[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]
[Catalog View] :: [Graveyard] :: [Rules] :: [Quests] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]
Posting mode: Reply
Name
Email
Subject   (reply to 851008)
Message
File []
Password  (for post and file deletion)
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG, SWF
  • Maximum file size allowed is 10000 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • Currently 39756 unique user posts. View catalog

File 151302425562.png - (262.58KB , 1200x800 , 1.png )
851008 No. 851008 ID: 085408

This is going to make everything right.
Expand all images
>>
No. 851009 ID: 085408
File 151302430504.png - (190.63KB , 800x800 , 2.png )
851009

I can hear the bustle of the Art Festival outside, with Sock’s violin providing the perfect background track. Usually that would be all you could hear, but the Queen decided to allow outsiders to attend this year and they are a lot louder than they should be during a recital. Doesn’t matter, I need to focus on the final prep for my play.

I’ve spent months preparing for this. I made the set by hand, painted ten backgrounds, engineered the pyrotechnics, and even composed the music myself, though some Hivemates recorded it. I’ve planned this performance down to the second. Every detail has been checked and double-checked and it is literally impossible for anything to go wrong. 

Once they see this the Hive will have no choice but to forgive me for what happened to Orgo’s flash mob, or that one time I was off-key in Jenes’ choir performance. Or… well, a lot of things will be forgiven, I’m sure.  Everything is going to be perfect and the Hive will love me, and the Queen finally be proud of me. Once they see this everything is going to change.
>>
No. 851010 ID: 085408
File 151302434592.png - (136.76KB , 800x800 , 3.png )
851010

>”Get out.”
>>
No. 851011 ID: 085408
File 151302437160.png - (119.42KB , 800x800 , 4.png )
851011

>>
No. 851012 ID: 085408

By the way, at least for this Thread, Lagotrope is doing the art and I'm writing. So direct any accusations of it sucking to me.
>>
No. 851014 ID: c88e6d

>>851011
Welp, sorry hon, you're Rogue. Now that SUCKS, but it's gonna be okay, but first of all you need to go find a therapist. Alcohol will make all your problems MUCH WORSE, so DO NOT start drinking.
>>
No. 851015 ID: 33cbe7

Wipe off makeup.
>>
No. 851016 ID: c2051e

>>851014
No. First of all Mac needs to find someplace to live and get food. Emotional problems are a serious issue but a stable living situation is much more important.

Mac, what resources do you have? If you're low, you can go to a library and look up support for rogues, or go to a Roguetown if it's in walking distance. How much do you know about the city where you live?
>>
No. 851017 ID: 33d4be

In shock, huh?

Well, before you break down, you should find yourself someone who can help you. I'm sure there are services for people who find themselves in your position. Or, perhaps, do you have any friends who aren't neumono that you could crash with?
>>
No. 851019 ID: de6d84

Got a map of the local area?
>>
No. 851020 ID: 59496d

ouch.
I mean normally rouges GO rouge, I didn't think one could be kicked out of a hive or forced to be a rouge.
>>
No. 851024 ID: 6780f5

Curl up into a ball. Try not to cry your eyes out. Cry your eyes out.
>>
No. 851025 ID: 3ce125

>>851011
What the hell did you DO?
>>
No. 851026 ID: 0d45a9

What happened? Got any non-hive friends you can talk to, and maybe even crash with while you sort your emotions out?
>>
No. 851029 ID: e6994f

>>851016
This.
>>
No. 851030 ID: 1e7aa8

You set the stage on fire, didn't you? is that what happened?

Eitherway way uh. I hope you've got some non-neumono friends to crash with.
>>
No. 851067 ID: 3abd97

>>851009
>>851010
You failed so hard your surname fell off and your clothes spontaneously changed.
>>
No. 851080 ID: b4f880

>>851011
Dazedly find somewhere quiet to sit shellshocked, you'll need a while to process this.
>>
No. 851086 ID: a633c6

On a scale of 'The Room' to 'Kicked out of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna', how big of a disaster are we looking at here?
>>
No. 851090 ID: 86eb65

Well did they just hate the play that much?

Go drown your sorrows in booze. Cry a lot.

Then swear revenge and go prove you are the best and get a movie deal to show them what they are missing.
>>
No. 851091 ID: 094652

So who died?
>>
No. 851149 ID: de6d84

Give yourself a moment while walking away from here tell us what happened.
>>
No. 851162 ID: 085408
File 151305244401.png - (151.86KB , 800x800 , 5.png )
851162

I don’t understand.
I am-
The Queen told me-
But…?

>You’re a Rogue.
>A place to stay in the city.
I don’t know anyone outside of th- my Hive. I never really interacted with the aliens and I barely even talked to other Hives in school. I can get around the city, but I don’t know anyone.

All I have on me is my art bag that’s probably just filled with spray paint and sketchbooks and shit. I have a Hive credit card if they haven’t turned it off and like, a little bit of cash? Probably not enough for a hotel.

>The Play
I… I don’t remember what happened. The play started, then the Queen… and then I was out here. Everything else is just… blank.

>You’re a Rogue.
That’s not possible. It can’t be. I mean, I’ve tried so hard, she can’t just throw me out! I can still fix myself, I’m sure of it!

Maybe this is a prank or something and Orgo managed to convince the Queen to participate? I could wait out here for a while. They’ll come out and we’ll laugh about it and I’ll punch him in the mouth and it’ll all be fine. Or I could go the library and make them come get me later to apologize for being jerks. Otherwise I can only go to… Roguetown.
>>
No. 851163 ID: 0d1514

Can we call you spot? Ima call you spot.
>>
No. 851167 ID: c2051e

Okay. Even if it's a prank you have to play along for a while, right? Go to a library and find a halfway house or someplace else you can crash for a while.

In the meantime, if you want to fix things, try and think about what was wrong if it's not too draining.

>>851163
Now's probably not a good time to screw with Mac.

Also let's not push the rogue thing too far just yet, let her settle down a bit. Find someplace to hang, get a bit of privacy, review things and so on later.
>>
No. 851168 ID: de6d84

Unwind for a while away from here while they do their prank, just take a walk for a while.
>>
No. 851169 ID: 91ee5f

>>851162
>I…I don’t remember what happened. The play started, then the Queen…and then I was out here. Everything else is just…blank.
That's not normal! You blanked out on the entire play! How could that have happened?!
>>
No. 851170 ID: 86eb65

Telling you to get out does not equal throwing you out onto the street just yet.

But might want to go buy a week or two of supplies while your card still is working. Just in case.

You are a actor/playwright I am guessing? With your entertainment hive? Might need to consider taking your act on the road and going solo.
>>
No. 851173 ID: 3ce125

>>851162
Do you have someone's phone number? Call them and ask what you did because you don't remember what happened after the play started.
>>
No. 851174 ID: 38f35c

Should probably go check this isn’t one big misunderstanding. probably isn’t
After all, you wouldn’t want to go live in roguetown if you aren’t a rogue. probably are
>>
No. 851178 ID: 69c8aa

Why don't you go for a walk, draw something, collect your thoughts a bit. You're going to be just fine. :)
Getting kicked out of one's hive is probably pretty stressful. Lets go easy on her for a bit yeah?
>>
No. 851182 ID: 3abd97

>Probably not enough for a hotel
A hotel isn't exactly cost effective if your hive is gonna keep this... prank... separation going for more than a few days.

>Or I could go the library
I mean, not the worst place for someone with no resources to go. Free access to information and the internet, a roof, and air conditioning and/or heating (what season is it?). Might be able to find resources to connect you to some kind of social services, such as they are.

>I have a Hive credit card if they haven’t turned it off
You might want to find an atm fast and try taking out some cash to last you. If it just happened they might not have shut you off. But I suspect a time jump and the trauma has pretty clearly made our narrator unreliable, so probably not.

(Although I've suspected more generous hives might leave rogues access to small amount of funds- something to help them land on their feet and not go right to starving homeless in the streets. A last mercy).
>>
No. 851189 ID: 9e4723

Uf, buddy, that's harsh. What does your empathy tells you, what can you feel with it?
>>
No. 851197 ID: a633c6

Maybe, whatever happened, you just don't want to know and should try and move on. It must have been bad if you repressed it and got the boot.
>>
No. 851203 ID: c88e6d

>>851162
Oh shit, you blacked out? Okay, this is NOT GOOD. You need to see a Non-Neumono Doctor RIGHT NOW. Something might be wrong with your empathy! You might have some crazy virus or something that's affecting you!
>>
No. 851209 ID: b4f880

Go to the library, chill out for a bit. It sounds like things have been stressful for a little while.
>>
No. 851225 ID: 33d4be

Go to the library. Do some research on charitable organizations that help new rogues get on their feet.

To play along with the prank.
>>
No. 851255 ID: a363ac

>>851162
Call the Ultrahive they can fix this they can fix anything.
>>
No. 851288 ID: 085408
File 151311293841.png - (198.17KB , 800x800 , 6.png )
851288

I knock on the door, but the fact that I can’t feel anyone already told me no one’s nearby. No one comes when I ring the doorbell either, even though I know you can hear the damn ringing from just about everywhere inside.

I don’t need to see a doctor, I’m just… stressed right now. I’m sure if I give it some time everything will start to make sense again, and I’ll recall what happened. I call a few Hivemates I know would have been in the audience, but none answer.

I start towards the Library. I don’t want to be here right now, and I can calm down there. I stop at an ATM to get some cash just in case, but the daily withdrawal limit is only 3000 zeny, which I put in my bag. That should just cover a couple nights in a hotel, or maybe a week in a motel, but that’s if I don’t eat. Which is a dumb hypothetical because I’ll be back with the Hive soon, anyway. I’m positive. Totally.

But… just to entertain the thought for a moment, the only skills I do have that could earn money are mediocre art-based ones. I don’t have any canvases or enough supplies to make anything worth selling, assuming anyone would want to buy my shit. I wouldn’t. So, I basically have no real skills.
>>
No. 851289 ID: 085408
File 151311297505.png - (200.23KB , 800x800 , 7.png )
851289

Well, I’m here. Now what?
>>
No. 851299 ID: 33d4be

Well, you're not a rogue, but this is an interesting artistic opportunity to explore the rogue experience. I mean, you sound pretty sheltered, to be honest, so spending some time out here might give you some inspiration, and the knowledge you need to inject verisimilitude into your work. Maybe that's the sort of thing you were lacking before. Give your creations and performances some heart and rootedness, you know?

So, let's pretend you're a rogue for now, and go through the motions that a fresh rogue would have to. Then, when all this is over, maybe you can create something really compelling.

First thing, let's do some research on rogues. What sort of experience does a new one get, in this modern day and age? What resources are there to help such vulnerable people? Gotta go for authenticity, you know. Ask that librarian for some assistance.
>>
No. 851301 ID: 3abd97

>>851288
Nothing taller than a single story. You in a smaller town? Suburbia on the edges of a bigger city? There are different risks and advantages depending on what kind of environment you're in.

What season is it?

>>851289
Well the librarian isn't turning to glare at you the minute you walked in, so your empathy can't be that bad, despite the emotional wreck you currently are. That or she's really professional.

>So, I basically have no real skills
Art was what your hive does, and what you did, but it's not possible to that all the time. Did you help with any other jobs? The cooking, the cleaning, mending clothes, finding the best deals with vendors to buy supplies from, dealing with finances and bills and taxes, treating hivemates' medical problems, etc. There's a lot of chores ranging from the small to large that need doing to keep a hive going that might be a worthwhile skill.

>Well, I’m here. Now what?
Maybe find a relaxing corner and try to calm down for a few minutes.

Then maybe try finding a computer where you aren't bothering anyone. Look up social services and shelters. Or search the internet for "what do I do if I'm a rogue". Or if that's too hard "what do I do if my hive kicked me out." Start with any hits from official government sources, or aid organizations you recognize.
>>
No. 851308 ID: a633c6

Go to a computer, see if anybody recorded your missing time at the Art Festival and posted it online; make sure the speakers are muted first just in case.
>>
No. 851310 ID: b4f880

>>851308
that's a good idea
>>
No. 851311 ID: c2051e

Find someplace to relax for a while, then search for nearby halfway houses and other such things for investigation. Even if you're not a rogue this is a chance to broaden your horizons and get new material. Also, it's worth looking for some equivalent of Khan Academy or anyone taking apprenticeships to learn some other life skill if you'd like.

>>851308
We probably don't want to bring that trauma back up for a while. Judging from Mac's mental state we won't get much use from it, atm she'd probably repress it again like how the play got repressed the first time through.
>>
No. 851314 ID: 6780f5

Find a quiet, isolated corner or reading room before you finally realize that you've actually gone rogue and that your hive has actually thrown you out and you start having a panic attack. Panic attacks can only be worse when you've got loads of people observing you have one.
>>
No. 851320 ID: 91ee5f

>>851301
>Computer search
It'll probably be easier if she searches for "how can I tell if I'm a rouge?" and then compare the results with what's happened to her to see if any of the symptoms match up with what she's feeling.
>>
No. 851330 ID: 86eb65

>>851299

I like this idea. Work on making something that will show the world what becoming a Rouge might be like.

And saying you have no real skills when you spent months preparing your own play does not sound right.

Sure its all simple stuff but when you add it all together its a decent job as a stage manager for a production company.
>>
No. 851337 ID: 9e4723

Let me ask again. Do you feel something different with your empathy, or the empathy of others?
>>
No. 851340 ID: 08853c

You mentioned other incidences that you needed to get forgiveness from your tribe for. Did you black out during any of those?
>>
No. 851394 ID: 3ce125

>>851289
Ask the receptionist to make a call for you. Give her the phone number of someone who was in the audience, ask her to find out for you what you did. She should at least be able to get some words out before they hang up.
>>
No. 851436 ID: 94bef7

Maybe you have stage fright. Do you only black out at times when you are on a stage or present before a large audience?
>>
No. 851525 ID: de6d84

>>851301
These actions are good.
>>
No. 851601 ID: 10d7f6

>>851289
Priority one: see if you can find out WHY you are in this situation.
First find out what exactly happened at that play or whatever it became. If it was an error in a portrayal, or some accident that somehow snowballed into disaster, you could at least know. However, that doesn't explain your memory loss, so...
Look up stuff about sudden amnesia with reference to the possibility of becoming a rogue. It might have been some kind of empathetic safeguard to lower the stress of the situation, whatever it may be.
>>
No. 851603 ID: 085408
File 151321556650.png - (122.83KB , 800x800 , 8.png )
851603

The librarian feels kind of standoffish, so I don’t want to bother her right now, and the other patrons are basically just ignoring me empathetically. I’m happy to return the favor. I think the walk calmed me down a bit. I’m just going to sit down and do some research. Something normal.

I get to the computer desk but stop for a moment before I login. I rest my head on the desk, close my eyes, breathe, and don’t think. I am not an idiot. I can recognize that I may be acting a bit…abnormal. I just need to get through the next minute. Once I do that I can get through the next hour, and then the rest of the day. One thing at a time.

Now that I’m a bit more centered I’ll just run through some dumb thoughts at random that don’t mean anything and then do something useful.

>Empathy.
My empathy... probably isn't pleasant right now, but I'm just a bit shocked. I'm sure I'm coming off as perfectly fine, if a tiny bit distressed. And everyone else feels like normal neumono. They are a bit, uh, shallow? But that's just because I'm distracted right now.

>Skills.
Why would anyone hire someone to do chores and menial tasks? You would just ask a Hivemate and get it done for free. And as my many, many mentors have all finally had to admit, I’m basically just mediocre at everything I try. Who would hire an okay artist or musician when you could go to a Hive that specializes in those things?

>Find out what happened in the play.
Ugh, just thinking about doing this makes me feel anxious. I really don’t want to. I’m probably just trying not to think about some embarrassing mistake I made because I insisted I do it all by myself, like dumbass. I always do this, I start spinning one plate and think ‘one more will be easy’ and before I know it I’m spinning ten and they all crash to the ground.

Either way I’m… not completely sure how much time has passed since the play, but the Hive tapes our own performances and it’ll end up for sale on our website eventually. No reason to go looking for it now. It’s done and that’s it.

>Where you live.
I We live in Queenwood, the Tree's capital. It’s where the few businesses we own like the theatre and publishing house is located. We're on the outskirts. At least, it used to be the outskirts. Development in the city been rapid recently and the Queen talks about how she’s afraid we’ll get swallowed up in the urban sprawl and be pressured to move. It’s not too bad right now but even this library is only a few years old. We hold our big Art Festival in the early Spring usually.

Anyway, that’s enough daydreaming. If I’m going to kill time I should still do something productive.
>>
No. 851604 ID: 085408
File 151321563339.png - (140.81KB , 800x800 , 9.png )
851604

I know about a lot about pre-contact Rogues already, but contemporary Rogues are something I’ve never really thought about. You avoid them and you both go on with your lives. So just for a… thought exercise I’m going to do some research about them. Maybe this could… provide inspiration? Or something?

So, here’s an FAQ about Rogues on a government website. Part of a natural cycle for a Hive, they increase once you join a Ultrahive, but there are plenty of ways to legally keep them… away from the Hive. Uh, here’s another site. Rogues, despite their small numbers are responsible for most of the crime in cities? That can’t be true. Another site. Rogues commit suicide at the highest rate of any known demographic on Astreneus V…

Maybe a different search term. Like ‘housing for Rogues’. Oh, there’s lots of tenet buildings and public housing for them. In bad neighborhoods. Where the murder rate is abnormally high.

‘Jobs for Rogues’? Call centers, Miners, Factory Workers…

‘Life as a Rogue’? Lifelong depression. Substance Abuse. Emotional Volatility. Having dozens of kids to try and start your own Hive…

I think I am going to be sick.

>”Miss, I’ve received some complaints from customers about your empathy. I'm sorry about whatever issues you are having, but I’ll have to ask you to either leave on your own or enter one of our jammer reading rooms.”

She doesn't feel very sorry. The other neumono have also gone from ignoring me to, well, the empathy equivalent of shooting daggers at someone with a look.
>>
No. 851606 ID: 91ee5f

>>851604
"Do the jammer reading rooms have computers I can use?"

If the answer is no, then it's probably for the best that you leave before someone throws you out.
>>
No. 851607 ID: bb78f2

>>851604
Does the jammer reading room come with a computer? I need to do research and can't do it elsewhere.
>>
No. 851609 ID: c88e6d

>>851604
Ask for permission to use a computer in the Jammer Room.
>>
No. 851611 ID: c2051e

Ask if the jammer room has a computer. Also, consider going offworld if things for rogues are so shitty here.
>>
No. 851613 ID: 33d4be

Ask if the reading room has a computer, yeah. If not... well, there are probably good ol' dead tree books. I'm sure there'll be some work by some alien writers about rogues.

Or hey, maybe you can find a place doing charity work? I mean, you don't need keen skills to cook in a soup kitchen or to scrub floors in a shelter or so on, and while there's a reason a lot of people aren't keen on those jobs there is something to be proud of, there. And given this apparent hard life, you'll probably meet other rogues you can ask about what the rogue life is like. Yeah, you should look up the list of charities that work in this city. Or other humanitarian... er, you know what I mean... organizations.

By the way, jobs for rogues... was volunteer test subject on that list? There must be academics doing research on rogues if they're such a big problem.
>>
No. 851616 ID: 9e4723

Well, i don't know about you, but she is a horrible librarian. I should know, i studying to obe one, and THAT IS NOT how you treat a client.
Now, to the important, tell her to show you the jammer room, and keep investigating.
And what do you mean about WE?
Can you hear us?
>>
No. 851640 ID: 3abd97

>Why would anyone hire someone to do chores and menial tasks? You would just ask a Hivemate and get it done for free.
Not everyone has hivemantes. Aliens don't, rogues don't, not every company is staffed completely by a hive, and even hives can't be bothered to do all their own work if they can afford to have someone else do it. (Especially if they have better things for hivemates to be doing).

Unskilled labor is a thing, believe it or not. Who do you think works in retail? Or in fast food?

