 99% chance of a trap, 80% chance we won't see it coming, 40% chance it vastly overpowers everything we've prepared. even if we don't die we will probably be seriously hurt. basically this is going to be a bad day.
>>
No. 706990 ID: 564756

HELL YEAH HELL YEAH HELL YEAH let's go kick some ass
>>
No. 707006 ID: 3f73b0

>>706953
ROAD TRIP WOOOOO ROADTRIIIP
>>
No. 707022 ID: 3adcf8

>>706924
Something tells me they have something important to you and are going ask something ridiculous of you to get it. Then probably try to at least cripple you for life if you don't agree to their terms.

You should check your phone before going in.
>>
No. 707044 ID: cc08c7

WEEB TEAM GO.
>>
No. 707074 ID: 3079c4
File 145704518487.png - (257.64KB , 700x600 , 172.png )
707074

"You know the Junkyard. How do you think it's gonna go?" I mutter.

"Ahhhh, they can be cool sometimes!" Cain argues. "I mean. Not Rabies. He's a dick. But like, the other dogs? They can be cool!"

"It's a free country, and you're allowed to be wrong," I tell him flatly.

He's already stopped listening. "Junko Junko Junko! Put on Beyoncé!"

Junko flicks through the music on her phone. "Which Beyoncé?"

"Visual album, duh!"

"It's a fifteen minute drive at most," Sada says quietly. If she says anything else, it's immediately drowned out as Junko plugs her phone in and cranks the volume. I don't know the words, but Junko and Cain apparently do, because they're losing their fucking minds throughout the entire ride - which, as Sada warned, was really only enough for about two and a half songs anyway.
>>
No. 707075 ID: 3079c4
File 145704519437.png - (152.66KB , 700x600 , 173.png )
707075

I check my phone quickly as we pull into the lot outside the Junkyard. Only one message, which is honestly a relief.

FROM: CHIDORI ITOU
4:40 PM 8/10/2015

Nanako's sleeping it off. You've got Junko and Sada so you should be fine - let me know when you're out. If you guys need backup they'll call me.



And then there's nothing left to look at, so I have to look up at the Junkyard. It's only been a little over a year since I was here last, but it feels like longer - so much longer that it feels wrong that it still looks exactly how I remember. Again I have that disconnected stomach lurch, my body reacting in a way my mind can't keep up with. The fear my brain can't seem to find is perfectly at home in the pit of my stomach, twisting my guts and setting my teeth on edge. It's annoying.
>>
No. 707076 ID: 3079c4
File 145704520939.png - (193.54KB , 700x600 , 174.png )
707076

"Blow is not the best video on the album," Junko is saying. "It's not. It's just not."

Cain drops his voice half an octave and makes his index fingers into an X on his forehead. "You're allowed to be wrong."

"Ahahaha - oh my god, wait, wait, okay, do Lowry voice but then like, say -"

"Lewis." This time it's one of the Sukebun girls that I don't recognize. "They must have realized we're here by now. Are we going in, or waiting for them to send someone to meet us?"
>>
No. 707079 ID: 98cd73

give it a couple minutes or so, if nothing happens at all then ring the doorbell.

remember, high alert. business casual
still half expecting them to actually have a fairly ok dinner
>>
No. 707080 ID: 15a025

That we never close sign gives me the feeling this place is a kick ass bar, or at least has a kick ass bar. Anyway, let's just barge right on in looking like we're ready to have a good time.
>>
No. 707081 ID: d15cf6

Can we get introductions with the sukebun members you don't know? After that, let's just head in. Try not to be too tense - assume the worst, but look like you're there for the best.
>>
No. 707082 ID: f5e25e

Wait until the exact time you were told to arrive, then walk in on the minute.
>>
No. 707084 ID: 705241

>>707082
>>
No. 707085 ID: 99a64d

Just barge the fuck in there all badass-like.
>>
No. 707092 ID: 6258ae

were here to have a good ass time bust the fuck in. actually ring the doorbell while busting the fuck in
>>
No. 707098 ID: 2ccbb3

Set up traps and escape routes NOW.

You have time to prepare, and experienced gangsters who know what goes where in a fight, so get to it. Most of all, aim for the heads and find the brain stem; if Rabies AND Jolene are just the crazy figureheads, you will want to cut the comms from the mastermind to the gang, minimize casualties by convincing the dogs to run rather than fight.
>>
No. 707108 ID: 681de1

I'm here for introductions & then going in on time
>>
No. 707112 ID: 5f940c

I'm gunna agree with everyone that says introductions with the unknown Sukebun members, but then just head in. The Junkyard is probably watching you and waiting will just make ya'll look like losers.
>>
No. 707126 ID: 057fdb

>>707076
Maybe find an alternate route or an entrance that isn't the main door? They WILL have something there. Analyze the area first, and (like >>707098 said) set up traps, escape routes and a plan B.

Also i didn't remember this, after seeing >>706923 (and the other dressup pics) i realized that lowry has some mighty hips there.
>>
No. 707130 ID: b4c14d

plan your exits out, make sure you can get out easily and quickly if need be. after that, i'd say ring the doorbell. slow and careful is the key here, i think... if anything's gonna help, it's probably that
>>
No. 707137 ID: 39247f

setting up traps would be a good idea, except they are probably watching...
introduce yourself to the buns or at least get names. look briefly around for escapes just in case you need them, but don't make it obvious. also idk when to go in
>>
No. 707149 ID: ef24f0

it might be more polite to wait for them to send someone to meet us? lowry mentioned not wanting to offend jolene...
def scope out the area but we might want to wait?
>>
No. 707170 ID: dd14a9

Like the girl says they probably know you're there. Step outside and strike a "well, what is it" pose, maybe make brief introductions with the other girls, sure as fuck don't try to be "polite" to the people bringing you in on a death threat
>>
No. 707226 ID: 031fa7

>>707112
yeah
also how well do you know the junkyard? can you get lost there? can the sukebun get lost there if youre separated?
>>
No. 707280 ID: 09bd04

Just walk up to the door, if they know we're here then they should have someone greet us before you reach it.
>>
No. 707356 ID: 3079c4
File 145714656398.png - (185.74KB , 700x600 , 175.png )
707356

"Oh, uh ... I think I wanna make sure we're all on the same page, but we'll go in as soon as that's done," I tell her. "Speaking of, uh, I don't know who you are."

"I'm Kei." The other two Sukebun have gotten out of the back of the van to join us, and she gestures at them in turn. "Here's Momoe, and the tall one's Ruri."
>>
No. 707357 ID: 3079c4
File 145714657748.png - (163.69KB , 700x600 , 176.png )
707357

"Okay, cool." I look up as Sada steps up, and again a chill runs through me as I remember her handing that blade over to Chidori - but I shake it off and try to focus. "So ... we should probably have, like ... an escape plan, right?"

