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File 146152694966.png - (145.79KB , 700x600 , i63.png )
718797 No. 718797 ID: 34dbe0

"You know what the funny thing about Ophelia is?"

Chapter 1: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/663996.html
Interlude 1 (Rabbit Soup): http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/676703.html
Chapter 2: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/691136.html
Discussion: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/65967.html[/spoiler]
285 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 747051 ID: 094652

D, C.
>>
No. 747054 ID: 881425

>>747047
A and D
Just play the pleasant host. No need to spook her or Sloane by getting too involved in her stay, we'll get the details later no doubt.
>>
No. 747062 ID: e6dceb

CD
>>
No. 747093 ID: 2c75f0

d c
>>
No. 747096 ID: 28ff5a

A,B,C,D in that order. We will be a gracious host.
>>
No. 747131 ID: fb1c7d

A,D
We are the hostess with the mostess. We can deal with any problems that this may bring and playing as the nice host might help alleviate some of them.
>>
No. 747209 ID: 5dffa0

A, D, C.

For the first two, be as homely (in the British sense of the word) to her as you can be. For the last one, serious the fuck up.
>>
No. 754658 ID: b68e42

A/B,D,C.
>>
No. 754877 ID: 8111b6

some variation of abcd. Treating her well might get back to the Sukebun and smooth things over a little.

She's probably a ditz that needs things to be laid out bluntly for any understanding to get through.
>>
No. 754882 ID: 52d0bb

>>747054
What this guy said. Your top priority should be to cement your bond with Sloane. She is your daughter and therefore can be assumed to have an agenda. You should consult her before trying to hijack it.
>>
No. 761406 ID: 6ee077

jolyne, you need to be really really careful right now. if someone in your organization wants to overthrow you and that person has influence over sloane in any way, they could be luring gretchen here to kill her knowing it'll make you look bad and possibly even get you killed too. even if you trust sloane, somebody could be manipulating her without telling her the significance of what she's doing. she's smart, but we all have our blind spots - and speaking of blind spots, gretchen is a very unassuming person, but people who look innocent and weak are often in actuality just great actors. she could be here to do something you don't want her to do.

you don't want to leave gretchen alone with anyone else, and preferably you don't want to be alone WITH gretchen either - though it doesn't seem like just being alone with her is that risky at this moment, because you're alone with her now and she's not trying anything against you. Go for A and B, and see if you can intercept Gretchen and take her to the kitchen or something. if not, then C, and contact the oyabun right away no matter what she says. do not show her to sloane's room.
>>
No. 786629 ID: 696f7c
File 148925045047.png - (148.32KB , 700x600 , IMG_5334.png )
786629

"Yes. Mz. Jolyne Drool. Soon to be Mrs. Rex." You fold your hands, tuck your long nails under, make yourself soft and inviting. "Did you eat well?"

"Ah - ah, well - ah." Gretchen flounders wetly. You control the impatient tick in your jaw. "They, uh, they, when I got here they automatically took me to the kitchen to feed me, but, uh -" Her pupil contracts, her voice dipping into an apologetic register. "I'm an eyeball."

"Ah."

"Yeah, so, uh, it - it didn't really -" She gestures limply. "But, uh! It was very - it looked like it must have been good. For people with mouths."

"I see," you say - not wryly, but she lets out a hysterical giggle anyway, and you can't help but release a little amused exhale when you retroactively notice the pun yourself. "Well, Sloane's room is just down the hall here."
>>
No. 786630 ID: 696f7c
File 148925047691.png - (115.21KB , 700x600 , IMG_5335.png )
786630

"Ooh, thank you." You think she's smiling. Probably. Maybe? It's just the atmosphere she's exuding. "And, um, thank you for letting me stay over, and everything. I, um." She twists her fingers together. "I don't, um. Have many friends. So -"

Christ. You don't want her whole backstory. You smile, indulgently, and cut in as gently as you can. "Sloane will be a lovely friend. Girls should stick together."

"Oh. Oh, yes, I think so too. Um. Good night, Mz. Drool."

"Gretchen."

She stops halfway down the hallway, frozen, the second you say it. Like a soldier told to halt.

You keep your voice soft, but the cloying hostess act is no longer necessary. "Do the Sukebun know you're here."

You hear a faint, wet noise - Blinking? Swallowing? - and the creak of the floorboards as she shifts her weight. "No."