>outskirts
Not bad. We have options.

>So, here’s an FAQ about Rogues on a government website. Part of a natural cycle for a Hive, they increase once you join a Ultrahive, but there are plenty of ways to legally keep them… away from the Hive.
The government line is catering to hive concerns, not rogue welfare, not really surprising.

>Like ‘housing for Rogues’. Oh, there’s lots of tenet buildings and public housing for them. In bad neighborhoods. Where the murder rate is abnormally high.
Also not really surprising.

I don't think you want to go right to roguetown. You're a mess, frankly, and someone with no skills and no backup and in a bad headspace walking into a slum full of desperate people carrying all she owns in cash is gonna get taken advantage of.

Try searching for "social services". Or rogue charities. You don't want a long term place to live, not yet. You want to go somewhere for help. Someone to talk to.

My thought is whatever programs or services exist for rogues, they're probably underutilized. People in denial, of victims of abuse, have pretty bad track records for seeking out help in a timely manner. Most rogues probably drift until they find themselves in crisis- no food, no money, it got cold and dark and they have nowhere to stay, they're being confronted, etc, then start making bad decisions. Best possible outcome for Mac here is if we can find someone who can help and steer her there before she reaches that point.

>I’ll have to ask you to either leave on your own or enter one of our jammer reading rooms
I'm... sorry. I'm just having a really bad day.
>>
No. 851649 ID: a633c6

Alright look, I know looking into what happened will be embarrassing, but it's the fastest way to figure out if you're blowing this way out of proportion based on very incomplete evidence.

How much room for empathetic interpretation could be in the queens' order to 'get out?' maybe she was just being curt and cross because of things that aren't you...?
>>
No. 851653 ID: de6d84

Been a rough past while, does the jammer room have a computer I can still use?
>>
No. 851873 ID: 085408
File 151331152353.png - (148.05KB , 1000x800 , 10.png )
851873

“Sorry, I’ve had a rough day. Do the jammer rooms have computers?”

>”Yes. I’ll get you a key and you can stay there for as long as you need.”

Usually I hate being in a jammer, but to be honest getting rid of the background noise of everyone else is a relief right now.

>Look up info on play and think about the Queen telling you to get ou-
No.

>Going off-world.
How would I get off-world? I can't afford a ticket, and even if I could then I’d be stuck somewhere in space completely broke. I’m barely competent on Astreneus V, I have no clue how to survive in space or on another world.

>Unskilled Labor
Generally, the Hive who owns the franchise or store just use teens or misbehaving kids. I certainly spent enough afternoons cleaning the theatre.

>Charities and Social Services.
Most popular charities are focused on newer or smaller Hives to the Tree who haven’t been able to get a good foothold into society yet, or Tribal grants to uplift neumono in more remote areas. A lot of them seem to be Hive run, but a few do seem to be looking for fill-in workers for menial jobs. Rogue specific charities seem to be government or alien run for the most part. They have a few numbers to call for fresh Rogues to call or to donate to the cause.

This line of research just ends up with me looking up more information on Rogues. I can’t seem to stop myself. It’s just pages and pages of how terrible we are. The drain we put on society, how miserable their lives are. It’s like quicksand.
>>
No. 851875 ID: c2051e

Who's that bitch at the door?
>>
No. 851876 ID: 3ce125

>>851873
Uhhh who is that
>>
No. 851877 ID: 86eb65

Someone looks to be pressing up against the glass. Might want to see what they want.

Well if rogues are looked so down on maybe you should tell there story. You were a Storyteller after all. Is that what you still want to do? Or do you want something else?

As for you thinking you are a unskilled nobody. Well if you are in fact unskilled go learn a trade. Something that will put food on the table and you enjoy doing.
>>
No. 851879 ID: 3ce125

Become a novelist. Nobody cares about your empathy when they're reading your book.
>>
No. 851880 ID: a633c6

Terrible 'we' are?

Alright, making lemonade from lemons; is there any tourism or traveling you'd like to do? Think of it like an unplanned vacation until your situation elucidates.
>>
No. 851882 ID: c88e6d

>>851873
That's because those pieces were written by hives raging at their rogues. Look up information on "Non-Associated" Neumono, like those in Jammer Cities.
>>
No. 851884 ID: 3abd97

>Rogue specific charities seem to be government or alien run for the most part. They have a few numbers to call for fresh Rogues to call or to donate to the cause.
Good. Save those numbers, write them down (see those art supplies are good for something) and check which ones are close to your location. Even if you're not a rogue, you're alone at the moment, and those people might be able to help.

>This line of research just ends up with me looking up more information on Rogues. I can’t seem to stop myself. It’s just pages and pages of how terrible we are. The drain we put on society, how miserable their lives are. It’s like quicksand.
Stop that. This is the internet. You don't know how reputable any of that is, and most neumono probably don't know much more about rogues than you did. So it's almost all probably spin and bias unless you find a reputable source.

>Who's that bitch at the door?
Be glad this room came with a key and a lock because there's some overly chipper weirdo at the door.

Don't open the door. Talk through it, or hold up a written message (art supplies, woo).

"Can I help you?"
>>
No. 851885 ID: bb78f2

>>851873
Maybe just pick up and call a rogue hotline already. Talk to someone instead of just letting these dumb articles get to you. And look up cases of mistaken rogues, where instead the hive was just really pissed at them, or they all had an off day and disliked the one hivemate who didn't. Basically, what if a whole hive went rogue and you didn't?
>>
No. 851886 ID: 1e7aa8

turn around in your seat and just fucking stare at that obnoxious asshole until she goes away.
>>
No. 851889 ID: 91ee5f

>>851873
.....hey, Mac, do you suddenly feel like you're being watched by someone that has a crazy big smile on their face?
>>
No. 851893 ID: 69c8aa

Know any aliens? Aliens don't care if you're a rogue or not! go talk to some aliens!. Also there is someone at the door. Who knows what they want.
>>
No. 851910 ID: c9f5a7

>>851884
Art supply communication!
>>
No. 851929 ID: 94bef7

Start a journal.
>>
No. 851932 ID: b4f880

>>851873
you know what, that's a little depressing to look at, spin that chair away from the screen so you're not tempted to click more links and read more stuff.
>>
No. 851934 ID: be84d2

Let me guess, that's a rogue that's originally from your hive.
Try research if its possible for hives to force a member to go rogue cause don't hives usually fight to stop rogues from happening?
>>
No. 851960 ID: 9e4723

Wow, i didn't knew hive neumonos could be so classists. Then again, some clans chase down and execute rogues, so i gess you have it easy.
You keep saying "we". Are you talking about "us", or the rogue in general?
>>
No. 851998 ID: de6d84

Flip your chair in a cool fashion to your right.
>>
No. 852005 ID: 2d1231

>>851873

Become the activist you always envisioned yourself to be. Start demonstrations and protests demanding for the better treatment of rogues, because obviously the reason it's all bad is because everyone's treating them like shit! Less than shit -- like, ... like rogues!

Okay that came out wrong. But let's call that number and see if we can't get information, a place to stay, and maybe begin to plant the seeds of rebellion.

Then your hive will totally definitely absolutely have to take you back, because you'll be too damn awesome not to keep.
>>
No. 852008 ID: 0d45a9

Hey, a lot of that is likely biased or untrue. You should check to see if one of those charities is based nearby, they might be able to help you, and given your use of "we" I take it you're starting to think this isn't a prank anymore?

Also, there's someone at the door, they anyone you know?
>>
No. 852011 ID: 31c0b2
File 151337396043.png - (142.17KB , 800x800 , 11.png )
852011

>>
No. 852012 ID: 31c0b2
File 151337401415.png - (101.64KB , 800x800 , 12.png )
852012

>>
No. 852013 ID: c2051e

>>852012
Well, I guess you can let her in then. If nothing else that rack is a nice view. It's important to make friends, Mac. Especially attractive ones.
>>
No. 852015 ID: 13cc26

I have a feeling she noticed your empathy earlier. Miiiight be sticking out more than expected.

I guess it can't hurt to let her give her spiel.
>>
No. 852018 ID: 0d45a9

Well this is fortunate, let her in. I guess the librarian or someone else phoned them after noticing how down your empathy was and/or what you were researching.

That also explains why seemed happy at you researching social services / charities.
>>
No. 852020 ID: 1e7aa8

Let her in I suppose.
>>
No. 852024 ID: a633c6

Let her in, ask her how she knew you were here- not to be standoffish but you have to admit her arrival is a bit convenient. Was your empathy that obvious? ...Did somebody send for you?
>>
No. 852025 ID: c2051e

>>852024
Mac's empathy literally got a roomful of mental daggers glared at her, so probably.
>>
No. 852026 ID: b4f880

>>852012
She's making the same wink + thumbs-up face as her ID, that's adorable!
Okay, see what she wants.
>>
No. 852028 ID: 3abd97

>someone actually called social services
This is going way better than I expected honestly.

Let her in!

>someone actually cared enough to call social services
Break down crying in response to this basic act of human neumono decency that you never expected to see again. You didn't think anyone cares! Your hive doesn't care! You're terrible!
>>
No. 852029 ID: 33d4be

Bring her in, then. Try to be nice! The reason rogues are so problematic is because they tend to be sad and/or angry, not necessarily because of being rogues in and of itself. I know it's hard, but try to be as positive as you can be!

By the way, how about a job in art/craft supplies? You may not be much of an artist yourself, but given the effort you put into your play, you do seem to have a strong grip on your tools. I'd bet you know all about different types of pens, pencils, paints, papers, canvas, carpentry, sculpture materials, instruments and so on, right?
>>
No. 852031 ID: 86eb65

Let her in.
>>
No. 852044 ID: 91ee5f

>>852012
She's from Social Services. I guess that means that she can help you with whatever's going on with you and your hive.
>>
No. 852077 ID: a633c6

Forgive my ignorance, what is 'ORS'?
>>
No. 852082 ID: 4854ef

You know.. Given that rogue's tend not to be liked and abused.. Is there a chance this one could be someone who might just be wanting to kidnap a rogue under false pretenses?
>>
No. 852086 ID: c88e6d

>>852012
OH THANK GOD, GET HER IN HERE YOU NEED A HUG.
>>
No. 852087 ID: 3abd97

>>852077
"Organization for Rogue Services", maybe?
>>
No. 852113 ID: 74f87e

>luvi
Oh god
>thumbs up + ;)
ooooooooooooh god
>ORS
orz
>>
No. 852132 ID: 6780f5

Open door, hold arms out and do your best not to cry from the joy of someone apparently caring enough to get you help.
>>
No. 852134 ID: a633c6

>>852082
Or someone might try to recruit you for a cult. As long as you're reasonably certain that ID didn't come from a cereal box you should be fine.
>>
No. 852163 ID: 9d39da

>>852086
Initiate hug and cry protocols
>>
No. 852170 ID: 2d1231

>>852163

Yeah, I guess it might be easier to let her in, shut the door, and just break down into a blubbering mass of sniffles and a totally convoluted and unintelligible backstory on how we got into this mess in the first place while simultaneously begging for help and/or to be let back into the hive because you'll do better you promise.
>>
No. 852173 ID: 33d4be

>>852170
>>852163

Let's try make a slightly better first impression than that. It's probably on the reports of this person that other people will be deciding how much assistance it's wise to invest in Mac. Social services have to perform a sort of triage when their resources are slim (and rogue services are probably pretty stretch), and a rogue who looks tough enough to become a contributing member of society will get more help than one who looks like they're just a sad sack. Mac's already worried about her employable skills so she needs to try compensate with personality as much as she's able.

Also we're still in a library.
>>
No. 852182 ID: 91ee5f

>>852173
>Also we're still in a library.
That's true.

Just because we're in an empathy proof room, that doesn't mean that it's also soundproof!
>>
No. 852184 ID: 2d1231

>>852182

I refer you to

>>852011
>>852012

where evidently we had to write down what we wanted to ask.
>>
No. 852185 ID: 91ee5f

>>852184
That doesn't prove anything about the room being soundproof. That's just us not wanting to open the door to talk to her.
>>
No. 852247 ID: c9f5a7

Have a good chat with them! Relieve some stress.
>>
No. 852282 ID: 15a025

Thumbs up, let her in.
>>
No. 852303 ID: bfb318
File 151348903867.png - (134.79KB , 800x800 , 13.png )
852303

I let Luvi inside the room and she bounces in the room before I shut the door behind her. These rooms aren't soundproof as far as I know, but they do muffle noises, so we have some measure of privacy.

>"Hello! My names Luvi and I am your case worker. You're Mac, right?"

She sounds as happy and hyper as she looks.

"Y-yes."

I'm choking up for some reason and my face feels wet. I barely restrain the urge to hug her, as I doubt some strange neumono clamping onto her would be appreciated.

>"Great! I've been looking for you for hours! Your Hive called, which is so amazing, because most Hives never even tell us they have a Rogue. We probably miss hundreds of newbies like that! Then they wander around the city and get into trouble or the police get involved or they try to jump from a bridge or, well, a lot of things can happen to a Rogue. But not you, because your Hive loves you, you lucky devil! But you had already left when I got to the theatre, so I had to go all over town asking after you! The librarian called us though and said she had spotted, get it, 'spotted', a mopey mouse in the library so I rushed over quick as I could. Aaaaanyway, my boss said that I'm legally obligated to read the following orientation, which I doubt is actually legally necessary, but if I don't and he hears about it he'll yell at me again, so I'll just get it out the way really quick."
>>
No. 852304 ID: bfb318
File 151348909085.png - (123.51KB , 800x800 , 14.png )
852304

She pulls out a crumpled piece of paper and reads through it in a clipped practiced tone.

>"Hello sir slash madam. We recognize that in this trying time you may want to be alone, but it is necessary to inform and acclimate you to your new situation. As a Rogue you are still a citizen of the Ultrahive and still beholden to its laws. Criminal acts such as attacking your case worker, committing suicide in a way that inconveniences the public and surviving, and behaving in an aggressive manner towards your former Hive will all be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law. For Rogues we have provided temporary dorms you may use for no more than fourteen days before vacating permanently. These days do not need to be used consecutively. Other rules regarding the Dorms will be explained onsite. We recommend searching for a job online or at one of the many temp agencies located throughout Queenwood. We at the Office of Rogue Services are available between ten to four Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to help with any inquiries you may have about your new place in our society. "

>"Then I'm supposed to give you 50 zeny for the bus ticket to the Rogue Dorms but they haven't given us the money for that in a while and I don't have any more cash on me so I just offer people a ride on my moped. Most neumono don't like touching me though, so I don't get a lot of takers."

I notice the phone she has attached to her hip is buzzing.
>>
No. 852305 ID: 3ce125

>>852303
>your Hive loves you
Ask her who said that, who contacted her. Someone in your hive might still answer their phone if you call them. On the other hand maybe they won't want to be seen picking up their phone.

Speaking of which yes you will accept that offer for a moped ride, but she should answer her phone first.
>>
No. 852307 ID: bb78f2

So... my hive knew I was a rogue before I knew... heck I still don't think I'm a rogue.

Are you sure they didn't just try to disown me because I'm so bad at everything? What if I'm a new or very rare type of rogue that isn't really a rogue, because I don't feel like a rogue, I feel like a fuckup?

Like seriously, I thought it was empathy disconnect that made one a rogue, just not being really bad at what a hive does compared to the rest of the hive. Like, I thought I would... feel that big disconnect boom? I was just told to get out. I don't hate them at all! I just want to go back home and do... anything for them. They still feel like home to me, for some reason!

I mean, you said my hive loves me, so... again are we even SURE I'm a rogue and not just a hive orphan? If my hive loves me, how can I be a rogue? Could this be a mistake? Can I take a test? Can I go back to my hive and plead for them to take me back? Could I just CHOOSE to not be a rogue? What if my queen just hates me so much for being such a shitty artist she declared me rogue, or is that impossible?
>>
No. 852308 ID: 3abd97

>your hive called
>hours
So the unreliable narrator time loss wasn't as bad as I feared.

>because your Hive loves you, you lucky devil
But then why did they make me leaaaaaaaaaave! *tears*

>But you had already left when I got to the theatre
Great so you could have just sat there and waited. Look what being productive got you.

>We recognize that in this trying time you may want to be alone
I don't want to be alone.

>committing suicide in a way that inconveniences the public and surviving
What passive aggressive asshole got the subtext "kill yourself in a way that doesn't make a mess and don't fuck it up" written into the mandatory speech given to mentally unstable people.

>Most neumono don't like touching me though, so I don't get a lot of takers.
It doesn't sound like she's adverse to hugs. Sounds like the opposite, actually.

>I notice the phone she has attached to her hip is buzzing.
Do... you need to answer that?

>what do / say
Um. Is there anything you do besides reading the speech and dropping me off at the dorms? Because I'm not sure I want to be there yet. I mean a place to sleep is nice but I'm not sure that's what I need yet.
>>
No. 852309 ID: 86eb65

Ask about the touching thing first.

And then ask her advice. Find out what she thinks you should be doing.
>>
No. 852312 ID: a363ac

>>852304
just give in and hug and cry and try to feel better by sharing your FEELINGS.
>>
No. 852313 ID: a633c6

So this isn't some monumental misunderstanding on my part? Who notified you, exactly? And, what's my best case scenario going forward? I could use some optimism.

If she needs to take that, you'll be right here.
>>
No. 852315 ID: 17c2ee

>>852304
Ask if hugging her counts as assault and point out her phone.
>>
No. 852316 ID: 2120ee

>>852304
Ask her if she's a rogue and if it's because of her total lack of empathy and tact. Lower case empathy, not- alien's have an awkward language, okay?
>>
No. 852317 ID: 9e4723

Well, for starters, thank her for being so considerate, even if it is just her job.
Secondly, what exactly is her work, and how can she help you/us (apparently).
Thirdly, her phone is ringing, so tell her that.
And finally, i tell her that you don't see any reason why anybody wouldn't like to touch her. At least is something about her empathy. That might be the problem, so just be prepeared for her empathy.
>>
No. 852320 ID: 094652

You know, a good indicator that your government is corrupt, held down by its own complexity, or just plain control-freak happy are any form of laws where suicide is a legal offense. If your decision whether or not to quit life is ignored by social workers but enforced through authority by a governmental entity, that's a form of thoughtcrime that should not be ignored as a threat.

Ask her to answer the phone while you take a few minutes to quietly whimper in the corner. Looks like she can take the empathy DoT, so ask her about the program and how much funding it lost this year.
>>
No. 852321 ID: 91ee5f

>>852303
>Hive called and reported a rouge.
So I really am a rouge?! *sniff* Would hugging be considered assaulting you? Because I could really use a hug right about now! *insert gross sobbing noises here*

>>852304
>I just offer people a ride on my moped. Most neumono don't like touching me though, so I don't get a lot of takers.
Probably because she reminds the Rouges of the happiness that they used to have and how they'll never be able to feel that way again.

>I notice the phone she has attached to her hip is buzzing.
Tell her about her phone.
>>
No. 852327 ID: de6d84

Er, do you do anything else?
>>
No. 852347 ID: 20a6e7

>committing suicide in a way that inconveniences the public
All subway users thank you for not doing this.
>>
No. 852352 ID: 6780f5

Just hug her, you fool.
>>
No. 852361 ID: c88e6d

>>852304
Ask her to never read that sheet to anyone again, as it's soul-crushingly depressing. Point out that it's basically just the Ultra-Hive rubbing it in, regardless of the intent. Also, you have money for a bus ticket!

...Though you should ask who in your hive actually called, because... let's be honest, they were extremely resentful of you all the time, even when you were completely united with them. Maybe one of your hive friends also went rogue? Or spends all their time wearing a Jammer so they aren't infected with the hive's extreme hateboner?
>>
No. 852363 ID: 1e7aa8

Stare blankly at her and tell her that her phone is buzzing and she should answer it.

If she looks away from you, try not to freak out at ALL of the implications you just got bombshelled with.
>>
No. 852364 ID: 13cc26

>mopey mouse
haha really

>committing suicide in a way that inconveniences the public and surviving
No really now did this make it past legal.