"We only have outside intel on the main building," she says quietly. She's pulled out her phone and started flicking through some photos - I crane my neck to see that they're all of the exterior of the massive building in front of us, from several different angles. "The main door we're facing now is the east entrance. There are ground-floor level doors on the south and north sides as well, and upper-level doors connected to catwalks and fire escapes on the south, north, and west sides - but because we don't know the interior layout, we're unsure how many of those doors are easily accessible from the inside. However, there's also an abundance of windows on all the upper levels, and once the exterior of the building has been accessed, mobility on all sides is good. There's very little that isn't connected by walkways or staircases, both on the roof and on the sides of the building."

I blink. "And that's .... good?"

"It'll do," she replies curtly. "And your demon - did you set the terms of the contract to include us, as well?"

"Mostly. The only thing that excludes you guys is that if I'm downed, he's only liable to get me out."

"We can work with that!" Junko assures me. "Anything else?"

"I think I'm as ready as I'm gonna be." I swallow and turn towards the door. "Let's go."
>>
No. 707358 ID: 3079c4
File 145714660768.png - (152.62KB , 700x600 , 177.png )
707358

The doorbell's operated with a heavy pullchain, and when I yank on it, the resulting chime is immediately drowned out by the baying and howling and barking of dozens of dogs. The volume only dips a little when the tall, heavy metal door swings open on screaming hinges.
>>
No. 707359 ID: 3079c4
File 145714662519.png - (189.50KB , 700x600 , 178.png )
707359

"Alright, alright, alright - oh, hush, boys." There are only two things louder than the baying dogs inside the front hall - this voice, and the steady click-clack of high heels leisurely descending a metal staircase.

When she finally comes into view, Jolene seems bigger than everything else in the room, and the dogs flanking the foyer settle into neat rows, grudgingly silent.

"Oh, honey! Lowry. I'm so happy you made it!" The first thing I notice are her eyes - or her lack of them - ping-pong balls, bright yellow, shoved into her sockets and marked with black marker X's to indicate where she's looking. They crinkle nearly closed when she smiles, and she does, wider than should fit on her face. "I really would have just hated to kill you."
>>
No. 707360 ID: 3079c4
File 145714663949.png - (222.22KB , 700x600 , 179.png )
707360

She motions for us to move inside, and we do, slowly. None of us flinch when the door slams shut behind us - it's a good group. Jolene's right in front of me, and she bends at the waist to get on eye level with me. I do my best not to choke on the cloud of heady, thick perfume that follows her.

"Oh my goodness, just look at you. Used to be pretty as a peach, from what I saw, and you sure are clawing your way back to that, huh?" There's no sarcasm in her voice, at least not of the open variety, but everything she says has an undertone of malice anyway, in a way that seems totally disconnected to the words she's actually saying. "I like it, though. I like your look. I'm not disappointed at all." She straightens up again, casting her plastic eyes over my cobbled-together entourage. They stop on Cain. "And oh, my. A demon? Really? Just to meet little old me?"

She turns her attention back to me and smiles again. Her teeth are massive. "I'm so flattered that you consider me that much of a threat!"
>>
No. 707361 ID: 1c2231

no need for a clever retort here. just do what you do best and don't give a fuck.
>>
No. 707362 ID: 7ea33e

thank her for the invite, i suppose? maybe compliment her on her perfume or outfit, unless you think it'll make her snap at you. she seems pretty volatile, try not to let her tone bug you.
other than that, just let her run the show-- she'll get around to what she wants eventually. if this all goes right, she might be willing to point us in the direction of our memories.
>>
No. 707363 ID: 0e0303
707363

>hoots and hollers in the background
>JOLENE IS HERE!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHAHAHHAHAHH SHES HERE!!!!!!!! EBEHUAURHFH!!!!
>>
No. 707364 ID: 88e46e

"Cain's flattered you think he's such a threat, too."

>>707363
Are you okay?
>>
No. 707365 ID: b4c14d

honestly it may be best if you try to just lay low, don't try to provoke a violent reaction unless you really need to. thank her for inviting you (maybe avoid acknowledging that you think she's a threat) and get this business over with asap.
>>
No. 707367 ID: 99a64d

Cut to the chase. "What did you want?"
>>
No. 707370 ID: 6258ae

not really anything snappy i can think of. better just not acknowledge much. cut to the chase
>>
No. 707373 ID: 53a0b5

try not to kiss her
ask what's for dinner. try to be casual but not like. too casual, y'know
>>
No. 707374 ID: 8072f2

Smack the booty.
>>
No. 707377 ID: bb78f2

>>707360
Unknowns are notoriously huge threats. Also, couldn't tell if Rabies would be here or not, so really, we're not underpacking for THAT eventuality.

First question first, was the hit on Chidori a notoriously concocted plot to get me involved with you somehow and cut off Ne as a resource from me? Only reason a new person in town would want to hit someone like Chidori, given your relations.
>>
No. 707379 ID: 00bace

hoo.............hah...........................
>>
No. 707380 ID: 2ccbb3

Pull off her dress then stab her in the throat. NOW.

Take her hostage, she just screams "walking biohazard" and YOU'RE ALL INFECTED.
>>
No. 707385 ID: 2b6089

play it cool & sincere. who Lowrey is, is her greatest strength rn. these are just the friends we already have. let's get this dinner on & over with.
>>
No. 707400 ID: 09bd04

"Oh, him? He's just a friend."
>>
No. 707403 ID: ef24f0

just be cool, lowry. be cooler than cool. be ice cold.
>>
No. 707404 ID: 98cd73

>>707364
haha this

Keep it civil but smart
>>
No. 707444 ID: 43590b

>>707364
LOL
>>
No. 707470 ID: 36f185

>>707364
Perfect, yes.
>>
No. 707480 ID: 2c322d
File 145723932970.png - (233.70KB , 700x600 , 180.png )
707480

I keep my gaze on hers, even-keeled. The foyer looks the same as I remember, but it doesn't feel the same. My body isn't cringing away anymore. I roll my shoulders and glance briefly back at Cain. "Yeah, well, he's flattered that you think he's a threat, too."

Cain snickers appreciatively, and against all odds, Jolene's smile stretches even wider. "Oh, I do like you. I do." She turns with a flourish, and two dogs come to flank her. "Follow me, darling. We can hardly eat dinner in the foyer, can we?"