>A. "Call them and let them know."
>B. "I'll call them and let them know."
>C. "Alright. Good night."
>D. "What are you thinking."
>>
No. 786632 ID: 7b7ab3

A. Take responsibility for your actions, Gretchen.
>>
No. 786634 ID: 90f3c0

D, A
>>
No. 786637 ID: 199dd3

D A
>>
No. 786638 ID: 242b80

C. She came here from her own decision, just make sure she stays safe. She's the one who came onto your terrotory and you're the ones who treated her well. It's true that's it's more complex than that but even though the relationship with the sukebun is very strained it's not unreasonable.
>>
No. 786639 ID: 03051c

D, B
>>
No. 786648 ID: 0543a8

c. nothing to worry about if nothing happens to her. you're in charge here, so that shouldn't be hard. it shouldn't be a problem.
>>
No. 786662 ID: 094652

D, but be gentle about it. Get her to explain what happened. Also, record the conversation and send it to the Sukebun. They'll be more tolerant of a video recording in their expensive television set than someone who seems to be making excuses.
>>
No. 786664 ID: 0b99d7

>>786630
C, it's not on you to deal with her obligations, you've played nice, Sloane is playing nice as far as we know, trust them both to do right.
>>
No. 786754 ID: 15a025

A,D.
>>
No. 786854 ID: 5cdf3a

D, A.
>>
No. 787215 ID: 1c69a5

A.
>>
No. 787991 ID: 7ea33e

D, A
>>
No. 790935 ID: 218f17
File 149064844350.png - (109.76KB , 700x600 , i100.png )
790935

"Oh, what are you thinking." You manage to keep it gentle. There's no point in berating her.

"Um," she says, "in my defense-" - and you cringe internally, because you hate that phrase - "- I didn't know she was the daughter of a gang leader when I agreed to come over?"

Well, alright. You have to admit that's reasonable. "Well, call them and tell them where you are. It would cause problems for me if it seemed like I was keeping it from them."

"Oh! Oh. I - Oh no. I didn't think of that. I - I'm sorry."

"You're fine, sweetheart." You allow yourself one glance over your shoulder, try to toss her something soft and indulgent. "As long as it gets done. Have fun, alright?"
>>
No. 790936 ID: 218f17
File 149064845692.png - (105.42KB , 700x600 , i101.png )
790936

And that's that. Rabies should be home soon. You continue down the hallway, towards your own room, and halfway there your phone rings.

>A. Pick up.
>B. Let it ring to voicemail.
>C. Hang up; text "Can't talk now."
>D. __________
>>
No. 790940 ID: 458820

A
>>
No. 790943 ID: 114739

Mix of B and C. Let it ring to voicemail, listen, and text or call back if it's important.
>>
No. 790944 ID: a0ab09

A. Record EVERYTHING.
>>
No. 790945 ID: 9bdd95

A
>>
No. 790947 ID: 2d26c7

a. may as well see what the little asshole wants. we were sniffing out his apartment anyway
>>
No. 790950 ID: e4873e

A. might as well not put it off for later?
>>
No. 790959 ID: 4e7a79

A, but don't speak first
>>
No. 790979 ID: 96af5c

A
>>
No. 790981 ID: 85cc2c

a, but let him talk first
>>
No. 791021 ID: 218f17
File 149066792246.png - (156.65KB , 700x600 , i102.png )
791021

You don't intend to speak first, but he doesn't give you a chance anyway.

"Hey Jojo. Hey. Hi. Sup. Listen, I just - listen, listen. Just wanna know. Just wondering - I, you know, I just have one question. Yeah? Just one question." His voice is fast, frantic, nasal. "What the fuck. Yeah? That's all I wanna know. I just, you know, I'm wondering, I wanna know, if maybe you could take a minute and explain to me the precise nature of the fuck."

>___________
>>
No. 791028 ID: 716256

>>791021
"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."

Say it in a calm, relaxed manner, as if someone just asked "Did you eat that last slice of cake?"
>>
No. 791030 ID: d102c0

Boy you high as fuck.
>>
No. 791063 ID: bb78f2

>>791021
It got me a meeting with someone I've wanted to meet for a while AND put me in an advantageous position over the Sukebun. I profited from this result. Wasn't gonna happen any other way sweetie.
>>
No. 791107 ID: fc2586

Could you run that by me again, using your big boy words?
>>
No. 791127 ID: 71f631

ne, you knew there was danger when you agreed to be a pawn. you got paid - nobody promised you'd be safe.
>>
No. 791230 ID: 5cdf3a

Remind the bitch who you are.
>>
No. 791271 ID: 52b8df

Oh my god
Hey, he could be still valuable.
>>
No. 792593 ID: 15a025

Just ask the question before we hang up.
>>
No. 802248 ID: 3e5bf0

oh, well this is just adorable. this little vermin thinks he's owed an explanation? from ME? laugh harder than you have in years- this is fucking rich.
>>
No. 821590 ID: 160092
File 150240441932.png - (167.66KB , 700x600 , i103.png )
821590

>Remind the bitch who you are.