>We at the Office of Rogue Services are available between ten to four Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
You know, those office hours actually aren't too bad for what I suspect is probably an underfunded and understaffed organization.

>Most neumono don't like touching me though
Why?

Well, anyway, it's nice that your hive or some part of it still cares enough about you to call ORS.

Uh, but yeah... does ORS have any resources to offer besides two weeks of temporary housing? That's... I mean, it's better than nothing...

Also, yeah, ask if she needs to check her phone.
>>
No. 852370 ID: 2d1231

>>852304

1. Sit down.

2. Try not to cry.

3. Cry. A lot.
>>
No. 852374 ID: 33d4be

Ask if you can have a copy of that orientation message so that if you do anything bad you can leave a note saying "your legal team's terrible message to rogues made me do this".

Now, no crying yet! It looks like you're a little better off than most rogues, though I'm sure it seems like so little you have to try take heart from anything you can. Take her offer of a moped ride to the dorms, then point out that her phone is buzzing, in case it's a call saying she needs to go elsewhere. You can insist on going with her.

Ask if there's food at the dorms. And if there's any form of unemployment benefit, like even just a daily ration.
>>
No. 852385 ID: 0d45a9

>Your Hive called
Why would they do that? I mean, you were performing in your play, and the next thing you remember was your queen literally telling you to "Get out". It still feels like a big, unfunny prank. What decent hive would pull prank like this on one of their own?

>Speech
That is terrible, I can't think of a worse thing to say to a new rogue.

Point out that her phone is buzzing. While she answers it or whatever just try to take this all in. Do you need a hug? I think you need a hug.
>>
No. 852396 ID: 2d1231

>>852374

>Hive just called

... hang on, wait a second ...

Why would they call ORZ, err, ORS when they wouldn't even answer us trying to call and ring the doorbell and everything else? That just doesn't make sense.

What if we weren't actually a rogue all along we just pissed the matriarch off and now we've made ourselves go rogue from the mental shock of it all ...?
>>
No. 852421 ID: ee0c07

"Do you mind if I hug you?"
>>
No. 852438 ID: 681713

>>852304
We just want to know why we can't remember anything since the play.

... since when has surviving suicide been a crime? If it was an actively malicious act, like a suicide bombing or deliberate intent to cause harm to others, that would make sense. But surviving inconvenience? That's moronically stupid. What if they had changed their minds? Like if the poison doesn't kill them but people complain about the miserable empathy? Or they only shot themselves once and realized that it hurts more than anything and there's a noise complaint? That doesn't make any form of logical sense unless the message was "make sure you kill yourself."
>>
No. 852458 ID: 12b116

Ask who contacted her, at least to know who cares. What exactly are these dorms, and why don't people want to touch her?
>>
No. 852490 ID: c9f5a7

Man, they're going really far for a prank, commited.
>>
No. 852779 ID: 7a524b
File 151373433034.png - (96.55KB , 800x800 , 15.png )
852779

The only people in the Hive who call me Mac are kids from my generation or younger, so one of them must have called...telling them I am a Rogue.

"I-I’m not a Rogue though. I don’t want to be a Rogue. I still love my Hive. I just messed up again and I’ll fix it somehow and it’ll be okay."

>"That’s not how it works sweetie, trust me."

"Maybe we’re just having an argument? The Queen will calm down and then she’ll call me back and we’ll apologize and make up! I don’t feel like a Rogue!"

>"That’s kind of the point. You feel like you while your Hive feels like your Hive. Those two feelings just stopped meshing together. So, you went Rogue."

"But the Queen told me to leave, I didn’t- I’d never-"

>"I don’t know your Queen, but if I had to guess she felt you had gone Rogue but didn’t want to leave so she, well, forced you out. It happens when Rogues are a little too far in denial, nothing to be ashamed of."

"Maybe I’m not a Rogue but something else? And they’ll want me back?"

>"I hate to be blunt, but that’s a hard no. This didn’t happen overnight, and whatever differences you and your Hive have right now are not the kind you can fix after going Rogue. Telling you otherwise would be irresponsible of me."

I can’t think about this. I don’t want to think about this. Another subject. But...

"Your phone is vibrating, and that speech is terrible, and I don’t know what to do and I’m all alone, and, and..."
>>
No. 852780 ID: 7a524b
File 151373435244.png - (114.12KB , 800x800 , 16.png )
852780

"I’m a Rogue!"

I grab Luvi as tight as I can and start bawling while she hugs me just as hard.
>>
No. 852781 ID: 7a524b
File 151373436871.png - (113.75KB , 800x800 , 17.png )
852781

That was a mistake.

Her empathy is just so...happy. Like, unnaturally happy. It’s the most positively oblivious, sickly sweet,and saccharine I have ever felt a neumono be and it’s jarring. And it’s all encompassing, it’s like the only emotion she’s feeling right now. Maybe the only emotion she ever feels. I feel miserable but she’s beaming this cheerfulness into me and its stronger than how terrible I feel and it’s fucking with my head!
>>
No. 852783 ID: 86eb65

That is probably why she has this job.

Ask if her whole hive is like this. Or if its just the rogue thing making her feel unnaturally happy.

Honestly is probably not the worst disability to have.

Even if she is a bit odd to touch enjoy her being nice to you.
>>
No. 852784 ID: 33d4be

I suppose that's how she can be so enthusiastic about her job. Well, if it's fucking with your head, your head is currently pretty fucked anyway, so it's a sideways move. Try to concentrate on the physical feeling and ignore the empathy.
>>
No. 852785 ID: 17c2ee

>>852781
Damn, what happened to her? Needle trick?
>>
No. 852786 ID: a363ac

>>852781
Hug harder its better then letting go.
>>
No. 852787 ID: 3abd97

>she’s beaming this cheerfulness into me and its stronger than how terrible I feel and it’s fucking with my head!
Who cares if she's fucking with your head? Your head must be terrible if it went rogue. What's wrong with you if happy feels bad? You're terrible.

It's gotta be you. They wouldn't give a crazy person a social service job right? So if there's something wrong here, it's you, not her.

Just hold onto her, and make the conscious decision to tough it out. You don't want to be alone, even if it hurts. You don't care if the hug has thorns.
>>
No. 852788 ID: 9e4723

Oh, so THAT is why people doesn't like to touch her. Well, is messing your head in a bad way or in a good way?
Shit, Rokoa's empathy was creepy enough, now we have to deal with this one too?
>>
No. 852789 ID: 094652

>Abnormally happy
Capitalize. You can abuse her and she won't care.
>>
No. 852794 ID: a633c6

Let the happiness be contagious so you can function instead of breaking down in panic.

Then ask how the hell she can so happy what the hell happened to her.
>>
No. 852797 ID: bb78f2

>>852779
Ok... I'm a rogue, but why do I have to leave though?

I'm not in denial anymore... I just... if two hives can get along in an ultrahive, why can't they just consider me a neighbor hive? Is it actively harmful?

There's rogue support groups... right? I mean, this hug is awesome and I don't want to let go, but like the practicality of being a neumono not raised in a jammer city requires connection with many... so I guess I have to go to regular support group meetings now to even be a fascimle of normal? Or permanently live in a jammer city and get used to it?
>>
No. 852806 ID: 1e7aa8

Break contact. Forcing someone to BE happy is an awful thing to do, nevermind any of the OTHER whacky/scary possibilities about Luvi being a happiness singularity.
>>
No. 852814 ID: c88e6d

>>852781
Oh GOD. She has Empathy Control! Kick her in the fork and get away, she might be part Predator or something!
>>
No. 852815 ID: de6d84

>>852781
Keep this hug going! You need it.
>>
No. 852816 ID: 17c2ee

>>852814
>>852806
uwot

>>852815
Yeah, just try to relax a bit.
>>
No. 852832 ID: c8d2b2

>>852814
That's not warranted even if she were part predator. Don't be racist speciest prejudiced!
>>
No. 852842 ID: 830fb7

>>852781
Ask: "Why does this make you so happy, does seeing me like this make you feel better about yourself or are you just unable to sympathise".
Because being happy like that in this situation seems a little odd/unsympathetic.
>>
No. 852843 ID: 214cda

>>852781
She's not just a rogue.
She's an Ultra-Rogue.
>>
No. 852915 ID: 2d1231

>>852781

Let's ask her if she's always this happy or like, just really, really enthusiastic about her job.
>>
No. 852917 ID: 486e87

>>852781
It's still a hug, who cares if it's jarring.

Look, that speech is terrible right? With those warnings against doing things you weren't thinking of? That just means that enough new rogues are in a bad enough spot mentally that the ORS has to do some legal ass covering. But, since those warnings didn't apply to you, it means you aren't as bad as those rogues.

This is the bad day to trump all other bad days, but you're stronger than you think. You didn't react by panicking or breaking down, you went to the library and researched ways to help yourself, you took a step in the right direction and you can do it again. Now just hug it all out, things may be rough and you'll have to take things day by day, but you can do this.
>>
No. 852918 ID: b4f880

>>852781
Definitely weird, abort hug for now until not dealing with acceptance of life-changing situation.
>>
No. 852948 ID: c9f5a7

>>852787
It hurts but it's necessary.
Don't let go.
>>
No. 853010 ID: e95cec

Whether or not you let go is up to you. It might be better to fully process the sadness, or it might be better to have it softened by the presence of what's her bucket. Dunno, go with your gut.
>>
No. 853254 ID: 12b116

>>852781
Try to let some of her happiness lift your mood. Embrace it!
>>
No. 853262 ID: 7fad5d

>>852781
Take her as a wife.
>>
No. 853264 ID: a363ac

>>853262
yes
>>
No. 853265 ID: 28cb85

It might be the last happiness you feel for a while, even if it's not yours. Try and appreciate it.
>>
No. 853320 ID: aae99a

...Hold on to her until she moves to let you go, I’m not sure if this works the way I think it does but if her empathy is THAT strong, you might be able to ride that one-way ticket into a new hive, one you’ll fit into better than the one you just went Rouge from.
>>
No. 853323 ID: 7fad5d

>>853320
It doesn't.
>>
No. 853333 ID: 91ee5f

>>853320
Empathy doesn't work like that.
>>
No. 853335 ID: 6780f5

>>853333
Not with that attitude
>>
No. 853375 ID: 4421a6
File 151398527177.png - (128.84KB , 800x800 , 18.png )
853375

I squeeze her tighter as I lose control of myself. I don’t have the presence of mind to think of anything but what I’m losing. Every bad feeling drags up a happy moment with my Hive, which makes the hole inside me widen. Whenever I think I might be able to stop crying another experience I’ll never be able to have with them comes to me and sends me right back into conniptions.

Sock and I hanging out on whatever roof we can reach.

Calling J’raine in the middle of the night and barely even talking while we both work, but knowing she’s still there.

Teaching the kids how to draw and paint on the walls of our home.

Listening to the Queen tell one of her ten good stories for the hundredth time.

Attending a Festival and seeing all the amazing things my family has created since the last one.

All gone.



I’m not sure how long we hug. Eventually, I manage to pull myself together a bit. Luvi has been silent the whole time, just enjoying the hug and being sympathetic. I think at least, telling what she’s feeling beyond the cloud of sickeningly happy thoughts is almost impossible.

“Can I really never see them again?”

>“It may not feel like it to you right now, but visiting your Hive now would hurt even more than this. A clean break is usually best for everyone involved.”

“D-Does everyone in your Hive feel like this?”

>”No, my Hive had a pretty different outlook than I do. I understand what you’re going through right now.”

“What am I going to do now? I don’t know how to live without them.”

>”You’ll figure it out. We all do, eventually.”

“How can you be so happy as a Rogue?”

>”I’ve been like this as long as I can remember. I’m pretty unique though, don’t use me as a benchmark for Rogues in general. You’ll cope in your own way.”

I feel… not better, but more put together than I was before. I can think clearer now, and I’m not sobbing uncontrollably anymore.

>”Sooooo, do you want a ride anywhere? It doesn’t have to be the Dorms if you don’t want to go there now. And I won’t be offended if you want to be alone right now.”
>>
No. 853376 ID: 3b108e

Ask if you can go on a date.
>>
No. 853377 ID: 12b116

What are our options besides the dorms?
>>
No. 853379 ID: 3abd97

>>853377
Yeah, ask that. You're not sure just being warehoused is what you want to do right now.
>>
No. 853384 ID: 33d4be

She might be too busy to show you the dorms later, so you should do it now. Ask her questions about it, like if the dorm rooms are communal, if they're solo do they have jammers (a bunch of rogues all bouncing rogue feelings off each other sounds like a bad idea), and if they provide food.
>>
No. 853394 ID: 2d1231

>>853375

Maybe go together and get something to eat, talk a bit more, try and just ... get your head wrapped around it all? Ice cream or something like that. Maybe comfort-food instead (but nothing too hive-related).

Yeah, I'm gonna ship these two.
This is gonna be a shipping quest. Mac'n'Luvi is gonna be a thing.

>>
No. 853401 ID: 86eb65

Ask her if she minds sitting with you and giving you her advice before going anywere. She has been at this longer and must know the pitfalls you will need to watch out for.

How to find a place of your own. How to find a job. What to even do with yourself.

Get the basics of surviving as a rogue before you get slapped in the face with Rogue dorm life.
>>
No. 853402 ID: c88e6d

>>853375
Ask for a lift and then curl up into a ball. Also, consider finding a way to get enough cash to get off-world. Rogues might be happier in space, far, FAR away from the homeworld.

Maybe you can babysit for aliens who don't have empathy? They don't mind rogues, and you seem good with children.
>>
No. 853413 ID: 1e7aa8

"I'd like to talk a bit more with you about the office of rogue services and check the internet for any other resources I have access to so I don't have to stay at rogue town, a place I barely know anything about by the way, any longer than I have t.
>>
No. 853414 ID: a363ac

>>853375
a nice dinner.
>>
No. 853423 ID: 9e4723

>>853394
Fine, Mac/Luvi is a go!
Actually, i think spending time with her might be useful to. She is a Rouge, so she can teach us something, we learn from her, and we can get to know her better.
>>
No. 853424 ID: e1c8f7

>>853375
Soul food is perfect for the occasion. Ask if she has the time to join you.
>>
No. 853600 ID: 15a025

Ask more about the services they offer.
>>
No. 853601 ID: bb78f2

>>853375
I actually want to be surrounded by people... but without my hive I don't know how to do that.
The last thing I want to be is be alone.
>>
No. 853631 ID: 32cd1c

You should go find some aliens! you can have contact with people without worrying about empathy!

If you think you can get used to Luvi get a ride with her, but if her empathy is too repellent then don't bother.
>>
No. 853703 ID: 486e87

Ask if she has any suggestions? At the moment all I can think of is either more research (Internet or talking to Luvi) or taking care of basic needs (When was the last time you had anything to eat or drink?).

You've got some cash but that's going to run out eventually so you'll need to get a job or something like a apprenticeship. So ask if she has any advice about that? The ORS is bound to have contacts for that kinda stuff.

>>853376
Maybe, but not yet at least. Thinking of relationships right after going rogue (Esp after a realisation breakdown like that) is probably not a good idea. Talking to her to benefit from her experience with helping other rogues and actually being a rogue is a good idea though.
>>
No. 854176 ID: 5e9133

The dorms sound nice, but are there other options?
>>
No. 854535 ID: e95cec

>>853703
These all sound like good points
>>
No. 855194 ID: 471326
File 151479600894.png - (106.97KB , 800x800 , 19.png )
855194

>Ask Luvi on a date

…I may not be thinking as clearly as I’d like if these kinds of thoughts are running through my head.

I let go of her quickly, though she probably couldn’t tell exactly what I was thinking. A date is out of the question, for more reasons than I can name… but I am hungry. And she seems nice enough to take me to a restaurant or something.

I’ll probably ride with Luvi to try and save some money, even if her empathy is unpleasant, unless I can think of a reason not to.


Her phone, which was constantly buzzing this entire time, rings. She answers it immediately and lets the barrage of curses wash over her for a minute before talking into it.

>”Yes sir, I know sir. Yes sir. No sir. Yes sir.”

She hangs up and turns back to me.

>”Sooooo, I have to go pick up another Rogue and go back to my office. The ride is still on the table, but I have to leave as soon as I drop you off. Do you have an idea of where to go? The Dorm? Or maybe you have some friends you might want to spend the night with?”

“I don’t really have any friends like that. I’m kind of hungry I guess?”

>”Oh, I can drop you off at a restaurant, but if you don’t have any money I can introduce you to a friend a of mine! He loves helping new Rogues, and I’m sure he’d be willing to grab a bite with you.”

I can either go with her to meet her friend or have her drop me off at a restaurant or something. If I push it though, I have the feeling she’d cave and let me stick with her for a while longer on her job. That’d be clingy, though.
>>
No. 855195 ID: 7fad5d

>>855194
Sure, get introduced. Ask what sort of guy this friend is.
>>
No. 855196 ID: 1e7aa8

Here's an important question. Do you happen to have a phone with you? if you do, that opens up a lot of possibilities, such as saving the various rogue service numbers you just viewed into it for later use.
>>
No. 855202 ID: 91ee5f

>>855194
Go with the friend that loves helping new rouges! Anyone that can tolerate being near rouges seems like someone you should become friends with as soon as possible!

Ask if her friend is another neumono or an alien of some kind?
>>
No. 855215 ID: 830fb7

Say you'd be happy to meet her friend and ask her if she can pick you up on her way to the meeting with her boss after dealing with the other rogue, because possible job opportunity/ more info on this company.
>>
No. 855229 ID: 3abd97

>>855194
Geeze she's only been here a few minutes and they're already pulling her away? How she's supposed to do any case working if she's just acting as a taxi all day? (Like case workers are supposed to do stuff with people you thought)! Is this more bad luck for you or are new rogues really that frequent- oh no you don't want to know.

>if you don’t have any money I can introduce you to a friend a of mine!
Um. Is it okay if I only have a little money but I don't want to spend it because I have no idea when or where I'm going to get any more?

>what else
I'm... going to see you again, right? (You just had so many people you're never gonna see again and you're not sure you can take any more).

Also get her personal number so you can call her if you need help later.
>>
No. 855240 ID: 2d1231

>>855194

Let's ask Luvi if having another rogue would be beneficial to both ourself and this new person. Maybe as like, a rogue-icebreaker kind of thing. Might be easier to like, really just face this, you know?

If not, then let's meet up with her friend and get something to eat. Meet some people and try to stabilize our life.
>>
No. 855241 ID: 6780f5

I don't really think Mac is in any shape to help someone else be more accepting of their new rogue-ness.
>>
No. 855354 ID: e1c8f7

>>855194
You're going to need more friends, girl. See this dude she knows.
>>
No. 855935 ID: 69c8aa

Go see who this guy is. Seems like you've got nothing better to do, so why not! Maybe he's an alien!
>>
No. 855985 ID: 790f46

"Is a drive through on the way to your friend okay? Just to have your company a little while longer."
>>
No. 856182 ID: 94373f
File 151511034014.png - (179.39KB , 800x800 , 20.png )
856182

“Can you take me to meet your friend?”

>”Yup! You’ll love Kark, he’s one of the nicest people I know! He’s loves helping people out, it’s basically his day job.”

We leave the library and I notice the patrons mentally flinch once Luvi leaves the jammer. I’m not the only one who finds her strange. Her empathy is much less insistent when I’m not plastered on her but it still feels unnatural, like someone forcing themselves to be the happiest person in the room, but without any actual effort. We share numbers before we leave in case I need her later and she promises to answer ASAP if she’s needed. I believe her on that, at least.

Her bike is a bit old but looks sturdy enough to hold two normal sized neumono. She’s slapped a bunch of cutesy decals over, unsurprisingly.