The Sukebun are on edge, and glance at me before we step forward - but I feel relaxed. Well, maybe I'm actually just numb. But either way, I shrug at them and move to follow Jolene, hands in my pockets.
>>
No. 707481 ID: 2c322d
File 145723935120.png - (219.97KB , 700x600 , 181.png )
707481

We've entered a long dining room. This isn't how I remembered it at all - it's lavishly decorated, and the table's already covered with fruit and velvet, looking more like a renaissance still life than the dented, cafeteria-like mess hall that I used to know. I think, just for a split second, that Chidori would like it - the ridiculousness of the thought, in context, dawns on me only a second later. Jolene gestures at the seats closest to us. "Sit down, honey, then we can talk! I hate to just stand around."

"Thanks for the invite," I say as we take our seats - Cain and the Sukebun flank me, and Jolene sits directly across from me. I feel like the table used to be bigger. Jolene lets out a pealing laugh and waves her hand dismissively, waiting for one of the dogs to pull her chair out before sitting down. Once everyone's settled, I clear my throat softly. "So. What's the occasion?"
>>
No. 707482 ID: 2c322d
File 145723936370.png - (189.64KB , 700x600 , 182.png )
707482

"Mmm." She taps her long fingernails against an overflowing platter in front of her, one at a time. "I mean, I did really just want to meet you. Pookiepie's just obsessed, and I don't like to stay in the dark. You really did cause quite a stir around here, you know. You and that eyeless bitch." She tilts her head at me, innocent as a lamb. "What was it? Chiaki? Chi-something ..."

I watch her nails move, bright spots of red clicking up and down. "Did you put out the hit on her?"

Her nails stop. She beams. "Of course I did. Couldn't have someone who emasculated my man like that just throwing her weight around, could I?" Her fingers flex and stiffen and drag down the tablecloth. "Isn't part of being a woman having a good man? And what the FUCK kind of man can't even keep himself a step ahead of a bunch of little brats in school uniforms and ONE fucking cat?" Her hand falls off the edge of the table, slaps against her hip, and she brings it back up to her face, worrying one painted claw daintly between her teeth. "It reflects poorly on me, you know? And if he was going to be too chickenshit to make a move, well. It fell on me."

Beside me, Sada cracks her neck loudly. I give her a warning glance, but she's not looking at me, so I sigh and speak up. "That's not all, though, right?"

Her eyes widen excitedly, and she leans forward. "Ooooh, tell me. Tell me what you think, Lowry."
>>
No. 707483 ID: 2c322d
File 145723937658.png - (127.65KB , 700x600 , 183.png )
707483

"I think you tipped Chidori off. One way or another. Because what you really wanted wasn't her dead - you wanted to fuck up my connection with Ne, and to set up a situation where I'd have to have to talk to you."

Jolene stares at me for a moment. Then, her jaw falls open, and she lets out a shriek - one that it takes me several seconds to process as laughter. When it finally dies down, she leans even further forward, almost laying stomach-down on the table. "Oh, I love you. I really, really love you. Everyone around here talks about you like you were so fucking stupid, but you're not, are you?"
>>
No. 707484 ID: 5607c6

Shrug. "Well I'm here, aren't I?"
>>
No. 707485 ID: 2ccbb3

... This sounds strange... but do you think Jolene is just an applied figment of Rabies' imagination? She seems like an evolved version of Rabies.

Either way, Rabies seems to have a thing for eye sockets.

>>707482
"I'd say he was ahead of the curve, actually.

Then you came along and fucked him back to thug."
>>
No. 707487 ID: 1df9ac

"i try not to be too showy." glance at the dogs. get to the point and ask her whether she can Operate
>>
No. 707488 ID: 88e46e

>>707484
This.
>>
No. 707489 ID: a92292

the way jolene's talking, it doesn't seem like she knows we're missing memories. could be a bluff, though.

okay. focus. goals:
-It seems like part of the reason Jolene's doing this is formality, trying to protect her and Rabies' reputation. If there's a way to do that without anything getting nasty, we should insinuate that we'd be on board. don't make it sound like our idea though, we don't want to look like we're trying to control the situation. jolene's smart

stuff to keep in mind:
-Ne said Jolene would be the one to talk to about getting our memories back. Not sure how to approach this yet.
-hopefully we won't get the chance to collect unwilling blood, but those memories of The Mortician's are worth looking through
-we have a gun still. yknow. just in case.

sorry this post is probably a mess im tired
>>
No. 707490 ID: 6258ae

hey, looks can be deceiving.
>>
No. 707491 ID: 4ad010

that's a fuckton of effort just to talk to me. honestly, i'm glad you graduated from "crazy murder plots" to "sending a text message".

... did you steal Reiss's shit, too? just to get me to ask you to operate on him? Reiss, Ne, Chidori... is this one of those crazy "i'm going to take away everything you have" revenge plots? we leave Rabies and then get chased by her psychotic, manipulative GF?

... as an aside, i kinda wonder if she's going after one of our friends while we're here. i dunno if she's the type to face us head-on, but i still can't believe that she asked us here just for a dinner date, or to start a gang war.
>>
No. 707494 ID: 3fb23e

FUCK LMAO SAY THIS >>707490
>>
No. 707495 ID: bb78f2

>>707483
The Lowry your Pokiepie knows is practically dead, the changes made by having parts stolen from my mind have turned that girl into someone else entirely. I'm just... using her body and personal connections, at this point. It's a sad truth, but that's what it is.

I can't judge who the old Lowry was. I barely know her, apparently.
>>
No. 707496 ID: bb78f2

>>707483
Oh, and one more thing.

This will be interesting information for Ne. As much as I HATE them, I think we should try to record her admittance to betraying her own middleman to Chidori, so we can send that admittal to Ne. Also send it to Chidori, though the Sukebun presence here pretty much will tell her enough of the situation that sending it is pointless. That complicated mess MIGHT exonerate Ne to the Sukebun, MIGHT being the key word... which means we might get their skills back, should we... WANT to work with the scumbag again.

It's the practical thing to do.
>>
No. 707533 ID: 09bd04

>>707495
I fell like it's best that she doesn't know about this yet.
>>
No. 707581 ID: a4f67a

>>707496
Memories are basically a recording device. Sweat showed Lowry one, though that may just be an angel thing. Don't think talking to Ne again is the best idea, though. Unless we can ensure we won't get fucked over or murdered and sold for scrap to the Mortician.