Your laugh starts low in your throat, all growl and broken glass, by by the time it reaches a full roar it's so loud that you can't even hear him trying to cut in. It echoes off the walls of the hallway, off the high vaulted warehouse ceilings. It drowns out the worried whines of the guards posted at the stairwell, the constant creaking of the cranes outside the tall, small-paneled windows.

You don't come down until you're good and ready. The other end of the line is stony silence. You wipe your eyes, with a sigh that you hope perfectly evokes the gesture. "Oh, Ne," you say, "who the fuck do you think you are."

"No, actually," you cut in, before he can respond, "more importantly, who do you think I am. Hm? Am I your babysitter?"

He finally gets a word in edgewise. "You set the fucking Sukebun on me-"

You don't let him speak long, but it's not your fault. You can't help the bark of laughter his bullshit conjures up. "Me? I didn't fucking do anything. I bought a gun from you, and you gave it to the wrong person, because you're a stupid little piece of shit who can't do anything right. You're calling me to whine about the domino effect of one of your own fuckups?"

"As if you didn't orchestrate it all," he hisses back. "As if it's a COINCIDENCE that you had that hairless bitch over to your place the night after -"

"Ooh, careful, Ne. I've started to like her better than you, honestly." Your acrylics need filled. You'll call your nail stylist tomorrow. "Keep yourself useful, Ne, and don't get full of yourself, or I might throw you away."

>A. Keep control of the entire situation. Hang up on him.
>B. See what he has to say in reply.
>>
No. 821593 ID: a307f1

you really should hang up on him, but I kinda wanna laugh at him some more. so B
>>
No. 821604 ID: 7b7ab3

A.
Control is everything.
>>
No. 821631 ID: 88d6d0

hang up on him before he opens his big dumb mouth again. everything that boy has to say is bad news
>>
No. 821643 ID: 7b8056

>>821590
Hang up on him now. Have him killed right away before he becomes a bigger problem. Since when have you hesitated to murder a man?

If you let him think he is safe "for the time being", you are giving him a free pass to make another mistake. Have someone give him a boiling oil enema and be done with him for good.
>>
No. 821668 ID: 4ac793

hang up, he's wasted enough of your time
>>
No. 821769 ID: 36de2e

>>821590
A. Just hang up.
>>
No. 822082 ID: 4458f2

>>821590
A
>>
No. 822193 ID: 090d51

b. maybe he has something to say that isn't whining
>>
No. 822306 ID: 15a025

A
>>
No. 896402 ID: 270774
File 153372807208.png - (198.65KB , 700x600 , i104.png )
896402

Your thumb is on the disconnect button before the first syllable of whatever shit Ne is howling crosses the line. It might be a mistake, you think, idly. Ne isn’t to be underestimated. But neither are you, fucking frankly, and you didn’t get that way by letting men yell at you. Whatever he cooks up in response to this, you’ll deal with, and you’ll deal with it easily if you can pull off this alliance with the Sukebun.

Rabies is going to be home soon.

>A. Get into your nightclothes and wait for him.
>B. Go to sleep. You’ll talk in the morning.
>C. Go out. You’re not in the mood to see him right now.
>>
No. 896403 ID: 90f3c0

A: You shouldn't leave him on his own for too long.
>>
No. 896405 ID: 9b52ce

A
>>
No. 896407 ID: 587bce

C is the most Jolene-like, but . . . I want to finally see Rabies so I'm voting A.
>>
No. 896410 ID: 91ee5f

>>896402
A
>>
No. 896415 ID: 03051c

C
>>
No. 896418 ID: 202867

A and make sure you have a loyal gunner at the ready - for all you know, Rabies might want to murder you as much as you want to murder him. Only sooner. Because he's an idiot.
>>
No. 896420 ID: dbc4ac

c! your day is going good, so don't let him ruin it
>>
No. 896425 ID: 3740b1

A for the A.
>>
No. 896431 ID: d887c0

>>896402
You don't have to put up with any more crap tonight. Pull a C and have a night to yourself. Find a place with people who aren't a bunch of hoods and gangsters. Relax a little.
>>
No. 896439 ID: bb78f2