>”Hold on tight, we’ll have to speed a tiny bit to get there in time for me to return to the office.”
>>
No. 856184 ID: 94373f
File 151511039617.png - (105.99KB , 800x800 , 21.png )
856184

As she drives me into Roguetown she rambles about a lot of stuff. She loves to talk. She does eventually land on the topic of her being my caseworker though, and I glean through her optimistic spin on everything that the ORS itself is pretty much useless. She mentions a few spots that are looking for unskilled labor that she might be able to get me hired at later, and emergency services I can call, but the ORS’s usefulness seems to start and end at keeping the Dorms open. I also get an earful of how great Kark apparently is. She makes the guy sound like a saint.

>”The suns still out so he’s either home or on some street corner, so we’ll check his apartment first. He’s up all day but he works nights at some company. Honestly, I don’t know when that boy sleeps!”

“Can’t you just call him to find out where he is?”

>”I would but he never keeps his phone charged! He’s a bit forgetful sometimes. But don’t worry, he’s super reliable. He’s always talking about how Rogues can accomplish great things if we put our minds to it and he loves to meet new ones. He even watches out for me, which is ironic considering my job and all, but that’s the kind of guy he is. A bit of a fusspot, but his heart is in the right place.”
>>
No. 856188 ID: 94373f
File 151511079302.png - (149.01KB , 800x800 , 22.png )
856188

I can feel neumono arguing as we pull up to an apartment building.

>“Kark! Where’s your rent?”

>“In your cunt you fucking hag!”
>>
No. 856190 ID: 3abd97

>he’s one of the nicest people I know!
>>“In your cunt you fucking hag!”
"Um. Did I just become the nicest person you know?"
>>
No. 856192 ID: 28cb85

Bit of a fusspot, huh?
>>
No. 856193 ID: 76c705

>Is that a Toya-lady landlord?
Kark seems like a huge jerk, say hi to him, his terrible empathy will probably balance out Luvi so definitely the person to meet.
>>
No. 856196 ID: 094652

"Did you run out of imaginary friends, or is denial part of a complete breakfast for Rogue survival?"
>>
No. 856197 ID: 86eb65

That is of course the proper response when dealing with landladies requesting rent.

Well let Luvi introduce you to the new guy and his pet thing on his head.
>>
No. 856199 ID: 9e4723

I already love this fella. Just look at all that carisma.
How is his empathy?
>>
No. 856201 ID: 90f3c0

Luvi probably likes literally everyone she meets, you'd have to to be 100% happy all the time.
Might as well meet the guy, maybe he's nice nicer than he seems.
>>
No. 856351 ID: a363ac

>>856188
hug Toya
>>
No. 856368 ID: e1c8f7

>>856188
"You sure about this?"
>>
No. 856376 ID: de6d84

Maybe Kark just hates the toya neumono lady only, you might be fiiine.
>>
No. 856377 ID: 33d4be

"Luvi, most people's definition of "nice" includes "comforting"."
>>
No. 856385 ID: 0a8ff8

Start a rogue only mercenary company!
It's a great idea, you get money, you get to go off world at other peoples expense, there's a high chance of dying, you get to work out all your anger, you're not leaving anybody behind to worry about you, you get to form a special kind of bond with the other rogues, it's perfect!
>>
No. 856386 ID: 6780f5

>>856385
That'd be great, if Mac wasn't a cuddle-hiver.
>>
No. 856393 ID: 4324ce

>>856386
Rogue only traveling Theatre troupe.
>>
No. 856692 ID: 15a025

>He’s a bit forgetful sometimes.
>“Kark! Where’s your rent?”

Mark might just having a bad day today. Maybe he'll be in a better mood once he sees some friendlier faces.
>>
No. 856844 ID: eef407
File 151536468299.png - (88.07KB , 800x800 , 23.png )
856844

“He’s one of the nicest people you know?”

>“Yup, and I know a lot of people!”

Luvi pulls up to the curb and waves at the Landlady and Kark as we get off her bike. The Landlady has a Toya perched on her head giving little excitable barks, and feels irritated while she flips Kark off. She doesn’t hold a candle to how pissed off Kark is though. I’m amazed he isn’t throwing things at her.

>”Hi Ms. Queen! This is Mac, I wanted to introduce her to Kark. Can you let her into the building?

>“Luvi. A tenant would need to sign her in, you know the policy. And Kark won’t get that privilege back until he PAYS HIS GODDAMN RENT!”

>“I’ll put it in your shitting coffin, crone!”

>“And he’s probably not going to do that for another couple of days.”

>“Aw come on Ms. Queen. She just lost her Hive and I think hanging with Kark would help her out.”

“I’m not sure if hanging out with Kark would help me out.”

>“Hmm. Kark you want to meet this girlie!?”

>“Fuck no!”

>“Alright then, I’ll let you up if you want, girlie. Long as Luvi vouches and ya don’t steal nothin’. If ya do, I will find you.”

>“Yeah, she will find you Mac. And she’s a lot better than me at it!”
>>
No. 856845 ID: 3ce125

>>856844
Tell her you're not that kind of Ro-... person.
>>
No. 856846 ID: 9e4723

I think we can manage to behave ourselves good enough. Can't say the same thing about our new friend up there.
>>
No. 856850 ID: 7fad5d

"What's your toya's name?"
>>
No. 856855 ID: a363ac

>>856844
Can I touch your Toya?
>>
No. 856861 ID: 3abd97

>Ms. Queen
Wait she's a queen? And you're not freaking out being around her?

>don’t steal nothin’
I wouldn't do that!

>what do
What's Kark's empathy like? Is this really a person you want to spend time with?

...I mean I guess worse case if Luvi's wrong and he's a jerk you can hang out in the building before going somewhere else.
>>
No. 856902 ID: 28cb85

You have depressingly little faith.

And if I stole anything, wouldn't it be Kark's problem?
>>
No. 856917 ID: c88e6d

>>856844
Ms. Queen seems like a cool person. She hasn't thrown a rock at you or complained at you or anything!
>>
No. 857106 ID: 78a3e5
File 151545978438.png - (162.07KB , 800x800 , 24.png )
857106

“I won’t take anything, I swear.”

>“Goddammit, don’t let her in! I’m busy today.”

>“You’re busy every day, buddy!”

The landlady heads to unlock the door while Kark curses at her for it. Luvi calling her Queen is weird, because she doesn’t feel like any Queen I’ve ever met. They all have this kind of… inherent charisma, I guess. It’s hard to describe, but Queens feel like Queens, no matter how big or small their Hive is. As far as I can tell the landlady just feels like a regular neumono.

“Luvi, why did you call her ‘Ms. Queen’?” I whisper.

>“It’s polite, silly. Also, she gets pretty miffed if you don’t call her Queen. So, don’t do that.”

Ugh, I can feel Kark focusing on us again. He feels not just like an angry asshole, but the angriest asshole. I can’t really imagine us getting along, but I don’t really have anywhere else to go.

>“Luvi! Why the fuck are you dumping this bitch on me!”

>”Mr. Greensea is pretty mad at me and another Rogue turned up on my docket so I have to deal with that, and I don’t have time to give her a good orientation. Just let her tag along and buy her some lunch, I’ll pick her up later! I’m sure you’ll teach her a lot.”

>“Fucking hell, you can’t just dump your problems on me because you hate making people mad! Tell Greensea to fuck off, he’s a coward.”

>”But he might suspend me then, and that’s bad for everyone. Come on, pleeeeeeease. It’ll only be a few hours and Mac’s really cool!” She punctuates this by wrapping an arm around me, making me cringe a bit.

>”She’s a fucking sadsack piece of shit, and I’m already up to my ears in those kinds of assholes! And don’t think I don’t think I don’t know about you going to that fucking Dowser again! How many fucking times do I have to tell you-”

Luvi’s weird empathy flickers for a second and she looks at her wrist before practically teleporting onto her bike.

>”Oh wow, look at the time, I should probably get going, bye Mac, bye Kark, I’m sure you’ll be best friends in no tiiiiiiime!”

She drags the last word out as she peels off on her bike, not even bothering to put on her helmet. Kark just glares at me until I follow the landlady inside.
>>
No. 857107 ID: 78a3e5
File 151545981942.png - (159.86KB , 800x800 , 25.png )
857107

The landlady seems to have calmed down a bit and is feeding the Toya a treat as it yips.

“So, Ms. Queen, what’s your Toya’s name?”

>”Drop the Ms, girlie. His name’s Dreamer. Lil’ bastard spends 90% of his time snoozin’.”

“Can I pet him?”

>”Nah, cause then it’ll be an hour before he shuts up. New people touching him amps him up like nothin’ else. Kark’s apartment is 216. Think ya can find it or do I need to guide ya?”

I can probably find the room myself, but if she takes me I can ask questions about Kark or the building, which seems to be filled with Rogues.
>>
No. 857111 ID: 86eb65

So I have been a rogue all of 2 hours so could I ask you for advice?

Mostly on what I should do first?
>>
No. 857114 ID: 28cb85

All of your learning experiences seem to depress you, might as well just keep moving.
>>
No. 857115 ID: 3ce125

>>857107
Guide please.

Ask who Dowser is, and if there are any residents here you should avoid or be careful around.
>>
No. 857116 ID: 9e4723

Ask for advice with Kark, he looks like a nasty piece of work.
>>
No. 857118 ID: 33d4be

"What do most of your tenants here do, professionally?"
>>
No. 857122 ID: 10c408

guide please. Ask Queen if Kark has any good side or if he's just a perpetually angry dude. Also what the deal with Luvi is.
>>
No. 857124 ID: c88e6d

>>857107
Ask for advice, seek a heavy lead pipe for protection.
>>
No. 857177 ID: 3abd97

>I’ll pick her up later!
Oh thank goodness she's coming back.

>>857107
If you don't mind, could you show me the way?

Is Kark always like that?

It's awful nice of you to let him stay if he's been late before and he talks to you like that.
>>
No. 857197 ID: caa73b

"What he fuck is wrong with those two? Luvi feels natural and Kark fells like the angriest asshole ever, like wish you could blow up planets with your mind angry!"

Is this how being a rouge works? You're either sad or angry?
>>
No. 857251 ID: de6d84

"A quick guide on the way is fine, thank you."
>>
No. 857379 ID: 56e50f

Ask her who the Dowser is then be on your way. You don't want to wear her patience thin.
>>
No. 857390 ID: 2d1231

>>857107

Could just ask a few questions before going on your own. I mean, she's right there. That way it looks like you're being responsible and learning what you're about to get into.
>>
No. 857482 ID: a43366
File 151555589415.png - (174.67KB , 800x800 , 26.png )
857482

Despite how much of a jerk Kark felt like, he wasn’t anywhere near as unsettling as Luvi. Kark may have been mostly angry, but there were still layers of other emotions to go with that anger, and even if I don’t know him well enough to tell them apart I can tell they were there. Luvi isn’t like that at all. If a normal neumono’s empathy was a song, Luvi’s would just be one high-pitched note holding the same tone, forever.

“Would you mind showing me the way?”

She doesn’t bother answering and I have to kind of half jog to keep up with how fast she walks away.

“Queen, you’re a Rogue, right?

>“What tipped ya off? Me being in Roguetown, ownin’ a building full a Rogues, or my sunny disposition?”

“Um, well, I’m a new Rogue and was wondering if you had any advice or anything? I don’t know what I should do. Like, about anything.”

>“Stay busy. Simple as that.”

I don’t think I’m going to get anything more specific out of her without asking something more precise.

“What should I do first, then? Like, right now. I would take literally any advice.”

>“Get a job. It’ll be shit, but money is money.”

“What kind of jobs do your tenants do? Is that where I should start?”

>”They do a bunch of shit. Hell if I can remember it all. They pay their rent or they get kicked out. Long as they don’t cause problems in the building I don’t give a fuck.”

“Is there anyone who lives here I should avoid, then? I mean, Roguetown has a lot of drug dealers and stuff right?”

>”If ya needed to avoid ‘em, they wouldn’t live round here.”

“What about Kark, is he always that angry? He mentioned someone named Dowser to Luvi, do you know who that is?”

>”Scammers. Forget about ‘em. And that bastard’s bark is worse than his bite. He barks all the fuckin’ time, though.”

“Why do you let him talk to you like that?”

>“’Cause he’s the only tenant I got whose dumb enough to argue but smart enough to pay.”

I guess she senses or at least guesses what my next question is going to be because she stops me in the hallway and turns to face me.

>”Luvi is broke in her brain. It ain’t gonna get better so it’s best to just let her do as she wants. Doubt she could hurt a fly, anyway. Hope you’re all learned up girlie, cause we’re AT THE ASSHOLES DOOR!”
>>
No. 857483 ID: a43366
File 151555591644.png - (148.66KB , 1200x800 , 27.png )
857483

I feel another neumono inside the room before Kark opens his door and scowls at us both.

>”If either of these bitches is here in a hour I’m putting ya damn head through the sidewalk.”

>”Go fuck Dreamer, you giant whore.”

They flip each other off and Queen leaves.
>>
No. 857490 ID: 17c2ee

Introduce yourself and ask them who they are.
>>
No. 857491 ID: 9e4723

This is your life now. A broken happy girl, a queen that daesn't give a fuck, and a guy with a shity actitude. And that one over there.
You better start lerning somthing from them, take what you can and start all over again. One step at the time. The rest will adjust it self alone.
>>
No. 857493 ID: 56e50f

Nothing ever came easy, Mac. Take a breath, square your shoulders, head in there and get some answers.
>>
No. 857504 ID: 3abd97

>>857482
Well, Queen seemed nice. At least, she's willing to talk straight to you, and was fairly no-nonsense.


>>857483
Um, hi? I'm Mac. Sorry about getting dumped on you and all.
>>
No. 857573 ID: 1e7aa8

Mac, it's very important that you start acting like you aren't one good emotional shove from being a gibbering wreck. Put on your game face and act at least a bit tougher than molten playdough or kark and his... acquaintence here are gonna walk right over you.

"Okay, level with me kark. Just how screwed up is Luvi?"
>>
No. 857605 ID: 0d45a9

Well, it's nice to get a bit of straight talk. From what it sounds like, this is a relatively nice place is roguetown, so it might be worth remembering this location if you need a place to live once you've found your feet.

Going off the name and the comment of them being a scam, I guess a Dowser might be a someone who tries to match rogues to hives on the off-chance they click? I guess Luvi uses one as a means to cope, a faint, maybe false, glimmer of hope.

As for Kark. Introduce yourself and apologise for being dumped on him. You didn't know that was something Luvi did.
>>
No. 857728 ID: a03802

It's like New York, where 'Fuck You' is a standard greeting!

Find out what Kark is up to and what he can do for you.
>>
No. 857734 ID: 2efe4b

"I guess I should have been more skeptical when Luvi suggested visiting you. She said you "loved helping new rogues" and would be "willing to grab a bite" with me, and I'm guessing that's not accurate either. Sorry. She's hard to read. But here I am, so... hi? Uh. Anything I could help you out with? As an apology?"

It probably would be a good idea to start getting one someone's good side, or at least their not-awful side, and try to pick up some new friends. Acquaintances. Compatriots?
>>
No. 857769 ID: c88e6d

>>857483
Say hello. Your empathy already indicates that you think these two hate you and you don't wanna be here so don't worry about mentioning it!
>>
No. 857830 ID: 4b8682

Well... this seems nice enough. Be polite and patient and things will work out.
>>
No. 857851 ID: de6d84

Introduce yourself proper.
>>
No. 858268 ID: 15a025

Ask Kark to introduce his friend to you.
>>
No. 858273 ID: 2d1231

>>857483

Interior designer. That's our new job.

Because clearly rogues are DESPERATE for someone to help make their homes not look like a horrible slum.
>>
No. 858468 ID: 1f4fbd

Muster up courage and say hi.
>>
No. 858689 ID: e95cec

>>858273
I was going to argue that surely it depends on whether she's any good at it, but then I noticed the room has solely a bare mattress on the floor.
>>
No. 858696 ID: 2efe4b

>>858273
>>858689

I think it's a question of finances rather than desire or capability. Rogues seem to tend towards low-income jobs and, remember, neumono need several times the food that a human does.
>>
No. 858760 ID: 78a3e5
File 151611142680.png - (161.74KB , 1200x800 , 28.png )
858760

Kark motions for me to come inside and as far as I can tell the only thing he owns is the mattress against the wall. The room is barren for the most part except for the three of us. The girl shoots me a dirty look but seems content to just glower in my general direction in a protective way that Kark is determined to ignore while he closes the door.

“So, are you renovating?”

>“Yes, I thought the room could use some more space to do fucking yoga. My apartment being empty is none of your damn business, alright?”

“Sorry, my bad. Um, Luvi said you ‘loved helping new rogues’ and, well, kind of gave me a different impression of you.”

>“No shit. The walking ball of sunshine didn’t give you a realistic expectation of the people who put up with her? That will be a theme with her, so take fucking notes.”

The girl is wondering who I am and that reminds me she may not have been listening to Luvi introduce me.

“Hi, I’m Mac rozu St-”
>>
No. 858761 ID: 78a3e5
File 151611146001.png - (107.41KB , 800x800 , 29.png )
858761

Oh no. An emotional trip mine. Apparently, I have those now.

They’re both confrontational, like they’re daring me to start crying again, and they are probably going to get their wish. The weight of being all alone hits me again because I realize I don’t even have my name anymore. Who even am I as a person anymore? I…

There’s an acting trick my Hive does, and I use that to stop another breakdown. I stop thinking about it. The person who thinks about that is no longer me. I am the me in this room talking to these neumono who are jerks. That is the beginning and the end of me.

The girl raises an eyebrow, probably reacting to how I just forcibly stopped myself from collapsing into a useless pile of tears again. Staying focused like this helps us put off empathy that believes we’re the characters we’re portraying, but it’s also useful for shoving emotions into a box for later. It’s basically just tricking yourself to be focused on what you’re doing and ignoring everything else. It’s difficult to get the hang of initially, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to keep up.

“I’m… Mac.” Saying that made my soul die a little, but at least I’m not sniffling.
>>
No. 858762 ID: 78a3e5
File 151611150125.png - (136.76KB , 1000x800 , 30.png )
858762

>”Least you ain’t a crier.” She says in a gruff voice.

>“Shut up. I already know your name, dipshit, and this bitch will inevitably call you something insulting, so good job almost punching yourself in the dick for no reason. She’s Marassa, a fucking psycho who is determined to ruin my life. If she tries to fight you punch her in the nose or something and she’ll stop. Or tear you apart. Either way one or two of my problems disappears. Now I’ll get you food and answer whatever dumb questions about rogue life you have itching to spew out of your gob, but I don’t have the patience for a fucking to sit on the fucking floor and have a hug triangle with people I can’t stand, so it’s going to be while we walk.”

He heads for the kitchen where some clothes are draped on the kitchen counter.

“Well, I appreciate you helping me out,” We both know that statements a lie, but we let it pass. “If you need help with anything I’ll do what I can.”

>”Good, because if I’m feeding you, you’re working. I got shit we have to move. Grab whatever you can carry in the closet while I get dressed.”
>>
No. 858768 ID: 3d2d5f

Yeah these guys are unhelpful jerks and living up to the stereotype of mean rogues. I don't think you're getting much out of them besides food and a place to stay (for now) grudgingly.

The love freak was better than them, although you can't trust her recommendations of people if she literally can't tell who's a jerk.

>I got shit we have to move. Grab whatever you can carry in the closet while I get dressed.
Might as well. Keeping busy and playing a role will help keep you sane in the short term.
>>
No. 858775 ID: 10c408

"You got any suggestions for where to find work so I don't have to go homeless?"
>>
No. 858777 ID: fda98a

Oh boy, we are in it for the ride. This is going to be harder than i thought. Ok, this is stil useful. You are lerning to endure, keep it up. They are jerks, but you can stil learn from them. Take anything you can, you can't be fussy about it.
>>
No. 858787 ID: 2d1231

>>858762

Kark is secretly a giant softy who had to put on a rough and caustic exterior to get by after becoming a rogue and facing the horrific resistance and pressure of those who once were his friends turning hostile against him.

It is now our duty to bring out that sad, scared little guy and get him to open up again.