Ask Jolene what she wants from you. If it's fairly simple, maybe bring up Reiss. If it's not, well.
>>
No. 707901 ID: 2067a4

Tbh, as strange and scary as she is, talking things out with Jolene instead of a fight sounds like a good idea. Though she could have just been bluffing, I doubt we'd have a real chance here- we're on her territory, surrounded by her people. Even if we did get out of here relatively unscathed, the consequences of angering the Junkyard would be...not good. [Also, try to feel out if she knows about the dog that Nanako killed- if she doesn't, an unexpected message really could sour your party here.]
In general, diplomacy is your best friend.
>>
No. 707961 ID: 9bd956

"gotta make themselves look good somehow, dont they?"
>>
No. 708169 ID: 99942b

Be careful and try not to make any enemies, especially with Jolene. After all, she IS the only one around who can fix Reiss.
>>
No. 708181 ID: 87c966

tell joylene you like her outfit!! :0
>>
No. 708499 ID: 03c8e7
File 145781270358.png - (123.89KB , 700x600 , 184.png )
708499

“Well, I’m here, aren’t I?” I lean back in my chair, rolling a stray grape back and forth under my claw. “I gotta say, though, there’s easier ways to get ahold of me. I’m glad you switched over to texts.”

“Well, I had to try the hit,” Jolene says. “After all, there was that slight chance the Sukebun wouldn’t choose you to investigate, or that they wouldn’t take the tip seriously, and then Chidori would be dead! Slight, but worth going for.”

I hum softly and flick the grape across the table. Jolene stops its bouncing roll by spearing it neatly through the middle with one of her long nails. “Kinda hard to believe that it was all just to meet me. Did you have something else you wanted to talk about?”
>>
No. 708500 ID: 03c8e7
File 145781271781.png - (192.93KB , 700x600 , 185.png )
708500

“Oh, sure. But we can do that over the meal.” She waves one of the dogs over. “The appetizers should be about done now – tell them to bring it out. And vodka.” She glances at me, one hand still held up to the dog. “Two vodkas?”

“I don’t drink anymore,” I say evenly.

There are some exchanged glances beside me, and then Junko’s hand shoots up, the forefinger and pinky of her other hand pointing at Cain and Kei in turn. “Four vodkas!”

“Junko,” Sada murmurs warningly, but Jolene’s already waved the dog off. She turns back to me and laces her fingers under her chin.
>>
No. 708501 ID: 03c8e7
File 145781275008.png - (251.71KB , 700x600 , 186.png )
708501

“Mm, back to what I was saying … well, what I was going to ask of you requires that I get you up to speed. A lot of exciting things have been happening here at the Junkyard!” She extends one long hand, glittering with a conga line of diamond rings. “See? Actually … Rabies and I are engaged to be married!”

Something echoes hollowly in the pit of my stomach, but it doesn’t reach the surface. I yawn as discreetly as I can into my hand. “Congratulations. So excited that one ring wouldn’t do, huh?”

“Oh, no, no, he only got me the one.” Jolene wiggles her ring finger, pointing at the ring closest to the knuckle. “The others are from my discards.” She grins widely, all teeth. “Fourth time’s the charm.”

“Ha, okay. So what’s this leading into?”

“Well, after the wedding – which you’re invited to, of course –“ The dog she sent to fetch vodka arrives, four rocks glasses balanced in his hands, and Jolene accepts one and slams it back in one fluid motion. Exhaling, she lets her head slowly fall back forward, gesturing at me with the empty glass. “Help me kill him?”
>>
No. 708505 ID: c180f3

>Jolene’s already waved the dog off.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
well jeez. whats in it for me
>>
No. 708507 ID: c180f3

wait shit i think i misinterepertedt jolene waved the dog off and it wasnt a mistake. i dont understand words
>>
No. 708508 ID: 51051f

>“Help me kill him?”
yes but what's in it for me? / maybe u should discuss it with the bunnies since its a rivalry between the dogs and the buns
>>
No. 708511 ID: 00c306

well.... yipes

that would probably be all-around awful and end terribly for you
good to find out more, thuogh
>>
No. 708517 ID: 0c7bf6

I'm assuming there's a certain part she wants you to play, then?
>>
No. 708518 ID: b142a5

She can fix Reiss. Ask what she's willing to offer, but if Ne knew he had that problem, Jolene probably does too.

Also, you have a gun.

I think that would be a good way to start over (breaking up with one boyfriend and killing an ex) and get on Jolene's good side in case Ne makes good on his implied threats. Also seems like the best method of self preservation, and you can get your blood for the Mortician.

I wouldn't say trusting her is a good idea, nor is turning your back on her. But working together to put Rabies out of business sounds like it'd be good for everyone--you, the Sukebun, Sweat, Jolene, etc.
>>
No. 708524 ID: 32d627

i mean, rabies seems like the kind of asshole we want gone and if she can fix reiss (so we can bail on him also), she could be a good ally. a dangerous, untrustworthy ally, but it'd probably be a better idea to get her on our side than not.
>>
No. 708526 ID: 2ccbb3

... If only you had a video camera. Rabies would probably call Photoshop or something stupid though.

This just screams False Dresden Shuffle. She'll probably set up an ambush only to turn it on you while she @#$%s Rabies in public. Plus, she seems even WORSE than Rabies (weaker but ruthlessly creative) so you can't let her take the gang.

Try to win the rest of the gang over, pay them off to murder Jolene now and claim you did it, then steal everything nailed down in this factory and make a run for it. Rabies will be pissed but his plans won't be so secure if a large portion of his gang runs off.
>>
No. 708527 ID: bb78f2

>>708501
I am not opposed to this, but I am not a hitman or an experienced murderer.
Oh, he has a weakness for me and you want to exploit that to make him vulnerable and make your move. OHHH.

That will get me killed, an angel took on Rabies and got killed for it, and I was right there anyway. I don't trust ANY hitman for the job. So after I'm dead, and the hitman's dead, he'll come after you because he can put two and two together despite looking like a guy who has more muscle than brains.
>>
No. 708529 ID: 047500

>>708524
yessssssssss

agree, definitely
"sounds fun."
>>
No. 708531 ID: 5c7426

It's a good idea and one which would definitely help us all sleep easier. But how can we trust she actually wants us to do it and isn't just testing us....
>>
No. 708547 ID: 09bd04

I don't see why Jolene can't do it herself considering that she's probably closest to Rabies. Ask for more details and discuss it with the rabbits.
>>
No. 708582 ID: 6b37bc

you've already got the dogs under your thumb. what do you need me for?
>>
No. 708586 ID: 6dfff2

You'd need guaranteed safety a fixed up boyfriend to dump and what her plan is for what to do after his death. Also why does she need you?
>>
No. 708692 ID: 401f23

okay this is a delicate and nuanced situation but. let's totally do it, let's kill him
>>
No. 708698 ID: 99a64d

"Make me an offer."
Killing the shit out of Rabies would be fairly therapeutic. But it would also be dangerous and it might be better to just never lay eyes on him again.
Turn her down unless she has some sort of a plan and something to offer you other than his death.
>>
No. 708705 ID: 40cf56

I presume she means to assume the mantle of leadership once Rabies is coffin stuffing.
What guarantee do we have that she won't turn on us once the deed is done?
What guarantee do we have that she won't start a gang war once she's in charge?
What guarantee do we have that she won't be even worse than Rabies?
>>
No. 708774 ID: 608e57

shit yeah, I think she might turn out worse than Rabies. about as cruel, but smarter/ more cunning/ super roundabout and confusing. I get the picture that while absolutely brutal, Rabies is very straightforward and easy to anticipate his moves.
Jolene on the other hand... Obviously we can't trust her. She's already proven to be extremely manipulative.