A only if Rabies is only good at giving the D. If not, C and... eh, we'll have fun some other way.
>>
No. 896469 ID: b3841d

A — but make sure you’re ready for any of his moods and his suspicions over who’s really running the junkyard now
>>
No. 896474 ID: 62c2d6

A
>>
No. 896702 ID: 21b3b1

A. Don't chance a fuckup with the eyeball in the house, not with things with the oyabun stressed as they are.
>>
No. 896833 ID: 15a025

C.
>>
No. 896998 ID: 33cbe7

B. Avoid the temptation to just kill him ahead of schedule.
>>
No. 897027 ID: 644ad1

C
>>
No. 897067 ID: 3062f7

A
>>
No. 897222 ID: 270774
File 153430679746.png - (230.37KB , 700x600 , i105.png )
897222

You think about going out. You really do. The night has gone swimmingly so far, and the idea of ending on a sour note - or even a boring one - is unappealing. But when plans are going so well, the absolute worst thing to do is to relax. You know that well. Rabies can’t be left unattended.

You think about him as you undress and dress again. It must seem ridiculous, to reapply makeup before bed, but your mother always told you that presentation is everything. A husband returning is like curtains opening on a stage - everything must be set, lights and greasepaint, and the backstage carefully hidden away in shadow. This, you know well, too.

Your mother taught you many things, and you disliked a lot of it. Your mind wanders.
>>
No. 897223 ID: 270774
File 153430681443.png - (163.70KB , 700x600 , i106.png )
897223

You’d stayed home from school to cry the day away. Another breakup, this one even more bitter than the last. Part of the anger and hurt was the bewilderment, because as you lay on your bed, biting your nails and weeping, you found that nothing you were feeling was heartbreak. It was only bitterness, bitterness, bitterness, a feeling of defeat and humiliation - like you’d lost some kind of game in front of everyone. But when you think of the boy - well. You haven’t thought of the boy. You’ve thought only of your own failures, reviewed and rehashed every step you made, wondered where you could have gone so wrong that your constructed allure couldn’t hold up to daily wear and tear.

You realize as you soak the pillow that you’ve never particularly liked any of these boys. It’s not balm. It makes you unable to understand why, then, you feel so stricken every time this happens - why the embarrassment and the rage is so potent. It doesn’t make any sense, and you hate problems that you can’t solve.

Any time your friends pored over the pages of the yearbook, picking their next prey, comparing hairstyles and muzzle lines, you always felt like you were doing it wrong. Their racing hearts and shrill giggles were never something you could replicate, at least not genuinely. You always just asked the boy’s heights. At seventeen you’re already approaching six foot, and you quietly crossed out anyone who would look absurd walking next to you. The pool was small, but it made success more satisfying.
>>
No. 897224 ID: 270774
File 153430683197.png - (148.35KB , 700x600 , i107.png )
897224

Your mother enters the room. She never asks. She doesn’t have to. She’s your mother. “Are you done yet? Come on, now, Jolene, he wasn’t that much to begin with. You could do better.”

You sit up. The hand dragged across your eyes brings a streak of makeup with it. “I know I could do better.” Your voice is brittle. “That’s why it hurts. He wasn’t even good enough for me, so how could he?” Something’s seizing your chest, and again, it’s nothing to do with him. It feels like the shock of being plunged into cold water. You’re realizing something. “I didn’t even like him. I never like them.”
“Well,” starts your mother, but you cut her off.

“I don’t think I like men.” The air in your room feels so cold. “At all. I think - Mama, I think I like -”
>>
No. 897225 ID: 270774
File 153430684420.png - (66.41KB , 700x600 , i108.png )
897225

Your mother’s mouth is a red gash. “Jolene.”

You don’t look at her. You can’t. She’s your mother.

“I think you’re just a little frustrated with boys right now.”
>>
No. 897226 ID: 270774
File 153430685679.png - (156.30KB , 700x600 , i109.png )
897226

You think about Rabies. You feel the same thing you do about every man you’ve ever loved - pity, and vague annoyance. It’s nothing to do with the fact that you intend to kill him. You always separate your career and your personal life - you pride yourself on it. You’re just a little frustrated with him right now.