(Also to redecorate his apartment.)
>>
No. 858795 ID: 7fad5d

>>858762
>>858768
Judge people by their actions, not their words. I think >>858787 is going a bit far but it does seem reasonable that a lot of rogues put up fronts to get along.

Help him carry his stuff. Where to?
>>
No. 858796 ID: e1c8f7

Remember, this is just a stepping stone to getting on steady ground. It's not like you haven't moved a bunch of stage equipment and props before.
>>
No. 858847 ID: 5322c5

>>858761
What a ridiculously cool trick. I wonder how far it can go.
>>
No. 858909 ID: 2d1231

>>858847
>>858761

OH FUCK.

What if we tricked ourselves into thinking we're a rogue?! By being so overly good at this trick that our empathy got stuck!?

... nah, that's too crazy.
>>
No. 858953 ID: a43366
File 151616051655.png - (159.79KB , 1000x800 , 31.png )
858953

>What a ridiculously cool trick. I wonder how far it can go.
A lot farther than I can take it.

“So what kind of jobs do Rogues do to keep roofs over their head?”

>“Shitty ones almost exclusively. Marassa here works in a factory that is definitely going to drive her into a murder spree eventually, and I work 12 hours a day in a tiny ass cubicle barely able to keep from smashing my head into my fucking monitor. And we’re lucky because we get paid decently at least. If it’s just getting a job though, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Unless you have a record longer than my arm, Luvi will find you something. She’s real fucking dogged once she gets her teeth into a rogue that doesn’t instantly try and get away from her.”

“What exactly is wrong with Luvi? Queen said she broken and I’ve never met a neumono like her before.”

>”Wow, you’re a nosy fuck too, huh. Well Luvi broadcasts it everywhere she goes so it’s not like it’s a secret. Her Hive fucked her up, even if she’d never admit it. I don’t know the details, but I’d say whatever they did to her retarded her emotionally, and then once she got too grating to be around they kicked her out. She gets fucking insufferable if you hang around her too long. And my apartments fucking fine, stop thinking about it!”

“Sorry. Where are we going?”

>“Not that far. I got some fuckers to yell at before I go to work, then you can help Marassa get this shit back here.”

There’s a small foldable table, a few boxes filled with pamphlets, a megaphone, and a soapbox in the closet along with some stuff he wants me to leave alone. I’ve moved stage stuff before, and most of it was way more unwieldy than this.
>>
No. 858956 ID: 2efe4b

Wow, a genuine old-fashioned soap box? That's dedication. Well, you can put some of that stuff in the soap box to help carry it.

I still think art&craft supplies is the career path for you.
>>
No. 858958 ID: 3ce125

>>858953
Okay I guess it's time to shut up and do chores.
>>
No. 858960 ID: 7fad5d

>>858953
If there's a chance to talk about stuff later, ask about places to stay, whether here or elsewhere.
>>
No. 858975 ID: a633c6

Time to make yourself useful!
>>
No. 858980 ID: a43366

You can still ask questions to Kark by the way, sorry if that was unclear.
>>
No. 858991 ID: fda98a

>>858953
Gee, we were just asking the obvious, not prying into the life Luvi. Is better to know something about someone instead of nothing, you have less chances to say something inappropriate. Guess is time to get some sweat.
>>
No. 858996 ID: e15801

I wonder why Kark has all of this promotional stuff. What if Kark is secretly a rogue rights activist?
>>
No. 859038 ID: c88e6d

>>858953
Flip the soap box over and use it to carry things. Be polite and do your best to not take their self-destructive raging too personally.
>>
No. 859142 ID: 56e50f

Looks like you're going to spread the good word. Ask if any of the skills you have could get you a related job.
>>
No. 859264 ID: 3abd97

>I’ve moved stage stuff before, and most of it was way more unwieldy than this.
There you go, see, your life experiences have prepared you for something.

Might want to check if the boxes filled with pamphlets are strong enough to hold them (people moving often sort stuff and end up with a whole box of books only crap books are really heavy box destroyed) before you start moving them. If you're going outside, make sure they're closed so they can't blow away.

>whatever they did to her retarded her emotionally
Broken heart at the thought she's always that happy as some kind of defense mechanism against some kind of horrific abuse.

>You can still ask questions
What's all this for? You promote something?
>>
No. 859288 ID: 0b650c

Urge to just up and fucking leave rising.
>>
No. 859296 ID: 7fad5d

>>859264
>Broken heart at the thought she's always that happy as some kind of defense mechanism against some kind of horrific abuse.
I get the impression that it's not specifically a coping mechanism for abuse, but because she literally never developed beyond some infantile happiness sort of thing, emotionally speaking.
>>
No. 859297 ID: 3ce125

>>859296
The facade briefly broke though.
>>
No. 859300 ID: bb78f2

>>858953
So... Luvi's not technically a rogue? Or a rogue in the way we rogued, she's just got... destroyed empathy and her hive couldn't take it anymore? Or is that still rogue by regular definitions? I mean hell, my hive just told me to leave and I didn't get it. Was it the same way with you, or did you notice first and needed to leave on your own?
>>
No. 859303 ID: e95cec

>Luvi probably got abused
:_(
>>
No. 859345 ID: 1e7aa8

Get a little defensive at Kark labeling you as nosey while you flip the soap box for easier transportation. "Look, I literally just become a rogue and am now meeting people I've never met before while under incredible duress. Of course I'm gonna ask questions."

now be as helpful as possible while snarking at him.
>>
No. 860019 ID: 15a025

Check out the pamphlets and see what they're about?
>>
No. 860143 ID: 68550e

Take a peak at a pamphlet.
>>
No. 861314 ID: a43366
File 151681720196.png - (144.15KB , 800x800 , 32.png )
861314

I flip over the soapbox and put my part inside. The box seems sturdy enough to hold everything, most of which are the pamphlets. There are a few different kinds, but most seem to be generic information pamphlets targeted at rogues. One box seems to be dedicated to something called ‘Circle Theory’ that has a picture of a bunch of neumono in a stylized circle.

“I wasn’t trying to pry Into Luvi’s life, but she’s… basically the only person I know now! If she’s my caseworker shouldn’t I know more about her?”

“She’s fine as a caseworker. Usually. Her personal shit shouldn’t matter.” He ignores my indignance at that.

“You’re saying she was abused by her Hive somehow, but that’s impossible. Hives can’t do that to each other.”

“Yeah, talk to me in a week and see if you still think that.”

“Wait, do you think my Hive abused me!”

“Goddamn it, put your hackles down. I don’t give a shit what happened with your Hive.”

“Nothing happened with my Hive! They love me and they’re great! The best!”

“Alright, they’re fucking saints, I’m convinced. Will you drop it before Marassa goes off too and you both fuck up my deposit?” The redgrass snuck up next to me at some point when I started yelling.

I get back to work. I cool off quickly, but Marassa still stays a little closer to me. I want to stay silent after my little outburst, but I have too many questions that I need answered.

“If your Hive can’t stand you anymore they can make you go away? Does that technically make you a rogue? Was it like that for you?”

“Little tip, asking rogues how they left their hives isn’t the best way to endear yourself to them. Lucky for you, I’m not a little bitch that has fucking PTSD because a bunch of egotistical jackasses don’t like me anymore.” He faces me as he ties his tie. “My hive sent me and some others on a long-ass trip. When I got back I realized I had drifted a lot farther than the others, so I told them sayonara and got on with my own shitty life. If I was delusional I could probably have hung around for a few more years, but there wouldn’t be much of a point. A rogue is a rogue. Some realize it over time and some have epiphanies, but it’s binary. You’re either with your hive or you’re not, and everyone knows where they stand deep down. Now grab your shit and come on.”
>>
No. 861315 ID: a43366
File 151681727149.png - (199.68KB , 800x800 , 33.png )
861315

“What kind of jobs do you think I could get?”

“The fuck should I know? I’m guessing you don’t have any higher education. Do you have any marketable skills? Ugh, nevermind, don’t make your empathy any mopier than it already is. The service industry is always looking for new bodies to chew up. If you want to be proactive beyond that, ask people who look like they have money to hire you.”

“So, should I use my Dorms stay tonight? I guess I have to, I don’t have anywhere else to go, but two weeks will go by fast.”

“Don’t get him started.”

”Fuck you. The rogue dorms are the worst fucking idea the ORS has come up with, and all their ideas are fished out of their fucking toilet. Dumping a bunch of emotionally unstable, depressed maniacs in the same building immediately after going rogue probably fucks them up worse than going rogue in the first place. The dipshits feed into each other’s self-pity and by the time they get kicked out they’re even less motivated than before. It’s a vortex of empathetic scum consuming each other and if I wouldn’t be the first fucking suspect I’d have burnt the place down months ago.”

“You got him started.”

“I said fuck you! If I was you I would ask Queen if she has any cheap places available. Don’t step foot in that shithole unless you’ve given up on ever being worth something as a person.”

“Luvi would probably let her stay rent-free.” Marassa chuckles.

Kark rolls his eyes. “Yeah, and she’d get her psyche rubbed raw for a few months. Totally worth saving twenty grand a month.”

“What’s this stuff for?”

“What I spend the other 12 hours of my day doing. Trying to convince rogues to stop being terrible. It’s as successful as you’re thinking.”
>>
No. 861317 ID: a43366
File 151681743187.png - (112.67KB , 800x800 , 34.png )
861317

“Damn. Mund’s pigs are here.”

“Should we go someplace else?”

“Not if we want to eat. I don’t have enough time to go someplace else to talk, eat here, and get to work.”

“Rocco’s isn’t the only the restaurant in the district, Boss.”

“If I’m not paying you, I’m not your boss. Fine, whatever. Up to you, newbie. You want decent food from a mostly reputable cook or to go to some shithole where they probably cook up family toyas, which will be every place in walking distance.”

Putting this stuff down would be nice but I could probably carry it to wherever else he takes us.
>>
No. 861318 ID: c2051e

Gee, it seems like despite a few knee-jerk suggestions and his attitude Kark actually is a decent guy. A-mazing~

Mund is probably some sort of corrupt or bigoted cop. Ask Kark about her so you know what to expect, but it's probably worth eating at Rocco's anyway.
>>
No. 861319 ID: fda98a

Ok, i think i am starting to see somthing here. He is a jerk, yeah, BUT, until now he has done nothing but giving you actually good tips. Don't even think about it much, just keep listening.
And if those pamphlets are for giving a message to the roges to be productive, then there must be some interest of him put in this. Or maybe not and he is just for the little mony he can get. Again, don't think too much abot it. You might not as scrwed as you think.
>>
No. 861320 ID: 86eb65

You are going to have to learn somehow. Best to find out now.

And Kark seems like a good guy. We are lucky to get his experience.

I would consider shacking up with Luvi to save funds. At least for the first few days. Don't go to the dorms if you can help it.
>>
No. 861335 ID: 3d2d5f

>“Luvi would probably let her stay rent-free.” Marassa chuckles.
>Kark rolls his eyes. “Yeah, and she’d get her psyche rubbed raw for a few months. Totally worth saving twenty grand a month.”
It would sort of feel like taking advantage of her too. I don't think she has it in her to say no.

>If I was you I would ask Queen if she has any cheap places available
Not a bad idea, Queen seemed reasonable.

>Up to you, newbie
Is the problem that those two are hard on rogues, or do they have a personal grudge?

If it's personal, they don't know me. You could send me in to grab takeout for us and you'd not have to cross their path.
>>
No. 861383 ID: 2efe4b

Go to Rocco's, I'd say. Best to just barrel forward as much as you can. Get into the mindset of not taking more time than you need for things. Your momentum will probably slip eventually and you'll want to start off as high as possible.
>>
No. 861393 ID: de6d84

Why, what's up with Mund? Or at least the guys under them?
>>
No. 861464 ID: c88e6d

>>861317
Okay, so Kark is INCREDIBLY pissed off all the time, but his personality is pretty okay aside from that and he seems very perceptive. Explains why Queen wanted you to hang out with him, he knows about pitfalls to avoid.

That copy is gonna fuck with you because you're rogue/with rogues, so just try blanking yourself out and pretending you're just a box-carrier carrying boxes. Embody box-carrying. You are THE box-carriest.
>>
No. 861757 ID: e1c8f7

>>861335
Basically this. If it's a personal problem with them, you can get the food for them since you'd still be considered an outside party.
>>
No. 862831 ID: 5db0a7
File 151719007431.png - (109.40KB , 800x800 , 35.png )
862831

“Who’s Mund?”

“The last bitch you’ll ever want to meet.”

“If you think they’ll be a problem for you guys, I can go inside and order for us.”

“Oh, they’ll want to be a problem. We’ll see if they will stay on their leash. Forget about them for now, they probably won’t start shit with you until they’ve seen your face around for a bit and they’re sure you’re a rogue.”

We go to the corner across from the restaurant and set our stuff down. A few neumono seem to recognize Kark and start loitering. The police ignore us, probably because Kark and Marassa aren’t the only ones who are sending an unfriendly vibe out to them.

“Marassa, get set up. Follow me.”

Kark walks into an alley next to Rocco’s and exerts a lot of self-control to not give the cops a rude gesture as we pass.

“Aren’t we going to Rocco’s?”

“We are. But not that soulless knockoff that the bloodsuckers ‘rebranded’ to serve alien shit.”
>>
No. 862832 ID: 5db0a7
File 151719017088.png - (209.10KB , 800x800 , 36.png )
862832

He stops us in front of something I would not call a restaurant, even though there are a few benches around and a couple of people eating food I can’t identify. Kark drops some money on the counter and the cook grunts in response.

>“Regular for me and Mar, greenie can order for herself. Try not to shed in it this time.” He turns back to me. “Bring us our meals when they’re ready. I have to go bang my head against a wall for an hour.”
>>
No. 862835 ID: 6780f5

Stewed enemy stew, absolutely.
>>
No. 862837 ID: c2051e

Stewed Enemy Stew.
>>
No. 862840 ID: 10c408

Ask about the imitation arkot salad.
>>
No. 862841 ID: 3abd97

>>862832
You might want to check what the other two's regular is.

So far we haven't seen any evidence this is a coastal town, so the fish probably isn't the best.

The stewed enemy stew sounds good and hearty. Does it come in a bread bowl?
>>
No. 862847 ID: 91ee5f

>>862832
Get the Stewed Enemy Stew. dont complain about the taste or anything and just be glad you got some food.
>>
No. 862850 ID: 130855

Ask what Kark got first of all. Grilled arkot salad would sound good if it wasn't fake. Go for the stewed enemy stew I guess. Hard to go wrong with stew.
>>
No. 862859 ID: 12b116

Definitely the stew
>>
No. 862860 ID: 12b116

Definitely the stew
>>
No. 862862 ID: 56e50f

The meat seems like a safe choice. Blue rare if you want to change it up a bit.
>>
No. 862873 ID: c88e6d

>>862832
Stewed enemy? Probably Neumono or Voklit. Everything else is probably too rare or doesn't come close enough to this city to be worth hunting.

I recommend Bowl of Not Fish.
>>
No. 862884 ID: 094652

Well, its' good for your budget... right?

Check the prices, make sure they're lower than the regular storefront. Get something that's cooked and high-calorie.
>>
No. 862890 ID: 4854ef

Get some stewed enemy.
>>
No. 862934 ID: de6d84

Stewed enemy stew all the way.
>>
No. 863088 ID: e95cec

We...could check what's in them.
>>
No. 863091 ID: 6780f5

>>863088
That sounds like the coward's way
>>
No. 863092 ID: c2051e

>>863088
Boring and a waste of update time. I recommend just picking what you think sounds good.
>>
No. 863099 ID: 0b3539

>>863088
We can ask later when it's less important and also when the obvious response will have maximum schadenfreude.
>>
No. 864388 ID: 15a025

'Bear' Steak sounds interesting.
>>
No. 864521 ID: 38de21

Stewed enemy because of the name
>>
No. 864618 ID: e95cec

>>863099
>We can ask later when it's less important
This has made it into my list of funny quotes.
>>
No. 864671 ID: 92dd1f
File 151781774664.png - (120.93KB , 800x800 , 37.png )
864671

“What’s in the imitation arkot salad?”

>”…Not arkots.” Yeah, he’s lying.

“’Stewed Enemy Stew’, please.”

He gives a toothy smile, goes in the back, and returns quickly with a big bowl of the soup. It does smell good.

>“Kark and Marassa’s food will be done in about 15 minutes.”



I sit at the bench and start scarfing down the best stew I’ve ever had, with ingredients I don’t want to think about too hard. I hadn’t noticed just how hungry I was. It’s way past noon and the last time I think I ate was before the play, which was also around noon, so it’s been maybe an entire day since I ate?

My memories of what happened after the play keep slipping through my fingers. I think I got emotional with the Queen, but I’d never do that! It’s frustrating but also pointless to dwell on now. I should focus on my current situation and it’s pressing issues.

I need a place to sleep tonight. So far, my options are going to the Dorm or spending money I can’t afford at a motel. Or, if Marassa wasn’t just making a joke, asking Luvi for a place to stay. Long term finding a place to stay will probably be a lot harder. I think Kark said his rent was 20,000 zeny. I have no idea how to get that much money, let alone find an apartment. Maybe I could crash with someone for a more long-term solution, but the list of extrahive acquaintances I’ve talked to in the last year only has a few names, all of whom I met today. Otherwise the only thing I can think of is to talk to Kark’s landlady.

I have 3000 zeny and some change in my bag. I’ll need a job to support myself eventually, but I don’t really know the first thing about money. My Hive pooled any money we earned into an account and once we got old enough the Queen gave us cards to pull money from it as we needed. I’ve never had to seriously worry about it before. Either way I’ll need to budget my money as I can’t count on free meals every day.

Everything I own that I’m not wearing is in my bag which has two sketchbooks, some spray-paint and a bunch of brushes, pens, pencils, and probably some other crap I tossed in over the years. My wallet has my ID card, but I’m not sure if it’s still valid. It occurs to me there’s still a lot I don’t know. Do I have to live in Roguetown? I never really gave it a thought before now, but I’m not even sure if rogues are legally allowed to live anywhere else. Will I have to set up a bank account? Can rogues even get bank accounts?

…The guy across from me wants something.
>>
No. 864675 ID: 2efe4b

Across from you... you mean the cook? He's not looking at you. Maybe he sensed you thinking about how poor you are and wants the money for the food? In this sort of place you usually pay first, while you wait. Ask him what he wants, politely. Keep an eye on your bag, make sure someone doesn't grab it. You never know, you have empathy and all but you might get really distracted.

As for a job, I'm telling you, girl: art + craft supplies. Somewhere out there, someone needs someone who knows the difference between oil and acrylic based paints. Or at least, someone who knows that and is also willing to work low wages.
>>
No. 864686 ID: 35089a

you could always sell your body for money both figuratively and literally
>>
No. 864693 ID: 4854ef

It might be worth talking to Ms. Queen in order to discern what sort of places she has available. Just because those two pal up together in a more expensive place doesn't mean that's all she has as she likely has cheaper options.

If nothing else, you don't have much to your name so even a live in closet would be better then sleeping out on the street. Luvi is also an option, she'll likely feed and give you a place to stay, at least hopefully till you find a job and I'm certain you'll be quick to find a job under her empathy.
>>
No. 864694 ID: a633c6

Alright, plan of attack- Ask luvi to start looking for a place, then go to the Dorm. Find somebody there who isn't totally dead to the world and you've got yourself a roomie. Then all you have to do is find a job.

Ask the guy what's up.
>>
No. 864697 ID: c88e6d

>>864671
He might be trying to pick you up as a prostitute but... Does your civilization even have prostitution? I figured all the Hive Neumono could just bone their hivemates, and all the ones without Hives tended to have empathy that expressed their pain and rage on a broad spectrum.

Maybe he just wants you to do something for him that doesn't involve vices?
>>
No. 864703 ID: 6c2cf5

regarding that guy who wants something; are you sure that he wants something from you? He could just be wanting something in general from here or someone else.
>>
No. 864722 ID: 3d2d5f

>place to stay
Talking to Queen about possibly getting a place to crash is probably a decent first step. She seemed a good landlady.