Don't say yes, at least not yet. Don't say anything yet, apart from maybe that you're sympathetic to the idea. Play for time, be noncommital.

also, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there a bunch of dogs standing in the same room rn? like, wouldn't you sorta NOT discuss a murder plot in front of dogs who are supposed to be loyal to the intended victim? idk. even if she's convinced they're on her side, it's still a big risk that one of them might decide to tell on her.

Also I kinda don't think that we'd have long to live after Rabie's death in Jolene's scenario. Though we'd probably die sooner if we outright refuse her. :/
>>
No. 708780 ID: 1661fc

>>708698
This.
>>
No. 708864 ID: fac1d0

>>708705
This might be one of those "devil you know" kinda situations.

But FUCK. I want to. I really really want to. Just make sure its in our best interests for the future first.
>>
No. 708890 ID: bf725d

>>708501
YES PLEASE. SAY YES. THEN MARRY JOLENE. THIS IS CLEARLY IDEAL AND YOU COULD USE AN ALLY LIKE HER. A BEAUTIFUL, MEAN, SEXY ALLY
>>
No. 708892 ID: 2ccbb3

>>708890
> Marry crazy black widow after she murders crazy gang lord husband
What.
>>
No. 708907 ID: 36c187

>>708705
because jolene would have no reason to hurt lowry once rabies is out of the picture, right? and rabies was so horrible to lowry they had to steal her from him, so hes DEFINITELY a threat.
a definite threat is more pressing than a possible one.
i say go for it.
>>
No. 708921 ID: 88e46e

>>708890
>>708892
>shocking kome into being the voice of reason
Ayyy lmao
>>
No. 709103 ID: ca1533

Jolene would be very valuable to have as an ally. Wouldn't be trustworthy at all, but an ally is an ally. You should ask for more details before agreeing because this situation seems just a tad bit shady.
>>
No. 709114 ID: 4ad010

Rabies is an asshole, yes, but, uh, this lady's an asshole too. Remember Chidori's damn lessons about people who want to put her in the ground, and anyone around them who's okay with that. We need real allies, not people who try to kill us and our friends.
>>
No. 709253 ID: 99942b

Why's she getting you involved? As far as we know, you don't have tons of experience killing people, and she seems plenty capable herself.

On the other hand, I totally support Rabies dying.
>>
No. 709375 ID: 88965b

Laugh. Tbh force a laugh if you have to because this whole scenario is fucking surreal. ask her why shes asking for YOU to help her with this, why she wants to kill him, and unless its something ur not down with, say yes because im impulsive and also agreeing with her plan might make this whole thing a lot less dangerous for you and your pals getting out
>>
No. 709525 ID: 02422f

First Ne, now you. Why does everyone think I'm a hitwoman for hire, now? Did I accidentally sign up for some murder's list online?
>>
No. 709552 ID: 6b66cf

everything about this seems like a terrible idea. even though rabies is a shit and deserves whatever's coming to him, Jolene is absolutely the last person you should trust, because honestly? she'll probably kill you too once she's done.
>>
No. 709635 ID: 34dbe0
File 145810126524.png - (161.35KB , 700x600 , 187.png )
709635

Jolene slides the other vodka glasses across the table as I tilt my head at her, considering, but it's Sada who speaks first.

"Is it really wise to be discussing this in front of -"

"What?" Jolene interrupts. As if to finish Sada's sentence, a few dogs walk in through the connecting door of the dining room, bearing platters full of cured meat and cheese. "In front of teddy boys who belong to Rabies?"

Sada inclines her head stiffly. Jolene lets out a trilling shriek of laughter, half-muffled as she snaps up a papery sheet of proscuitto in her tensed jaws. "No such thing," she says finally, licking her chops. "Nothing belongs to him anymore. These boys," she points at a few of the Dobermen standing at attention behind her, "are mine. This factory is mine. This Junkyard is mine. Everything-" and now she's standing, her voice a sudden roar - "IS MINE!"
>>
No. 709636 ID: 34dbe0
File 145810128302.png - (93.18KB , 700x600 , 187a.png )
709636

Her plate clatters to the ground. I wait until the reverberation of metal against concrete dies out. "So why do you need me, specifically?" I point out. "There's nothing stopping you from doing it yourself."

"Well, sure, it would be easy," she muses. Another few strips of meat disappear down her maw, and cleans her teeth thoughtfully with her pinky nail. "I could just rip his intestines out while we're making love, or something, right? But my background is in showbiz, and to get you involved ... well, it's just so narratively satisfying. Besides." She releases her hand and sweeps it over the Sukebun. "I don't just need you, Lowry, baby. It's the whole operation."

Sada's voice is low and even. "Why?"

"Oh, I love him to death, you know, but Rabies is just so hopeless at tactics." She doesn't look up when her rocks glass is refilled, reaching for it and draining it in one fluid motion. "Sweet idiot boy. At first, as you know, I was trying to clean up his mess, but I realized this is just so much easier. And I can't resist a bit of good publicity." She sets the glass down. "I mean, a one-woman betrayal is one thing - but think! The Sukebun and the Girl Who Got Away, already with their own bones to pick, rising up in a vicious coup? The coronation of a new Junkyard queen coinciding with the creation of a new gang alliance?"

"Aaaaah, OMG, you're right, that is so much cooler!" Junko pipes up. She tugs on Sada's sleeve. "Right? Right? Isn't that cooler?"

"I'm not concerned with what looks good," Sada replies sharply. "This is something I cannot agree to without at least an in-person meeting with the Oyabun, if not a series of meetings to discuss-"

"He's still got their eyes."

Silence falls, broken only by Cain stage-whispering "Oh, holy shit."
>>
No. 709637 ID: 34dbe0
File 145810129856.png - (145.20KB , 700x600 , 188.png )
709637

Sada stands up too quickly, and her chair clatters to the ground. Her hand's on the handle of her blade and I'm very close to asking Cain to stop her. "Those are not bargaining chips for you to dangle above our heads -"

"Oh, sweetheart, please relax." She taps one of her own plastic eyeballs, the hollow sound strangely loud. "He's got mine too. I'm not dangling anything. I'm just saying that if he were dead, that's something you'd be able to collect - not something I'm offering as a reward."