“Can’t live with them, can’t live without them” - another piece of ancestral wisdom.
>>
No. 897227 ID: 270774
File 153430687015.png - (179.31KB , 700x600 , i110.png )
897227

He gets home loud and rowdy and awful as always, setting all the boys downstairs howling and baying. You listen for his footfalls, for metal stairs creaking under heavy steps.

And there he is. Your man.

“Hey, sugar,” says Rabies. His mouth drips. You smile. “Whatcha been up to all day, huh?”

>A. Be coy. “I had some girlfriends over for dinner to catch up. It was so nice to see them!”
>B. Be flattering. “I just waited for you, honey.”
>C. Be matter-of-fact. “I attended to some business relationships.”
>D. Be nurturing. “I had a large dinner made, and there should be plenty of leftovers for you. Sloane has a friend over, and they’ll be up late.”
>E. Be provocative. “I saw Lowry Lewis.”
>>
No. 897228 ID: 270774

i've started up a fresh, more up-to-date disthread! if you want to discuss acid soup, go to this one, not the one linked in the first post of this thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/124805.html
>>
No. 897229 ID: 8b438a

a, may as well tell him what happened
>>
No. 897230 ID: e372f2

A+D
>>
No. 897235 ID: 5ee468

a!!
>>
No. 897236 ID: 5402ba

a! please don't provoke him on purpose, we know what he's like
>>
No. 897240 ID: 094652

E, "and now she's a lazy 8!+(#-ass. I'm impressed, can I write a book on how you broke your ex-girlfriends? I want to lord it over them when we tie the knot."
>>
No. 897247 ID: 6245ba

a
>>
No. 897249 ID: a94e23

A and D
Under no circumstances should we agitate him. We want him to be predictable for what we’re planning.
>>
No. 897264 ID: 0a0bd6

If we say D, I really don't think we should mention Gretchen being here. Cut that part out.
>>
No. 897265 ID: 914f96

A + D... be Careful jolyne, this guy took your eyes
>>
No. 897333 ID: b80b5a

A + D but don't mention Sloane's friend, perhaps mention that she got a little worked up at dinner and needs her rest instead.
>>
No. 897352 ID: 194b7a

C, D
>>
No. 897392 ID: a62780

>>897227
A and D seem like the best way to go for now.
>>
No. 897519 ID: bf1602

something between A and C. a work dinner, that sort of tone
>>
No. 897823 ID: 15a025

A+D
>>
No. 897925 ID: 33cbe7

A & D. Now's a good time to see if he appreciates subtlety.
>>
No. 898894 ID: 270774
File 153515914753.png - (61.26KB , 700x600 , i111.png )
898894

“I had some girlfriends over for dinner,” you tell him, sweet and easy. He doesn’t care about shit like this, so it’s always safe. “It was so nice to do some catching up with them.”

He’s stripping off his vest and shirt, and they both go on the floor. There’s a noncommittal grunt, somewhere deep in his throat.

“I had a large dinner made, since we had company, and so there should be plenty of leftovers for you,” you add. That’s something more on his radar. “Should I have someone heat something up, darling?”

“I’m good, baby.” He turns his head over his shoulder, and in the dim light of the bedroom you can see that his mouth is dripping with blood, not slaver. “I ate while me and the boys were out.” He wipes his jaw on the back of his hand, then wipes his hand on the bedsheets, and you smile.
>>
No. 898895 ID: 270774
File 153515916827.png - (57.15KB , 700x600 , i112.png )
898895

You keep smiling as you cross the room to him, and when he takes you in his arms you smile over his shoulder, out at the wall of windows that spans one plane of your bedroom, where it opens out into dark dusky air and smokestacks and oily lights that shift and grind into new positions every night, dragging rubble and screeching metal along the ground, a groaning screaming orchestra that lasts all the way through til morning. Right now, he’s standing between you and all of that, a warm and solid obstacle, one you can sink your nails into.

Whatever he’s saying into your ear right now is unimportant to you, just as much as any lies you could spin up would mean nothing to him. What you’re thinking about now is time.
>>
No. 898896 ID: 270774
File 153515918719.png - (146.76KB , 700x600 , i113.png )
898896

It’ll move so quickly. A skyscraper downtown creaks and tilts sideways - you hold your breath, waiting for it to collapse onto its side, but it doesn’t. Not yet. Not tonight.

END INTERLUDE 2
>>
No. 898899 ID: 270774

chapter 3: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/898897.html
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