And if you need goals and motivation to survive as a rogue, earning your own home is a good first step. And it has to be healthier to have something you can call your own instead of depending on charity.

Crashing with Luvi might be an okay fallback position if you can't do better, but that really feels like taking advantage. The poor girl is too nice to say no, and you really shouldn't exploit whatever is wrong with her for your own gain.

>My wallet has my ID card, but I’m not sure if it’s still valid.
If it's governments issued, probably, although you might need to get it updated or replaced as you're no longer legally recognized as part of your hive (assuming your hive appears on the ID at all). If your hive issued it, it's definitely dead.

>Do I have to live in Roguetown? I never really gave it a thought before now, but I’m not even sure if rogues are legally allowed to live anywhere else.
Actual laws about where minorities can live are unlikely to be on the books due to human influence and an ugly history on the subject.

More likely it's a combination of social and ecconomic factors. You may find it hard to afford living outside of roguetown, and hive-mono won't want you as a neighbor. And other rogues are the closest thing you have to a support network right now.

>Will I have to set up a bank account? Can rogues even get bank accounts?
I imagine it'll be the same kind of accounts aliens get. Set up for one person to use instead of a bunch at once.

>…The guy across from me wants something.
Which guy? Getting anything else emphatically?

I'd be careful, you were just thinking about zeny and possessions, and you stand out as a newbie rogue. Could be someone looking to take advantage.

Let's just start with a hello, see where he goes from there. Don't agree to anything.
>>
No. 864725 ID: 877f03

Mercenary! Come on it's a great idea!
Talk to Kark about it, you could recruit straight out of the Dorms.
>>
No. 864733 ID: b7e0a2

I smell a crime spree brewing!!!
>>
No. 864744 ID: b1b4f3

>>864671
Dorm is shit. Ask Luvi. Someone could use a roommate, that's your best option. 20k zeny rent split like four ways isn't nearly as bad.

>guy wants something
Get a better grip on your bag(just in case). Then say "Can I help you?"
>>
No. 864755 ID: 78a3e5
File 151785605672.png - (126.68KB , 800x800 , 38.png )
864755

Miscommunication between art and words, Mac was supposed to be on the bench not the counter. Apologies for confusion.

>Mercenary
I assume anyone wanting to hire a fighter would want someone better at it than me. I took some of the Ultrahive’s mandatory training last year, but I think knowing which way to point a gun only makes me qualified as a meat shield. Which I don’t want to be. That being said, I think I heard somewhere getting hired for Mercenary work is the easiest way to get off-planet. The company generally pays for transport and lodging for the months-long journeys.

>Working with art.
Finding a place that would let me use my art experience would be great, but I don’t really know where to start. I guess I’ll ask Luvi next time I see her?

I guess my current plan is to avoid the Dorms and try to see if Luvi will put me up for cheap for a little while. I’m not looking forward to being in her presence for very long, so I’ll be looking for a more permanent place as soon as possible. Hopefully Kark can tell me where to find Queen to see if she has cheaper places. I’ll also look for a roommate, though again maybe Queen will be able to connect me with some people who need them. I’ll worry about the price when I know what options I have.

>He might be trying to pick you up as a prostitute but... Does your civilization even have prostitution?
There are a few brothels in the city. I’ve never been in one but if there’s multiple I guess they must do okay business. The idea of sleeping with strange neumono or even aliens is deeply disgusting to me though, and that’d be obvious if I ever had to do it. Which I won’t.


The guy slides down the bench away from his neighbor and food until he’s in front of me, but I think the sudden revulsion I felt was apparent because he puts his hands up to placate me before speaking.

>“Whoa hey, I’m just trying to start a friendly conversation. Nothing untoward, I promise.”

“Sorry, I was just… thinking some things over.”

>“You seem pretty stressed, kid. Bad day?”

“The worst of my life.”

>”Yeah, that’s coming across pretty clear. Need something to take the edge off?”

Some bitterweed would be pretty nice right now, to be honest.
>>
No. 864759 ID: c2051e

That does kinda assume it's something as harmless as bitterweed. There's a real risk he's trying to get you dependent on a much harder drug to exploit you. Ask what exactly he means.
>>
No. 864761 ID: b1b4f3

>>864755
Can't you just buy bitterweed at a legitimate store? This guy's a drug dealer and you do not want anything harder, or any tainted bitterweed that he gives you to get you addicted to something else.

Also I expect it'd be expensive to use bitterweed constantly to deal with your issues, which will never really get much better.
>>
No. 864764 ID: b831bd

Yeah, never buy/accept this kind of stuff from strangers. As a rogue, you're especially vulnerable.
>>
No. 864765 ID: 0d16d5

Careful, you don't know what he's offering, and if you get addicted to whatever it is you may never really get back on your feet.
>>
No. 864766 ID: 3d2d5f

>>864755
You might be better off looking for a social job than a combat one. Any aliens needing to do business on this planet are at a disadvantage based on the things they don't know, or empathy they miss. And any hive neumono has a conflict of interests. Rogues might make good liaisons or facilitators. You've been a performer and collaborator before- you already have some of the necessary skills.

>talk to Luvi about job ideas
Yeah, you absolutely should. See what her suggestions are, and what she thinks of your ideas.

>>864755
I don't really think you can afford to be spending money on drugs right now.

Also there were cops just outside with a bad rep with rogues, remember? If they catch you with anything, or worse if this guy is working with the cops, they're not going to go easy on you. Last thing you need is to be tossed in jail.

Turn him down, for now.

If you really want drugs later, you need to use people you trust to put you in contact with someone.
>>
No. 864768 ID: c88e6d

>>864755
This guy's preying on you, seeing you as an easy mark to get hooked on some bullshit narcotic. Fuck that.
>>
No. 864769 ID: 2efe4b

"I wish, but until I'm more secure I think I need to stay on edge."
>>
No. 864772 ID: 6eaef4

Don’t bite. Drugs fuck your wallet and your life at the same time.
>>
No. 864781 ID: 0d45a9

Politely decline. Regardless of your opinion of drugs (For reference, what are they?) your situation doesn't allow for buying non-essentials, and any free drugs are a trap to get you suckered in anyway.
>>
No. 864789 ID: 86eb65

If you start on drugs when you are sad and its going to make things worse.

Drugs are fun when you are stable and happy.

Just say no to drugs when you are depressed.
>>
No. 864835 ID: fda98a

As long as it is not a substance that goes in your body, ask what is about. You DON'T need any more shit in your body or head right now.
>>
No. 864838 ID: 10c408

Now's not the time to start a drug habit, mac.
>>
No. 864855 ID: 4ceb21

Drugs just make things worse when you're depressed, besides you don't exactly have money to spare. Get his number anyway, it might be useful when you're in a more stable situation, or if you need to buy for someone else for whatever reason. (Plus it'll get him off your back.)

Signing up for a few years of military service you're completely unprepared for in order to escape shitty economic conditions is a time honored tradition, but where would you even go get started with that? Do they have reqruiters?
>>
No. 864871 ID: a633c6

Why, is it free? Cuz that's just about where I'm at right now.
>>
No. 864929 ID: 78a3e5
File 151789221228.png - (87.08KB , 800x800 , 39.png )
864929

>Military
I kind of assumed military and mercenary work would be the same, but thinking about it, I wouldn’t necessarily need any experience to join up that way. I suppose as a last resort joining the military is a viable option. I’m not exactly in a rush to get shot for a living though.

I get- or used to get- bitterweed from an aunt who grew all sorts of plants around our home. I’ve been in stores that sell it, but the taxes on them tends to be high. Buying it from people who grow it themselves is a lot cheaper, from what I understand. I’ve never done anything more potent, or illegal, though some of my hivemates take hallucinogens and things like that. I only really smoked it when the Hive was throwing a party, or occasionally when Sock and I were hanging out. I also avoid alcohol because I don’t like the taste. That’s about the extent of my experience with drugs. Which means even if I did buy anything he’d might just rip me off.

I put my hand on my bag reflexively. He feels nicer than Kark or Marassa did, though. I might be acting a bit paranoid, but if he is an illegal drug dealer I don’t want to get involved with him.

“You’re talking about bitterweed, right? I don’t want any.”

>“Hey, there’s no need to be so suspicious. I’m not trying to trick you or sell anything. I just thought you could use something to settle your nerves. Tell you what, if you change your mind I’ll take a little too, to show you it’s safe. Anyway, there’s more than one to relax, and you ma’am need some serious relaxation. We can shoot the shit until your buddy’s order comes up.”
>>
No. 864934 ID: 2efe4b

That sounds nice enough. Introduce yourself and ask about him. You don't have much that would be relaxing to talk about yourself, so let him take the lead.
>>
No. 864945 ID: b4102f

This guy may be the most generic looking neumono I have ever seen :3

I still don't know if taking his weed is a good idea.
>>
No. 864949 ID: c88e6d

>>864945
Hey, don't say that. He's not colored in, for all we know he might have crazily brilliant contact lenses and tie-dye fur.

Still, I reeeeeeeeeally don't think taking drugs DAY ONE of being out on the street is a good idea.
>>
No. 864958 ID: b403b3

Politely decline.
>>
No. 864964 ID: fda98a

Hmmm, you know what? Tell him that not today, but you will be sure to try it out some other day. Today is just not a good day for that.
>>
No. 864975 ID: b27006

yeeeaaah we’re probably just being paranoid right now. Let him sit down and talk about whatever you guys are into.
Maybe take the bitterweed another day but for now you have things to do and you probably shouldn’t be high for it.
>>
No. 865087 ID: e1c8f7

>>864929
No harm in talking. Ask the dude if he's a regular here.
>>
No. 865129 ID: 0d45a9

Sorry, I've had it before, but I can't really afford to take the edge off in that way at the moment. Talking's fine though.
>>
No. 865242 ID: 3abd97

>He feels nicer than Kark or Marassa did, though.
I'm not sure you can trust yourself to read people right today of all days, but that's probably good enough to talk to him.

>We can shoot the shit until your buddy’s order comes up.
I mean, that's reasonable. There's no harm in just talking to him, especially if he's making an effort to be nice. (Whether or not he has an ulterior motive).
>>
No. 865272 ID: deec6e

Additional job idea: If you're willing to let yourself get your mind poked at for pain and trauma in exchange for money, a neumono psych student or doctor or professor might pay you to be a research subject or give you some dosh to answer questionaires. I doubt it'll pay much, but it could be a potential byline, and it might even help you get some of your issues straight (if it doesn't acerbate them).

Alternatively, when you get some money, you can hire one to get that memory loss looked at. Getting a connection with someone interested in Rogue psychology might not be a bad idea either way.

Make a mental note to stay the hell away from temp agencies, unless it's a last resort.

>>864929

Can you use that acting trick to get more in control of yourself while in public spaces, or is that unhealthy? I'm thinking that if he figures you're a level-headed rogue, or one that at least can be calm when they want, he might play straight, even if he has a skeevy agenda. At least practice. If you're good at something it might be denial and, oddly enough, that might just be a straight positive in this situation.

Tell him that hey, no, it's cool. Thank him for the offer, but you'd rather not chance it, since if you started a bitterleaf habit it would tear into your meagre funds, especially if you gateway into harder stuff - so you're as much not trusting yourself there. Not that you're saying he's looking to take advantage, since some people - more than you thought, really - have stepped up to be... genuinely nice, in their own ways. You're not looking forward to the new everyday grind, but it's giving you some hope there's more to Roguetown and being a resident than you feared, even if every online source you stumbled across said things would get real depressing. Hey, shit, if the ORS wanted to do a better job and save a lot of money on dealing with initial freak-outs, you'd tell them to prepare an infodump that isn't just an affirmation of 'your life is shit now' and get the ultrahive to put it on the top of the search function for typical 'am rogue, wat do' questions.

The offer to shoot shit is appreciated. You're Mac, recent graduate of the I-fucked-up-and-can't-even-remember school. Tell us about our new home, why don't you? Rocco's seems nice. Any other places like that?
>>
No. 865418 ID: a633c6

Fair enough, thanks for offering, by the way.
>>
No. 865951 ID: b7e0a2

dude weed lmao.

do the thing
>>
No. 866475 ID: 92dd1f
File 151831713916.png - (112.76KB , 800x800 , 40.png )
866475

I’m not planning to take anything from him, and he’s not too insistent about it. And I’ve been using the acting trick since Kark’s apartment to stay level-headed. It’s not hard to keep up or anything. It’s something most everyone in the Storytree Hive learns to do as a kid, because acting is the most popular art, and everyone wants to get good at it.

“Sorry. I mean, I’ve had bitterweed before. I just don’t want any right now. Thank you for the offer. What’s your name? I’m Mac.”

>“Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. My names Stiles.”

“Do you come here often?”

>“Occasionally. Rocco tends to be cheap compared to other places near here. When you don’t have a building overhead’s low, huh.”

“Why are there two restaurants named Rocco’s right next to each other? And why is one in an alley next to a dumpster.”

>“Oh, cause our Rocco, rogue chef extraordinaire, got his dumbass bought out by some Hive who manage a bunch of restaurants in the area. They turned it into fancy cuisine place, and he left and started this hovel up out of protest. I’m pretty sure this place has absolutely no credentials so it’s probably illegal, but the price is right.”

“Is Roguetown expensive? What do you do?”

>“Everything’s expensive when you’re a rogue, Mac. I do freelance work, I suppose. I grab whatever job needs doing and it keeps a roof over my head.”

There might be something more to it than that, but he doesn’t really want to get specific.

>“Anyway, I’m being rude and talking your ears off. Tell me something about yourself. Got any hobbies or interesting stories?”
>>
No. 866477 ID: 4ac1a7

It's hard to find time for hobbies when you don't have any real money coming in.
>>
No. 866483 ID: 15a025

Decline the drug offer, but mention you're up for chit chatting for a bit.

Ask what kind of interests they have?
>>
No. 866488 ID: c88e6d

>>866475
Tell a story about a field trip that did not end in disaster.
>>
No. 866490 ID: 2d1231

>>866475

Well, we DID perform a play so badly we became a rogue for it ...
>>
No. 866493 ID: 2efe4b

"I'm... starting to think maybe I had nothing but hobbies. Art. All kinds of art, but I wasn't amazing at anything. "Mac of all trades". As for stories..."

You had a modern upbringing, right? So you must have been sent to external schools/colleges at a few points, to be conditioned to tolerate strange neumono. Try think of a story from those times, or others like them.
>>
No. 866494 ID: 7fad5d

>>866475
"Nothing that doesn't remind me of my hive."
>>
No. 866501 ID: b27006

i have heaps of stories, though that’s because i used to be an actress, i’m not sure if i was even that good of one... i’m not all that interesting unfortunately.
>>
No. 866504 ID: a633c6

Art, I guess. Dunno if I was ever any good or if it's what I want to keep doing.
>>
No. 866523 ID: f6785d

>>866493
This sounds good.
>>
No. 866533 ID: 9d4af9

>>866493
Lets go with this
>>
No. 866539 ID: 10c408

"Uhh.. Well, the majority of my hobbies revolved around being part of the theater troupe of my former hive and also an artist but I can't do the former anymore and I dunno if I can afford the supplies for the latter..."
>>
No. 866621 ID: 3abd97

>Got any hobbies or interesting stories?
You've probably got lots of interesting stories, though you probably want to avoid the ones that are plays with your hive.

Maybe the supermarket disaster? Or the time you visited an ice cream shop and it caught fire.

As for hobbies, I think arts and craft stuff would make sense. Your own creative pursuits... now that you think of it maybe that should have been a sign that you were making stuff on your own and not with everyone else.
>>
No. 866633 ID: 56e50f

>>866493
I like this. "Mac of all Trades, master of none."
>>
No. 866941 ID: a43366
File 151846929469.png - (227.44KB , 800x800 , 41.png )
866941

“Uh, how about you? How do you spend your time?”

>”Getting the grump over there out of the house, mostly. Keeping myself busy. But come on you must have at least one go-to story. I can tell you do. Come on, I want to hear it.”

A few occur to me, and I pick the lightest one.

“When I was about nine my sister, J’raine, and her friends got their first chance to go shopping for our Hive’s food and essentials for the week. She took a bunch of us kids with her because we whined about only being able to go to the city for school. She really shouldn’t have listened, but most of the adults were gone for some party or something, I don’t really remember, and we manage to look so pitiable she cracked. Well, she severely underestimated how easy it is to corral 20 kids when there’s only six other teens with you. We got lost and in all sorts of trouble.”

He wants me to elaborate and remembering the story is nice, so I get a bit more into it.

“My friend Sock ended up getting recruited by some street musicians and it took a few days to find him, at which point he was already their headliner. Orgo and some other kids managed to get to the statue of Ultraking Az, halfway across the city. Then they somehow got enough cash to buy some cheap merchandise and started scamming alien tourists. We came back with more money than we had when we left with thanks to them. Wasn’t really appreciated by the Queen all that much when we finally got back. That part is a lot less funny.”
>>
No. 866942 ID: a43366
File 151846933340.png - (182.45KB , 800x800 , 42.png )
866942

>“What did you do?”

“She found me first. I had found an ice cream shop and was trying to bum some of it off the workers. I guess my empathy was too sad to ignore, since they caved after a few minutes and gave me some even though I couldn’t pay. But, like an idiot, I ate it in like a few seconds and got massive tooth freeze. Then I somehow got it in my head that starting a fire would be the best way to warm up.”

I chuckle as I remember how confused I got over the employees being mad I tried to commit arson.

“I had some matches on me from an art lesson the day before that, while unrelated, did end in basically the same way. I had gotten pretty fast starting fires at that point and it was already burning by the time they realized what I was actually doing. J’raine swooped in right after I was done and put it out before it got too big. I have no clue what she did to calm the owners down, but she got us out of there quick. The entire Hive is probably still banned.”
>>
No. 866943 ID: a43366
File 151846938077.png - (96.66KB , 800x800 , 43.png )
866943

>“Your Hive sounds like a handful. How about hobbies? I whittle sometimes, before you ask.”

"I'm... starting to think I had nothing but hobbies. My Hive is, uh, was eclectic in the type of arts we do, but everyone was kind of expected to find their niche and be the best at that. But I wasn't amazing at anything. And I tried it all, trust me. They called me ‘Mac of all trades’. Now, well, it's going to be hard to find time for hobbies when I don't have any real money coming in.”

He catches my meaning and pounces on it.

>”I may have some work. Nothing untoward, you get me, but some stuff I don’t have time to do myself. Things like going across the city delivering or picking some things up. You seem trustworthy, so I’ll pay you upfront, but I want to know if you’re in or not before I give you details.”

My spoon hits the bottom of my bowl. I’m out of stew unfortunately, and still kind of hungry. That reminds me that I’m supposed to be taking food back to Kark, and the cooks empathy tells me it’s ready.
>>
No. 866945 ID: b055fc

>>866943
What's his empathy saying? If it seems legit enough, go for it but let him know you need to bring your friends' food back first.
>>
No. 866948 ID: 499d93

Doing odd jobs like that sounds alright, do we have a way to contact him? Or vice versa? It would suck if he had to make a trip to karks apartment to get us everytime he wanted us to do something.
>>
No. 866955 ID: 2efe4b

"Sure, but before you explain, I need to bring this food over to my friend."
>>
No. 866958 ID: 91ee5f

>>866955
This sounds about right.
>>
No. 866959 ID: 3abd97

>>866943
You have to bring your pals their food and you're not sure how much free time you'll have today. Doing odd jobs or deliveries doesn't sound like the worst thing, though.

Trade numbers so you can get ahold of him later?
>>
No. 866971 ID: 12b116

Tell him you're interested, but first you have to bring some food over to your friends.
>>
No. 866975 ID: 0d45a9

As long as it isn't trouble as well, then I may be interested. One second though, I gotta take some food over to a friend.