Sada's got an inch of steel showing, but when Junko touches her arm insistently she snarls and slams the blade back into its sheath, reaching down to right her chair and sit back down.
>>
No. 709638 ID: 34dbe0
File 145810131873.png - (81.29KB , 700x600 , 189.png )
709638

"But, speaking of rewards," I say pointedly.

"Oh, of course, baby. I'm anything but cheap. Name it."

"I hear you're a good surgeon."

"Ahhhh." She clicks her fingernails lightly against the table, smiling again. "You've heard correctly. I don't think there's much I'm not capable of, on that front. Am I right to assume this is about that skinny little boy you're with now?"

"Yeah. Need him fixed so I can get rid of him." I pause, then quickly add, "not in a murder way."

She shrugs. "Suit yourself. Supply the materials, and I can make it work."

I lapse into silence. Beside me, the Sukebun are the same - Cain is the only one unaffected, gleefully cleaning all the meat off of our forgotten appetizer plates.

"Lowry, you can do whatever you wish," Sada finally says, "but the Sukebun cannot and will not agree to anything without going through our own due process. We do nothing without the Oyabun's express approval."

"Oh, take your time," Jolene hums lazily. "It has to wait til after the wedding, anyway. Lowry, that goes for you, too. When everything's in order, we can discuss actual plans, et cetera ... but of course, for now, you can relax."

"Hard for me to feel relaxed," I reply dryly. I cross my arms, leaning back in my chair. "If I say yes, how do I know you won't kill me as soon as it's done?"

She blinks at me, a cube of cheese pausing halfway in its path to her mouth. "Hm? Why would I?" She tilts her head. "Should I?"
>>
No. 709640 ID: 0b6b9f

>should i
Nah im good.
Dont make final agreements without first consulting with the buns you want them on your good side since jolene doesnt seem to have either a good one or a bad one. But this entire thing is probs not gonna end well. Seeing as she seems to have a sort fo grudge against you. You should try to plan to weaken the junkyard as much as possible when killing rabies
>>
No. 709641 ID: 040d6a

You are DEFINITELY going to want the Sukebun on your side for this one, so let them have their due process.
While they're doing that you can lay out your own plan and see if you can gather any more resources.
>>
No. 709642 ID: 32d627

>>709638
ask her the same questions back- she might be being coy to hide her shit.

that said, i dunno, sounds like a pretty good deal. she might be worse than rabies, but she IS offering an alliance, the potential to get those eyes back, and helping you ditch reiss.

plus you get to off rabies, everybody wins
>>
No. 709643 ID: bf725d

no, you shouldn't. but it's a possibility i have to consider. after all, the same question could be posed: why wouldn't you?
>>
No. 709644 ID: bf725d

no, you shouldn't. but it's a possibility i have to consider. after all, the same question could be posed: why wouldn't you?
>>
No. 709645 ID: fac1d0

Considering Rabies starting shit with me has led to you asking for my help to kill him? You shouldn't.

But would and should are two veeeery different things.

I don't know you yet. Let's be friends, Jolene. Working terms, at least. Go out to dinner again some time, or something.
>>
No. 709647 ID: 02422f

>"Hm? Why would I?" She tilts her head. "Should I?"
I don't know. Would it suit your narrative if the girl who got away gets her own comeuppance in a moment of vengeance? No one knows what story you're trying to tell but you.

The cold, cynically part of me says "probably." Killing someone has to be the easier solution, in certain respects. Which really makes me wonder where the catch is when you offer me that easy way out with Rabies.

>"Lowry, you can do whatever you wish," Sada finally says, "but the Sukebun cannot and will not agree to anything without going through our own due process. We do nothing without the Oyabun's express approval."
I know, Sada. I asked you here from protection, not to make your decisions for you.
>>
No. 709650 ID: 1a22f8

"well, it would be a lot more fun if you didnt. i cant vouch for the sukebun, but I'm down."
shit how come he has her eyes tho
i think thats unwise to ask however
>>
No. 709658 ID: bb78f2

>>709638
No, it's just, well, criminal underworld stereotypes you think about in movies. I don't see a reason myself, really, especially since payment is a physical favor over money. Besides a planned betrayal of the Sukebun and just getting rid of ALL loose ends in a godfather-esqe display, of course. You did say you like a little drama, after all.
>>
No. 709662 ID: ec7baa

Well, I really don't think Lowry would fancy ending up a martyr. If Jonelne is playing narrative, we've gotta go along. What is your place in this story, Lowry?
>>
No. 709668 ID: d4fc69

Okay first of all ask for more than just getting Reiss fixed. you want help tracking down your memories/ missing give-a-shit ability. she said she wasn't cheap, and I bet she'd be a lot of help if she wanted to.

that said... I still don't trust her. tell her and Sada that you agree with Sada not to make rash decisions. You haven't really committed yet, but you've named (parts of) your demand so that sounds like you're potentially up for it.
But I think IF you do this, definitely you want her to help you track down your memories too. (although maybe put down as a condition that she won't just murder the mortician to get at their memory jar)
>>
No. 709669 ID: d4fc69

oh also say that she really shouldn't kill you bc she has nothing to gain from it. you're just a cat who wants to be left alone, you're not going to bother her or cause trouble. but you still have Sukebun protection, so killing you actually *would* cause trouble.

[don't say this aloud but of course she's a drama queen so she probably doesn't care about that. I can't tell wether she's going for total domination/ kill first rabies then you and all the buns, or just killing rabies and a cooperation between dogs and buns (with her on top). though tbh... the first sounds more likely.
>>
No. 709733 ID: 4e0f96

Well I'm not sure about Lowry but i think I know a certain angel who would be willing to help.

And just for clarity, if we choose to help her we will be trying to kill her to right?
>>
No. 709741 ID: 51f507

let's bail omg this is getting 2 dangerous already. tell her you'll think about it n scram!!!!
>>
No. 709748 ID: cfc614

Maybe. You're offering a good deal, but I may not be feeling very charitable to you after you placed that hit.
>>
No. 710006 ID: b1b975

>>709668
If the Mortician is murdered then Whisper goes free though. Free him.
>>
No. 710033 ID: 0c7bf6

>>710006
Yeah but Lowry already said that she gets most of her money from donating to the Mortician, and he's been good help so far. I will admit that freeing Whisper is tempting though.
>>
No. 710053 ID: af6e04

I think we'd prefer to free Whisper without having anyone we're on decent terms with killed.
>>
No. 710437 ID: 51f507

Jolene, what’s this you’ve said to me, my good friend? Ill have you know I graduated top of my class in conflict resolution, and Ive been involved in numerous friendly discussions, and I have over 300 confirmed friends. I am trained in polite discussions and I’m the top mediator in the entire neighborhood. You are worth more to me than just another target. I hope we will come to have a friendship never before seen on this Earth. Don’t you think you might be hurting someone’s feelings by murdering people? Think about it, my friend. As we speak I am contacting my good friends across the city and your P.O. box is being traced right now so you better prepare for the greeting cards, friend. The greeting cards that help you with your hate. You should look forward to it, friend. I can be anywhere, anytime for you, and I can calm you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my ability to give a shit missing. Not only am I extensively trained in conflict resolution, but I have access to the entire group of the Sukebun, angels, and 1 demon and I will use them to their full extent to start our new friendship. If only you could have known what kindness and love your little comment was about to bring you, maybe you would have reached out sooner. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now we get to start a new friendship, you unique person. I will give you gifts and you might have a hard time keeping up. You’re finally living, friend.
>>
No. 710508 ID: 34dbe0
File 145844535859.png - (132.11KB , 700x600 , 190.png )
710508

I grab Cain's wrist to stop him from snatching the last scrap of meat off my plate and take it for myself, chewing thoughtfully. Finally I glance back up at her, relaxing back into my chair.

"I dunno." A dog clears our plates and refills Cain's glass - Sada has placed her hand resolutely over Junko's, ignoring her pouting, and gives Kei a warning glare. "Why would you? Would it suit your narrative if 'the girl who got away' gets fucked over and loses it all at the last minute?"

I shrug. "I don't know what story you're trying to tell, Jolene. So I don't know how I'm supposed to fit into it."
>>
No. 710509 ID: 34dbe0
File 145844537276.png - (120.61KB , 700x600 , 191.png )
710509

They're coming out in rows again from the broad doorway at the back of the room, this time bearing much bigger platters - stacked high with meat for me and Cain and Jolene, or with lush piles of vegetables and bread and cheese for the Sukebun. Cain doesn't waste any time tearing into the plate they set down in front of him - a whole raw chicken, to his delight - and most of the Sukebun are the same, with the exception of Sada, who places her hands on her lap and refuses to touch the food. Jolene's looking at me like I'm the main course - something that feels uncomfortably familiar, given the setting.

"I like you," she says finally. "I like you, I like you, I like you - I really, really like you, Lowry. I do."

"Okay. So let's be friends," I suggest evenly. "Working terms, at least. Though I do gotta warn you I would expect my friends to help me out with more than just a bit of surgery."

"Ooooh, yes! We should do dinner again sometime, but under less tedious circumstances.You can meet my daughter, too - I told her to leave us alone for tonight, since it's business and I wouldn't want her to bother you, but maybe another night ..." She finally turns her attention back to her plate, wolfing down massive mouthfuls between sentences. "Like I said, plenty of time to decide, and plenty of time to set up more meetings once you and the Sukebun here have had more opportunity to discuss things." She pauses, only long enough to gesture at me with her fork. "Aren't you gonna eat, honey?"
>>
No. 710515 ID: 86011b

might as well dig in! if she eats you you might as well have something good! you should really set up a meeting with the Sukebun after this if yall survive cus something tells me the leader might have iffy feelings.
>>
No. 710517 ID: ce2407

eat! it's best to be polite at least, but maybe. ask cain if he would like to taste it?? would he know if stuff is poisoned or messed up?
>>
No. 710521 ID: b4c14d

yeah, probably eat something - it's free food, and unless you're worried it's poisoned (which honestly it wouldn't be if she needs you for her plan), you should probably fill up now while you can. maybe you should ask her how she met rabies. or how she tamed him. either way
>>
No. 710522 ID: a258cb

meet jolene's daughter..........
>>
No. 710525 ID: 7b7ab3

What are the odds she did something to the food?
>>
No. 710532 ID: bb78f2

>>710509
I just did, I salvaged what I could before it was all eaten by Cain. I don't blame him, decent meat.

Cats don't eat much though, I'm afraid, they nibble, meow, leave and nap in the sun.
>>
No. 710534 ID: 401f23

Eat a piece of meat, rub your belly, and say "mmm, delicious," all without breaking eye contact.
>>
No. 710536 ID: 6b84fb

it's time to get out of there quickly, without proactively engaging jolene any further. you will want to learn a -lot- more about her now that she's interested in you, and it would be good to start your research on her somewhere where she can't scrutinize your behavior. may as well finish your food if you can since you've already had some of it, and it's free so you can save yourself a bit of cash.

the sukebun probably have this covered, but you'll want to check for bugs once you're out of the building before anything else. not sure what you can do if any bugs were slipped into your food, though, and i don't know if there are any sorts of magical charms you'll need to watch out for too.
>>
No. 710544 ID: 39247f

has anyone taken the time to consider the food might be poisoned and our party may be dying at This Very Moment
>>
No. 710545 ID: 32d627

i doubt the food is poisoned; jolene DOES want us to help her kill rabies, and i doubt we'd be much good at that dead
>>
No. 710551 ID: fa9834

food's probably not poisoned, eat it
ask her about her daughter - where does she fit into the Grand Narrative?
>>
No. 710567 ID: b1b975

definitely ask further about her daughter, also eat, not eating will probably make her upset and Do Not Make Her Upset
>>
No. 710610 ID: 51f507

can we ask to meet her daughter now? might as well go get a big party going before we all inevitably die tonight right (my moneys going on the long shot that its gretchen, the sweetest girl in the world, is the heir to this murder empire)
>>
No. 710619 ID: 2c4dc5

Eat the food, be polite. We got Cain to cover our asses, worst comes to worst.

No need to ask to meet her daughter right at this moment. Asking about her should be fine tho.
>>
No. 710623 ID: 09bd04

Don't think poisoning the food would fit into her narrative, so you shouldn't have an issue eating it.
>>
No. 710627 ID: 99a64d

eat sarcastically
>>
No. 710628 ID: 493b22

>>710551
>>
No. 710639 ID: ef24f0

uh should we be letting cain get drunk?
>>
No. 710640 ID: 660b0b

kick cain's leg under the table if he drinks any more alcohol. we don't need him drunk
>>
No. 710645 ID: 401f23

Umm hey... where is Rabies tonight, out of curiosity?
>>
No. 710646 ID: ca1533

Seem's a little bit suspicious so hold off on eating for a little while until you see how it affects them, and if nothing bad happens, eat it. Remember that this food was prepared by the enemy, even if they seem like an ally.
>>
No. 710711 ID: 0c7bf6

>>710640
Yyyyeah this seems to be going ok but we need him to not be a drunk mess if things so south.
>>
No. 710735 ID: 0dc9cf

Eat.
>>
No. 710772 ID: 0e00ed

You have a daughter Jolene?