What does his empathy say?
>>
No. 866976 ID: a81b0d

Tell him you'll be right back, get the food to your friends and mention the guy to them.
>>
No. 866990 ID: f6785d

Ok, "friends" food first, then, if they don't need anything else, you will come back. What does his empathy says?
>>
No. 866997 ID: deec6e

>>866943

>'you seem trustworthy'
>nothing untoward
>won't mention details until acceptance
>pays upfront

Stiles is raising some curious flags here. It's tempting, since it's work and work equals much-needed zeny, but I'm getting the impression he's leaning on that temptation. Demur for now and say you'll make up your mind after dropping off the food for your new friends. While you're doing so, ask Kark if he knows about Stiles and his kind of offer to hire you on as an errand runner.
>>
No. 867003 ID: 66b5eb

Go get the food and ask Kark about this job opportunity. He may be an asshole, but he seems to know whats what.
>>
No. 867005 ID: b1b4f3

Um, how about you look for employment with someone you can confirm as trustworthy, first? I mean the plan was to get a job from Luvi. Tell him you'll think about it. Will he be back here tomorrow if you decide to take him up on the job offer? Or is there another way of getting in contact with him?
>>
No. 867025 ID: a633c6

Sounds good to me. Let's exchange contact info, right now I need to focus on finding somewhere to lay my head; once I've got that figured out, I'll call you.
>>
No. 867028 ID: cb585b

Well, worst case scenario we end up being the courier for Highly Illegal Goods and likely have to run from heavily armed soldiers while scrambling to figure out how to undo the mess we'd likely get into...


It'll be fiiiiiiine.
>>
No. 867130 ID: 75d80b

>>866997
Agreed, definitely should run it past Kark first.
If this guy says you have to agree to it now or never, assume its because he knows Kark would reject it, and act accordingly.
>>
No. 867131 ID: 0d45a9

>>866997
Actually, yeah, that's a good point.
>>
No. 868224 ID: 92dd1f
File 151890071279.png - (115.20KB , 800x800 , 44.png )
868224

I get up from my seat as Rocco bags up the food behind me.

I think he senses my hesitance at his eagerness and gets a bit sheepish. His friend across the bench is sending disapproval at him.

“Thanks, but I should get my… buddies their food. I’ll give you my answer when I get back.”

>”Yeah, that’s not a problem.”

I could have shared my number before I left but if I’m being cautious enough to ask Kark’s opinion first I’m not going to give my number out to a dude I just met. I gather the food in a bag and leave the alley.
>>
No. 868225 ID: 92dd1f
File 151890074904.png - (217.47KB , 800x800 , 45.png )
868225

I can hear Kark before I step out of the alley and feel that a small crowd has gathered close enough to hear him but far enough to not draw his attention. He’s yelling at some guy. One of the cops is gone, but the other one is annoyed this is happening. The crowd seems pretty used to this though and are anticipating something.
>>
No. 868226 ID: 17c2ee

>>868223
Deliver him the food and listen in on what's going on. Ask about the guy and job later, when cops aren't listening in to be nosy and make things difficult.
>>
No. 868230 ID: 3abd97

>>868225
Well, get closer? Keep your ears and empathy open to try and figure out what's going on. Maybe it's something you can defuse or help with, maybe it's something you're better off not interfering with.

If a fight or something breaks out you probably want to back off and make sure you aren't made to drop their lunch and ruin it.
>>
No. 868232 ID: 91ee5f

>>868225
>One of the cops is gone, but the other one is annoyed this is happening.
The other cop probably ditched the annoyed cop here under the excuse of going to patrol around the block. The annoyed cop is annoyed because one of them has to stay here and he got stuck with being the one that has to stay here and listen to Kark.

>The crowd seems pretty used to this though and are anticipating something.
They’re anticipating something that has to do with Kark. Maybe their expecting some cops to show up and forcefully make Kark and Marassa leave?

Use your empathy to let Kark and Marassa know that you’ve got their food.
>>
No. 868233 ID: c88e6d

>>868225
They're waiting to see him get his ass kicked by the cops. He's probably ranting about rights for Rogues since Rogues don't WANT to be Rogue and it's absurdly and unnecessarily cruel to torment them and make them outcastes for existing.
>>
No. 868237 ID: 4854ef

Bring em' the food, no sense letting it get lukewarm
>>
No. 868256 ID: deec6e

>>868225

Listen to get the gist of the argument. If it seems like things are getting heated and the cop really looks ready to step in, then dump the food on Marassa and ask for a moment of Kark's time to defuse the situation. Present yourself as someone who's interested in what Kark's on about - and you kind of are, since you haven't heard his spiel before - and try to play off to the crowd his better arguments in a non-pissed off tone. Do this for a few minutes, then get him off his soapbox for lunch break so you can ask about Stiles.

If things do not appear to be immediately escalating, just interrupt, give food, and ask Kark and Marassa about Stiles. You kind of don't want to spend too much time on this, in case the job offer actually is genuine and you're just being overly paranoid.
>>
No. 868308 ID: 15a025

Ring the empathitcal food bell and give them their lunch.
>>
No. 868377 ID: e1c8f7

Go ahead and drop off the food behind them, but don't disrupt them.
>>
No. 868406 ID: 8a55a9

Hand him the food. "hey, is Stiles alright?"
>>
No. 869184 ID: 12b116

What's he saying? Is he trying to stir up trouble?
>>
No. 869233 ID: 78a3e5
File 151924179356.png - (147.08KB , 800x800 , 46.png )
869233

I walk to Marassa and she gestures to put the food on the ground next to the table. I’m pretty sure Kark has noticed that I’m here, but his focus is completely on the phone guy.

“Don’t pretend you have somewhere better to be! Everyone here knows there’s no one waiting for your ugly face!”

The guy was sending ‘fuck off’ vibes before, but I think Kark hit a nerve because he stops walking.

>”Hey, why don’t you shove that megaphone up your ass!”

“Nice comeback, dipshit. Let me guess, you’re glued to your phone watching toya videos because you don’t have any numbers on it that aren’t for work. Am I right?” He is.

>“What’s your fucking problem?” The guy sputters.

“You, if it wasn’t obvious. Didn’t think you were as dumb as you are unloved.”

The crowd’s amused and they’re talking among themselves, and they seem pretty used to this. Phone guy on the other hand is getting livid and Kark is empathetically egging him on.
>>
No. 869234 ID: 730337

>>869233
Well, ask Marassa if she knows Stiles then.
>>
No. 869252 ID: 3d2d5f

Is this... helping? Kark has to get all confrontational with rogues who aren't connected in order to get them to engage, or to shock them out of their funk?

I'd say just observe for now. You might want to offer support, but you don't know enough about what he's doing to be sure you're helping and not messing it up.

You are an actor though, once you get a feel for the roles and the shape of what he's doing you could jump in.

If it goes on too long without a break or interruption to talk to Krak you could try talking to Marassa.
>>
No. 869255 ID: 0d45a9

Read one of the pamphlets while this plays out? Although I am expecting he'll get punched and/or the cops will get involved. He's done this before so try to figure out what he's trying to do while you're reading?
>>
No. 869292 ID: 56e50f

Sit back and watch the show!
>>
No. 869325 ID: 91ee5f

>>869233
The obvious thing to do is not get involved. Kark knows what he’s doing, considering this most likely isn’t the first time he’s purposefully pissing someone off.
>>
No. 869356 ID: c88e6d

>>869233
Read one of the pamphlets.

Also, I think what he's doing is, he's trying to provoke proto-rogues into going fully Rogue from their hive to get them out of abusive relationships. Or something.
>>
No. 869917 ID: 15a025

Read one of the pamphlets and see what this might be about.
>>
No. 869956 ID: de6d84

Just watch and see what will happen for now.
>>
No. 870061 ID: 9d4af9

Sit back, relax, and grab your popcorn, cause the show is just about to start.
>>
No. 870392 ID: 78a3e5
File 151969632170.png - (197.18KB , 1000x800 , 47.png )
870392

“Marrasa, is Stiles alright?”

“Who the fuck is Stiles? Some guy you just met? Why do you think I would know some guy you met in an alley?”

“Uh…”

“Why are you asking if he’s ‘alright’ anyway?”

“He offered me some work and I was wondering if it was smart to take it.”

“You want to know if it’s smart to take up an offer from a random rogue you met in an alley?”

“…yes.”
>>
No. 870393 ID: 78a3e5
File 151969634936.png - (185.20KB , 1000x800 , 48.png )
870393

“That is a great idea and you should definitely do whatever he tells you.”
>>
No. 870394 ID: 78a3e5
File 151969638648.png - (142.07KB , 800x800 , 49.png )
870394

After that bout of sarcasm Marassa turns to watch the two roll around on the ground and ignores me. The crowd is giving empathetic cheers as the guy starts throwing bad punches and Karks mostly just yells more. I kind of feel secondhand embarrassment at how juvenile it looks, but I’m just about the only one. No one else seems all that concerned, though the cop is enjoying himself a bit too much.

I pick up a random pamphlet and skim through it as a few of the bigger guys from the crowd and Marassa separate Kark and cell phone guy. It’s the same one I saw earlier explaining ‘Circle Theory’. Basically, it recommends that rogues make a circle of acquaintances and keep in regular contact with them. It specifically mentions that the other members of the circle don’t need to be your friends, or that you even have to like the other members as long as you make sure to keep consistent tabs on everyone. It’s basically community insurance that no one, well, dies in an alley. At least, not without someone looking for their corpse, eventually. Despite the pretty cutesy drawings speckled throughout the text and the soft color palette, I think Kark wrote the text himself as it drips with his cynicism. It also has a lot graphs and statistics, which kind of crowd the whole thing and makes it a lot denser to read than a pamphlet should be.

Kark’s still yelling at the guy he was separated from, but I think it’s winding down if I want to say something to him. Or I could go straight back to Stiles.
>>
No. 870396 ID: 2efe4b

Well, you all have empathy, so no-one should really be able to deliberately try trick you or have bad intentions for you that you wouldn't pick up on, right? But you have to give Kark his food anyway so you might as well ask him if he knows a guy called Stiles.
>>
No. 870397 ID: 12b116

So he just stands on the corner and picks fights with random people all day?
>>
No. 870399 ID: 90f3c0

How are you at design? Maybe you can offer Kark some tips to improve his pamphlet to get his point across more effectively.
>>
No. 870400 ID: 506ff5

Tell Kark you were offered work by a guy named Stiles. Wave the pamphlet at him and say you'll drop by in a day or two (unless he has objections to Stiles, but you are "checking in" regardless)
>>
No. 870401 ID: 506ff5

>>870397
Well, like the pamphlet says, it doesn't need to be friends. Kark becomming a guy to go wrestle weekly means phone guy made a circle.
>>
No. 870410 ID: c88e6d

>>870394
The fact that this is actually a significant step in Neumono socio-cultural development is rather depressing, considering their nature as a social species. Oh well, at least you vaguely have a circle already. You know Queen and your weird acquaintances and your social worker and a random food-seller and a weird Neumono in an alleyway.
>>
No. 870411 ID: 91ee5f

>>870393
That’s basically her way of saying, “Yeah, go with that guy. You can bug him instead of bugging us.”

So I think maybe you shouldn’t take that job.

>>870394
>pamphlet
You’re old hive probably passed out pamphlets to advertise upcoming plays, right? If so, then how could you improve Kark’s pamphlets so that they’re easier to read and still give the information Kark wants to spread?
>>
No. 870412 ID: 3abd97

>Why do you think I would know some guy you met in an alley?
Because Kark does this thing where he drags you around and yells at random people on the street? You must meet a lot of people that way, even if some of them just end up punching him.

...how often do they end up punching him?

>Circle Theory
Well i guess having some kind of contacts is better than withdrawing into yourself and dying. You'd rather have friends if you can, though.

>Or I could go straight back to Stiles.
You could get his number to call him later if you're nervous about giving out your number, but I wouldn't agree to anything today.

>>870396
>Well, you all have empathy, so no-one should really be able to deliberately try trick you or have bad intentions for you that you wouldn't pick up on, right?
Sorta depends on how overt their bad intentions are, or what they are? And I wouldn't really trust Mac to be the best judge of empathy right now considering her own emotional state right after what's happened.
>>
No. 870417 ID: 56e50f

Yeah, go ahead and check in with Kark when it seems appropriate. If his response isn't any better, see if there's any more work with them.
>>
No. 870418 ID: 3abd97

Actually, important question, how did Kark expect him to help with his work? You don't want to punch anyone. Or get punched.
>>
No. 870421 ID: 10c408

Wait for things to quiet down a little before asking kark anything.

But when they do first question should be if there's more you can do for kark or if getting the food was it.
>>
No. 870423 ID: 91ee5f

>>870411
Actually, is there anything that says the circle of contacts has to exclusively be neumono? Maybe you could get a few aliens as your contacts?
>>
No. 870901 ID: a43366
File 151992203632.png - (141.51KB , 800x800 , 50.png )
870901

If I had to critique the pamphlet on presentation alone I’d say that while it proves the importance of the theory, it never actually tries to sell it to the reader. It kind of assumes you agree with it from the start. There’s no persuasion, just facts, and so many facts you stop absorbing them after a while. I can’t say that I’ve had any experience with graphic design, but it could be improved on a lot of levels. I’m pretty loathe to start talking shit about his hard work to his face after knowing him for less than a day, though.

Kark and the guy yell at each other for a few minutes as Marassa starts talking about new pamphlets with a few people Eventually the cell phone guy stoms off and Kark comes by after picking up his box of food. He seems calmer than he was earlier, even if his general empathy hasn’t changed.

“You want to talk. Why?”

“This your daily routine?”

“Most rogues don’t have the balls to start a fight, but yeah. Rogues need to get off their asses and I need to yell at people. Everybody wins.”

“Well, is there anything else for me to do? Hopefully with no punching?”

“What, you mean for the food? You can help take this crap back to my apartment, but you’ll have to do it with Marassa because I have other shit to do. In the meantime you could push these pamphlets on some of the dumb fuckers walking by, but its usually a waste of time if they don’t come to you so it’d just be killing time. That it?”

“No. I met a guy named Stiles at Rocco’s and he offered me a job.”

“Since you aren’t tied up in the back of a van I assume you said no.”

“You’re exaggerating, right?”

“Rogues are the preferred prey for neumono traffickers. Our disconnection from society, lack of government oversight of the population, and emotional vulnerability make us prime targets for manipulation and eventual sale on and off-planet. I’d tell you the percentages, but since there’s so little data on the exact rogue population in the Tree, much less who’s missing from that population and how many of the missing are being trafficked and not just in a ditch somewhere, you’ll have to take my word that it’s a shitload.”

“He didn’t feel dangerous.”

“Some rogues can’t be trusted with gauging empathetic character. We routinely score lower on judging foreign neumono intentions even though it’s the only kind of empathy we ever experience. Personally, I think it’s the dull headed dipshits dragging us down in aggregate. The study was fucking shoddy from the ground up anyway, they lumped rogues into a single group and didn’t control for-“

“Kark, you’re lecturing again!” Marassa calls over from her conversation.

“Eat a dick!” He yells back. “Can’t talk for five minutes without the bitch getting up my ass. Anyway, you don’t come off as desperate enough to get a slaver salivating. You said he was offering you a job? He was probably just trying to recruit you into a dumb clinical trial or science experiment. Rogues will pay to snort cleaning fumes, so giving us a pittance to put untested chemicals in our blood is a fucking goldmine for science hives. A lot of recruiters for that are aliens, so if any of them get too friendly they’re probably trying to con you.”

He fishes in his box for more jerky for a second before he realizes he’s out.

“Fuck.”

He zeroes in on some random rogue and his anger spikes again as he stalks towards them ranting about something, throwing his empty box under the table as he goes.

Telling me to watch out for aliens was redundant, but Stiles was cagey on what he did for a job. I’m torn on whether to go back to tell Stiles my decision or just stay here where people are around and try to help Kark.
>>
No. 870902 ID: 12b116

They both seem to think this guy is up to no good, but on the other had you do need money. I'd say go feel him out more, maybe just straight up ask about the legality before agreeing to anything
>>
No. 870911 ID: f6785d

The fact that Kark talked to you in a civilized way makes me think that he was being very honest. He was actually speaking what he thought and knew about the subjet, like if he was actually caring to inform you. He might have the shitiest personality, but he at least is honest and direct. That is somthing to appreciate. You might as well stick around, you are actually lerning important stuf.

Hey, have you ever heard about neumono "turning off" empathy?
>>
No. 870923 ID: 91ee5f

>>870901
Let’s just stay here and help Kark.
>>
No. 870924 ID: b1b4f3

Ask Marassa if she wants to come help feel the guy out and see if it's legit or not.
>>
No. 870932 ID: 2efe4b

You could just tell him that you'll take the job but if it looks for even a second that he's leading you into a lonely alley or anything like that you're out. Just say that your agreement is conditional and that you're not promising to carry through if it looks like any sketchy shit that will seriously bite your ass.

Put a hand on him or something, too. You can feel people out better if you're touching them, right?
>>
No. 870978 ID: 3abd97

>What, you mean for the food?
No I mean to help, since that's what I'm along for, right now.

>Telling me to watch out for aliens was redundant, but Stiles was cagey on what he did for a job. I’m torn on whether to go back to tell Stiles my decision or just stay here where people are around and try to help Kark.
I think the appropriate thing to do is tell him you're sorry, you don't feel comfortable agreeing to something without knowing what it is.

Maybe exchange contact info in case you get more desperate or in case he's willing to be a little less cagey later, but for now I think no is the right answer.

Maybe get Marassa to tag along? She'd, uh, probably do something if you were gonna get kidnapped, right?
>>
No. 871000 ID: deec6e

>Neumono trafficking

We may have dodged a bullet there. Really, if we're to trust Marassa and Kark, things seem pretty cut-and-dry, and not really worth returning to Rocco's over. Whether he (and his disapproving-at-letting-us-go friend) was just trying to exploit us a little or a lot, Stiles was still probably trying to exploit us. If we see him again and he seems more on the level, we can always shrug and apologize for ditching on his offer.

Help Kark, since you might learn more about the rogue condition and how people behave in Roguetown in general. He or Marassa might also know people who could get you a job somewhere. Or know a guy who knows a guy, and so on.
>>
No. 871007 ID: 0d45a9

I think it's probably best to stay here. Don't go back to inform Stiles, he probably expects you won't be coming back anyway.

The offer of a job just screams all flavours of sketchy to me. He started by offering you drugs, which would impair your judgement, and then he was cagey about giving any details. That could mean that either he doesn't have the details/cover story, or he knows saying those details would make him sound sketchy/suspicious.

And if it is a research or medical trial, it's unlikely to be safe as a properly done one would have to be up front about it to survive the peer review gauntlet.
>>
No. 871050 ID: d2e2ce

Hey Mac, how do you feel about directing porno flicks? Or at least finding work on some Neulywood set making backgrounds and stuff.
>>
No. 871055 ID: 3abd97

>>871050
Sounds like a good idea, Mac. You have acting and set making chops. And any studio that isn't a complete in-house single-hive production is one where you might find a place for yourself.
>>
No. 871196 ID: 56e50f

>>871050
Painted backgrounds are kind of dead nowadays unless it's for claymation films. This does bring a point that there's a market for applicable painting skills. Monster make-up artist, Set designs, promotional work, so on.
>>
No. 871202 ID: 78a3e5
File 152002919370.png - (101.56KB , 800x800 , 51.png )
871202

>How do you feel about doing porn?
>>
No. 871203 ID: 78a3e5
File 152002922417.png - (102.80KB , 800x800 , 52.png )
871203

>Working in television or film production.
I don’t have any experience in taped productions. The Queen has been talking about branching out and buying studio equipment for us but its been on the backburner for a while. I have no clue how similar it is to theater production or where to begin looking for a job in that venue.

>Have you ever heard about neumono "turning off" empathy?
I read a fantasy story once about a tribal Hive who made empathyless assassins. It was shitty, but in a good way.

“Mar-“

“No.”