& yeah where even is rabies rn
>>
No. 711379 ID: 34dbe0
File 145889154583.png - (178.09KB , 700x600 , 192.png )
711379

I'm suspicious - can't help being that way - but there's no real reason the food would be poisoned, and the others seem to be doing fine, so I eat. It's good. I've been eating nothing but instant crap for months, and I have to consciously will myself to slow down a little. I still want to play it cool.

"It wouldn't bother me to meet your kid," I tell Jolene. "Is she, uh -" Again I feel that hollow echoe of Something, weak and ineffective. "You and Rabies ... ?"

"Oh, goodness, no. My baby's eighteen." Jolene chuckles into her glass. "My second husband was her father."

I try to do a little mental math in my head, but quickly give up as it occurs to me that I have no idea how old Jolene is. "So how does she fit into the narrative?"

"She doesn't," Jolene replies, immediate and firm. "She stays out of all of this." She pauses for a moment, looking the closest to reflective as could be possible for her. "I think Rabies will be my final husband. I don't mind widowing myself, but I do think it takes a toll on Sloane. Once the Junkyard is mine, it'll be hers, too. No more moving around, no more climbing. This is where I was aiming."
>>
No. 711380 ID: 34dbe0
File 145889155588.png - (122.08KB , 700x600 , 193.png )
711380

"Mm. I get that," says a voice to my right, and when I glance over I see that it's Kei. "I've got a kid, too. You gotta keep your hustle up, but you also want shit stable for her. It's hard, being a mom out on the beat like this." She looks down at the mouthful of vodka still in her glass, swirling it absently. "I mean, my boy's tough. He can take it. But I don't want him to have to."

"That's exactly it." Jolen waves a Doberman over, smiling at us. "You know, if you really say it isn't a bother, I'll have them fetch her. I would really love for you to meet her."

The man leaves, and the rest of us get back to finishing our meals - Sada still isn't eating, but the rest of us aren't going to pretend we aren't hungry. Jolene talks while we eat, cooing about the high ceilings in the warehouse and asking our opinions on interior decor (only Cain and Junko answer with any trace of enthusiasm.)
>>
No. 711381 ID: 34dbe0
File 145889156934.png - (173.31KB , 700x600 , 194.png )
711381

There's footsteps from the open doorway, and Jolene looks up. "Ah, that should be her -"

A girl enters, flanked by Dobermen, and smooths her wide skirt with her hands. "Mama! I'm so glad you called me out - I was gonna ask you something anyway, I -"
>>
No. 711382 ID: 34dbe0
File 145889157885.png - (135.78KB , 700x600 , 195.png )
711382

Her voice dies as she looks across the table, and suddenly her face is contorting. "Mama." One of the Dobermen next to her raises his hand, aiming for her shoulder, but she swats him away viciously, and he immediately shrinks back. "Mama. Why are they here." She takes a shaky step forward, and the Dobermen twitch nervously, apparently unsure of whether to try to stop her or not. "Why are those rabbits here?"
>>
No. 711383 ID: 34dbe0
File 145889160132.png - (291.09KB , 700x600 , 196.png )
711383

Jolene sighs, pressing two fingers to her temple. "Babygirl, I told you I was having people over for business, and -"

"They killed Johnny!" The girl's voice rockets up into a hysterical key. "My Johnny, Mama, they killed him and you knew that! They did it today! Why would you bring them here? Why -"

Jolene looks only mildly exasperated. "Oh, Sloane, don't be dramatic. I'll get you a new one."

"I don't want anyone else! I want Johnny!" She whips her head around, eyes jumping feverishly over the Sukebun members' faces. "You. You fucking murderers. I'll kill you." She laughs, and for the first time she really looks like her mother. "I'll kill you! That'll even the score, won't it?"
>>
No. 711384 ID: 34dbe0
File 145889161361.png - (168.06KB , 700x600 , 197.png )
711384

"SLOANE."

I could swear that dust settles from the rafters. Everyone stops dead in their tracks, including the girl. Jolene is standing, her hand flat against the table. Sloane slowly turns her head.

"We've talked about this so many, many times," says Jolene slowly. Sloane's ears are drooping. "When does a lady threaten violence?"

Sloane doesn't answer.

"Mama asked you a question, babygirl. When does a lady threaten violence?"

"When she can carry it out," Sloane finally mumbles. "But, Mama, I can -"

"And when does a lady start a fight?" Jolene interrupts firmly.

Sloane's lip is quivering. She twists her fists in the crisp material of her skirt.

"Sloane."

"... When she knows she can win."

"That's right." Jolene's voice drops in volume, but doesn't soften, every word still dropping into place with heavy purpose as she points at us. "Look across the table. Five Sukebun, all armed; a woman whose morals are only hypothetical; and an honest-to-goodness demon." She lets her hand fall to rest on her hip, plastic eyes burning. "Do you honestly think you could win this fight, Sloane?"

Her daughter looks absolutely miserable. "No, Mama."

"So don't ever let me catch you starting a fight you can't win. Ever again." Now Jolene finally sighs and relaxes. "I'm sorry, baby. I hate to yell at you. But this is exactly why we talk about these things." She turns back to us, laughing lightly. "I'm so sorry about that. Teenagers."
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No. 711386 ID: bb78f2

It's understandable. It's a traumatic event, one I responsible for. Had I killed Ne when I had the chance, her boyfriend would have been alive.

My apologies, Sloane.
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No. 711388 ID: c180f3

igi igi. lets just bee cool
really its nice to meet you
(personally i dig the look)
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No. 711390 ID: c180f3

>>711388
i dont know how to delete shit or fuckin read so im just gonna add we should leave soon
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No. 711392 ID: f6da7a

>>711390
we can't leave until we have dessert!!!

laugh nervously and try to change the subject, ask sloane about school
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No. 711393 ID: 8ce2b4

I'm sorry for your loss. It would be a pleasure to meet you, but not under these circumstances.

God dont bring up Ne with how protective Jolene obviously is That could do us in
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No. 711397 ID: 0b6b9f

This might be a good time to start leaving.and sloane is probably gonna be dangerous to deal with if she has any of her moms temper (which seems like she does) so keep the buns in sight until ur in the clear
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No. 711398 ID: 0c1243

"It's okay. Being an intimidating murderer takes practice, she'll get there."
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No. 711407 ID: ef24f0

this may be far fetched and probably not something to say in front of sloane but jolene seems to have orchestrated a lot of this. she would have known that the sukebun would go after ne, right? so did she send her daughters boyfriend on purpose to get him killed??
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No. 711410 ID: b1b975

>>711397
Leaving right after meeting her daughter and being presented with a threat that just makes us jump a little would be a total affront to Jolene. Showing that we view her as less of a threat than her daughter.

We should stay for dessert and try to be pleasant with Sloane if she shows any interest in interaction, but don't force it.
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