“Don’t be a cunt!”

Marassa gives Kark a glare but she follows me back into the alley, drilling holes into my back. She doesn’t want to talk. There’s no one here though. Maybe I spent too much time listening to Kark? Marassa heads to the counter while I go to the bench. There are some things on the table that weren’t there before though.

“Rocco, where’s this Styles guy?”

He gives an empathetic shrug.
>>
No. 871207 ID: b1b4f3

>>871203
Check the things.
>>
No. 871209 ID: 2efe4b

Inspect things.

>>871202
You don't need to actually be an actress yourself. Like, for example, someone needs to make porno music. There's a whole industry worth of off-camera jobs. However, I think the reason porn was suggested was on the assumption that it's in-demand but undesirable work and therefore would have job openings for sufficiently desperate people, but in your era and on your world, with your species, I think maybe porn has probably shed most of its stigma.

I still think art and craft supplies would be your best bet.
>>
No. 871213 ID: 3abd97

>I don’t have any experience in taped productions. [..] I have no clue how similar it is to theater production or where to begin looking for a job in that venue.
It's different in some ways, but you wouldn't be the first person to cross from theater to television or film, or vice versa. (At the very least, your empathy would be less of an issue).

Something to ask Luvi about when next you talk to her, she might have some idea if this is viable or who you could talk to.

>what do
Check the things on the table. Maybe he left you his phone number or something?
>>
No. 871232 ID: deec6e

Guess he left you some teasers. Check 'em out, then ask Rocco if he ever saw Stiles and his disapproving friend here before and if he knows what their deal is. Order some of Kark's 'regular' take-away jerky for your evening meal, as being a good customer might get him to open up more.
>>
No. 871286 ID: de6d84

See what's there on the table.
>>
No. 871292 ID: c88e6d

>>871203
Examine things, do not touch them.
>>
No. 871295 ID: e1c8f7

There has to be an art shop in the alien part of town. Ever wanted to paint with alien materials?
>>
No. 871462 ID: 074011

Kark's pamphlets aren't compelling enough and Rocco has to compete with a bigger brand in a better location with the same name. There might be room for a freelance advertiser around here, or a journalist. Even work towards publishing a local news service. It would be difficult to get clients when people can barely afford to eat and sleep already, but once they see that it can work...
>>
No. 871471 ID: 51b8ec

Hey Mac, how do you feel about doing porn... with aliens?!

This is just fishing for reaction images. Coxwette has spoiled me greatly.
>>
No. 871481 ID: 15a025

Examine the things on the table from a distance.
>>
No. 871483 ID: f6785d

I am actually starting to like Kark a little.
That fantasy story sounds cool as fuck.
Check thingies. If useful, take thingies, if not, leave thingies.
Return to Kark. Ignore the cunt accompanying you.
From now oun, refer to her as cunt, becouse she is one. If not, grow some backbone and then start calling her a cunt, you sissy.
>>
No. 871485 ID: cb585b

>>871483
>grow some backbone and then start calling her a cunt, you sissy.

Cant help but believe this is the fastest route to a broken face...
>>
No. 871490 ID: 91ee5f

>>871485
And getting her ears torn off, a few broken ribs, broken arm and/or leg, etc.
>>
No. 871493 ID: f6785d

>>871485
True, let me refrese that sentence: start naming her "cunt" in your head. Don't say it empaticly either, at least until you are more confident about yourself. Some day you are going have to stop letting people push you around.
Or you know, you can just ignore her complitlly, that might actually piss her off more.
>>
No. 871498 ID: 3abd97

>>871483
>>871493
Let's not take any special action regarding Marassa. She's obviously got her own issues and she hasn't been more than mildly abrasive to us.
>>
No. 871501 ID: 506ff5

>>871471
You can always ask in the behind the quest/ears thread... which one would this quest belong to?
>>
No. 871513 ID: cb585b

>>871501
Ears, since this is Neumono related,
i wonder how many questions Mac'll get?

>>
No. 872196 ID: 1410a4
File 152044151601.png - (79.67KB , 800x800 , 53.png )
872196

There’s a note.
A big bag of bitterweed.
And a book.

Buying jerky like Kark had will cost about 60 zeny.
>>
No. 872197 ID: d2e2ce

>>872196
Check out the book.
>>
No. 872200 ID: c88e6d

Read the book.
>>
No. 872202 ID: b1b4f3

>>872196
Damn he just gave you bitterweed for free? Take a sniff of that stuff.
>>
No. 872206 ID: 91ee5f

>>872196
Check the back of the note for contact info.
>>
No. 872211 ID: deec6e

Huh. Check out the note, check out the book and either toss the bag to Rocco 'for his lost and found' or pocket it. Ask Marra's opinion. She ever heard of a recruitment method this... haphazard?

>>872202

Using it is a waste. One option is to sell it, but if it's semi-illegal, and since Mac has no idea how to sell illegal stuff (or stuf fin general), we might not get a good price and could end up in trouble with local law enforcement. How long does this stuff keep? Could just hang on to it until we find someone we're liable to be able to make a trade with or make a gift of it to.

Buy Karky jerky.
>>
No. 872215 ID: e1c8f7

>>872196
Consider this a startup fund.
>>
No. 872234 ID: 074011

Check that it is really bitterweed, and hasn't been enhanced...

Read the note, if it addressed to you, take the stuff unless it specifies leaving it here as an option. People can be unreasonable, and might blame you for the stuff they left lying around being stolen. Better to keep it to return it to them in person if you aren't interested.
>>
No. 872236 ID: 5d32e7

Read note, hug self.
>>
No. 872239 ID: 3abd97

>>872196
Well! Lucky for you no one else took the stuff before you got here.

Take the gifts. I hope he wrote some contact info on the back of the note, or hidden inside the book, or we're gonna have a hard time finding him again.

What's the book?

No getting high now. Stow stuff in your bag.
>>
No. 872257 ID: e9c11a

Look at the book. Don't touch the bag yet. There were cops around, weren't there? Ones who don't like someone you've been associating with. For all you know it was left there as a trap.
>>
No. 872262 ID: ca332d

Free shit's the best shit :3
Don't do the drugs, but take everything, read the note, and inspect the book.
>>
No. 872948 ID: de6d84

Take the stuff with you, check note.
>>
No. 873259 ID: 78a3e5
File 152096279045.png - (156.90KB , 800x800 , 54.png )
873259

I open the baggie and the concentrated smell hits me in the face. It’s definitely bitterweed. The note has a phone number on its back too. I put both in my bag for now.

The book has no publishing marks or title. It’s just pages of text. I skim the first page before I put it away.

These texts have been gathered for you. You may not believe it right now, but you still have worth, and if you seek one, a family. Life will be hard. At times you will feel empty. At times, hopeless. At times, hateful. Remember those times, but do not dwell in them. You control your future.

“You done wasting my time, puppy?“
>>
No. 873260 ID: c88e6d

Feel somewhat heartwarmed. That random suspicious drugdealer was significantly more kind than they appeared.
>>
No. 873262 ID: 3abd97

>“You done wasting my time, puppy?“
Yeah, for now, thanks.

Bag the book, you can look it over later when you're alone. You'll have to call Styles later, he seems pretty nice to have just left this stuff for you.
>>
No. 873263 ID: deec6e

A queer-sounding self-help manual - hand-made from the looks of it - along with a big bag of drugs? That's one way to get new followers, I guess!

>done wasting time?

"Just about. Thanks."

I'm getting enough culty vibes that I recommend leaving the bag of weed and the book with Rocco. You can message Stiles' number and say no deal and that you left the items with the shop owner.

Buy Karky-Jerky from Rocco.
>>
No. 873267 ID: f3fe9b

>>873259
"for now. Thanks."
And that is totally recruitment material for a cult. You shouldn't abandon it, if the cult turns up in the future making trouble you'll need some evidence to go on with your rapidly-forming Scooby-doo gang.
>>
No. 873299 ID: 56e50f

>>873259
"Yeah. Thanks."
Guess you have some reading to do. Let's regroup with Kark.
>>
No. 873388 ID: f6785d

Well that is somewhat ominous. I don't know the intention of this guy, but that frace holds some true. We'll read that letter, let's go before "granny" gets more old.
>>
No. 873461 ID: 453f4d

While that would be a little cult-sounding for humans, it sounds like a reasonable thing for Neumono. Note though that he said family, not hive. He at least was honest enough to not lie about that.
"Family" makes me think of Kark and Queen. The question then, is Stiles a Luvi, or is his circle just friendlier? Of course, some paranoia is still healthy, but I think it'd be worth looking into some time.
>>
No. 873591 ID: 8a122e

"Step off, Marassa," Puppy? Really?

We can read the letter and book later. We're done here, so lets go.
>>
No. 873602 ID: caf1de

no to porn no to soldier this leaves manual labor science test subject or doing what luvi does
I think you'd make a great rogue therapist teacher handler thing
>>
No. 874215 ID: 15a025

Save the drugs for later, or try and sell them.
>>
No. 874856 ID: 78a3e5
File 152170109132.png - (116.44KB , 800x800 , 55.png )
874856

“Yes, I’m done. Thanks.”

She stalks away and I let a ‘bitch’ out under my breath once she’s out of range. I stuff the book in my bag as I ask Rocco to start making me some jerky to go. I pay upfront, so I have 2940 zeny left. I then pull out my phone to check the time. It’s mid-afternoon, but I also notice I have a missed message from Luvi. My phone has been on silent since the play.

“Hey Mac! I have good news and not as good news. You’ll be happy to know that I got that other rogue squared away and his hive ran a bakery so I got a bunch of day-old snacks you can have when I pick you up. Not as good news, I got a little, teensy-bit fired. So, it might take me a tiny bit longer to help you out with more permanent housing and jobs and stuff. Don’t worry about anything, I’ll be in your corner as long as you’ll have me! Call me when you need to get picked up, okay?”

That’s… bad.

I’m not sure if I should stick around to help Marassa move the stuff back to Kark’s apartment. Whether I do that or not I should decide right now which is my most pressing concern. Finding a place to stay or finding a way to make some money. I need to prioritize one and come up with a plan or at least some way to start solving the problem. I should be able to find places I want to go and my way there using my phone’s GPS, so I don’t need directions, and even if this is a roguetown it’s a roguetown in the biggest city in the Tree. I should be able to find whatever I look for within walking distance.
>>
No. 874865 ID: 7fad5d

Money, tbh. With the 2 weeks from the ultra and crashing with Luvi for a bit, you have some breathing room, and less so for money.
>>
No. 874867 ID: 094652

Focus on getting a job. Commercial housing is REALLY cheap these days, what with all the indoor 10z 'long-washing-machine' cells.

Your only other problem is how easy it is to get your cash stolen. Make an account at the local bank, ask for a biometric chip debit card that requires your fingerprints and/or blood. They'll still be hackable, but the time it takes is enough to call the bank and cancel your card. Remember, you can trust the bank with paltry sums of cash - 'misplacing' even a single centizenny is not worth the PR hurricane of having an angry Rogue storm in and yell about how she was conned, dissuading all the rich marks with rumors backed by genuine negative empathy.
>>
No. 874873 ID: 074011

You need to make sure that you have a place to stay. It can only be temporary for now, like staying with Luvi, but it is very nearly impossible to get a job if you don't have somewhere to store your things, make yourself presentable, receive correspondence... and a good full night's sleep can be a world of difference when interviewed. Not to mention bias...
You aren't likely to get a job that pays enough to help get a place, and if you do, then no problem! A home will absolutely help you get a job and is almost necessary if you want to be self-employed.
>>
No. 874896 ID: c88e6d

>>874856
....Might be wise to consider looking for a job near a spaceport or a tourist destination for offworlders. Some alien friends might be nice, and aliens are more likely to hire individuals than Hives who'll just employ their hivemembers.
>>
No. 874979 ID: 3abd97

>Not as good news, I got a little, teensy-bit fired. So, it might take me a tiny bit longer to help you out with more permanent housing and jobs and stuff.
I wonder if that mean the government will send another case worker after you? Probably not, as they're overworked and underfunded, but having to deal with a new person could make more problems. Might mean more help, but I'm not too hopeful.

>Finding a place to stay or finding a way to make some money.
I think finding a place to call your own and be safe in is important for your mental health, in a big way. You need someplace where you can let your guard down.

Then you have a little breathing room to find a job before your money runs out. Job second means you can spend a little more time hunting for a job to find a good one that suits you. Since a job is gonna be a big part of your new identity, you want the time to approach it right. House first means you're going to settle for a place a little faster, but I think you can afford that.
>>
No. 875000 ID: 91ee5f

>>874856
>I’m not sure if I should stick around to help Marassa move the stuff back to Kark’s apartment.
You might as well help them out.

>House or job?
Look for a house first.

And I think you should consider looking for alien employers, since they’d actually want to hire individuals instead of entire hives.
>>
No. 875053 ID: 10c408

Find a place to stay. Yes, getting a job/money is important. But you have cash on hand to at least rent a cheap hotel room so you don't get robbed in the middle of the night or god knows what else while you strive towards being a hobo rogue.

Anyways, stick around just a bit longer. Kark's an asshole, but he's an asshole who cares and it'd reflect poorly on you if you don't pass on the word that Luvi got canned.
>>
No. 875056 ID: 297b5e

Look for money. Aliens both have lots of money if they're here on Astreneus, and will value Neumono not bound to a hive
>>
No. 875057 ID: b1b4f3

Get a job. You won't be able to pay rent without one, and you basically already have your housing situation handled.
>>
No. 875088 ID: caf1de

is it possible you acted so hard you made your hive think you went rouge
>>
No. 875155 ID: e1c8f7

Help where you're at now,find a place after.
>>
No. 875156 ID: 5f3f48

>I’m not sure if I should stick around to help Marassa move the stuff back to Kark’s apartment.
I'll second helping them pack up and get back, unless you would have to wait around for hours.
>>
No. 875180 ID: 0d45a9

Find a way to make some money, as that's the limiting factor right now. You have two weeks at the rogue dorms (As horrible as Kark made it sound), and you could possibly convince Luvi to let you crash at her place for a bit.

Besides, you'll need money for a place anyway, Kark's rent was 20k, which is a lot more than what you have right now.
>>
No. 875197 ID: 91ee5f

>>875180
>Kark's rent was 20k, which is a lot more than what you have right now.
I think his rent is actually lower than that. I think 20k is how much he owes because he hasn’t been paying rent for a few weeks.
>>
No. 875207 ID: 3abd97

I'd also like to add that you should really talk about your options with Luvi before settling on anything, jobwise. See what she recommends, and what she thinks about the ideas you've had so far.
>>
No. 875320 ID: 15a025

Finding a job should be top priority. A cheap or free housing situation is probably going to stay that way for a short period of time. You need to find a job somewhere before you run out of money and food.
>>
No. 875620 ID: 6fb6cf

>>874856
Making money helps us find a place to stay. Give that a try frist. We can always change course later if need be.
>>
No. 876332 ID: a43366
File 152256538915.png - (195.90KB , 1000x800 , 56.png )
876332

I stay to help Kark and Marassa out and put my jerky into my bag for later. I try to be helpful but I’m not totally sure what I’m supposed to be doing, and everyone seems content to ignore me. All the while Kark continues his routine of hurling random insults at random neumono, yelling at the crowd with personal insults, and going into long political rants that fly over my head. It takes about an hour before Kark notices the time and finishes up by telling everyone to go fuck themselves in an elaborate two-minute story. He yells at Marassa to clean up and then stomps off down the street, I assume to a bus stop. Once he leaves the crowd dissipates and Marassa and I start packing things up and she continues to do her best to snub me.

I’ve decided to try and find a job first. I don’t have a résumé or anything, but there are probably entry-level positions around that won’t require them. I’ve thought up a couple of places to start.

A craft store: I know of one that my hive uses a lot, but it’s not in roguetown. I’ll need a ride to get there, or to use the bus. Or I could go to a store in roguetown.

The nearest help wanted sign: I’d use the internet to find them instead of wandering the streets, but basically, I would just go store to store trying to find someplace that’s hiring.

Silverstream Bank: I can only take out 3000 zeny from an ATM, but if I go the bank in person I might be able to draw out a lot more. I’m apprehensive about this because it feels like I’d be robbing my own hive.

Filmmaking?: I’m the least sure about this one, if only because I honestly have no idea where I would even start.

Something else that I haven’t thought of might also occur to me.

I could call Luvi to get her input, but even if she’ll be chipper about it talking to someone I may have helped get fired will be very awkward. Marassa and I finish packing things up and I notice one of the bigger guys from the crowd has stayed behind.

“You can fuck off now, puppy. Don’t need you dropping any of our shit on the way back.”
>>
No. 876333 ID: e1c8f7

>>876332
Rougetown craft store might be your best bet. You don't want to run into your hive at the old location. Thank Marassa for her time. Ask her to thank Kark too. Even if you don't mean it. If you get lucky there, you can start looking for a job in the film and theatre industry while you have income. Always a need for assistants and stagehands.
>>
No. 876346 ID: 094652

That first one. Yay networking!
>>
No. 876349 ID: 074011

The craft store is the closest thing to a job that you would actually want, and maybe someone there knows what happened to you, or could ask on your behalf. Memory blanks are not good for one's sanity...
>>
No. 876350 ID: d55249

Craft store in roguetown.
Best to go for what we know but not so far that we’ll see our old hive regularly. Gotta move on and all, we can see about orgnanising a last visit to your hive once you’re stable so you can say your goodbyes and maybe pay them back the 3000 zeny you “borrowed”.
Take note of any help wanted signs along the way though incase the craft store isn’t hiring or doesn’t want you. Always good to have a plan b.
>>
No. 876351 ID: c88e6d

>>876332
Try a craftstore. Also, only withdraw 3000z. Your Queen apparently still cares about you enough to send help after you even if you can't see em again.

...Speaking of, maybe it would be unwise to go to the craftstore your hive uses. That might trigger extreme emotional pain and that would be wise to avoid right now.
>>
No. 876358 ID: ef05ab

>our shit
I was unaware that you and Kark where a couple.
Well aside from the book, the new contact and the food this was almost a complete waste of time.
Marassas' a cunt for no reason and Kark is an angry loud mouth who's doing as much to help rogues as the asshole that wrote that "don't inconvenience anyone when you kill yourself" letter.
Lets try the craft store first, if anything they may be able to point us to another store that could hire us.
And finally regardless of whether we get a job we should keep in contact with Luvi.
>>
No. 876373 ID: f9d2b4

Bank first. If you're ever going to it has to be as soon as possible, before you're locked out. I mean, you were a worker, right? Didn't just laze around? If you did more work than would earn (heavily discounted for bulk hive orders) food and (heavily discounted for shared property) rent, then your hive owes you the surplus that you earned for them. You deserve it. Ask Kark and Marassa about how much a rogue typically spends on food and rent each week (you had better as a hive neumono but bulk purchases would make it cheaper) and what a basic but not minimum wage worker would typically earn each week. Compare the two prices, do some basic calculations based on how many years you've been able to work as an adult and then go get what you deserve. You need that money.

After that, try a craft store that isn't the one your hive uses.
>>
No. 876376 ID: f0c3bf

When possible, don't log too much money around. If you're anxious about being locked out of the hive account, open one for yourself and transfer whatever money you need there.
>>
No. 876388 ID: 17c2ee

Non-roguetown craftstores won't take you. Roguetown craftstores can't pay you. Rogue art doesn't do well in roguetown.

Try help wanted signs in roguetown, sure.
>>
No. 876398 ID: cb585b

May be a good idea to talk to Luvi for ideas, i mean her job was to help you get on your feet in the first place, plus it cant get weirder than now, can it?
>>
No. 876402 ID: 06a343

>>876332
Arts & crafts would be ideal for a jack-of-all-trades regarding art, but any front-line or delivery work that'll require making contact or being close with your former hive members miiiiight not be a good idea, especially not when you're still trying to get yourself straight after what happened.

So check it out and see if they have some job position (shelfing or picking up wares from distributors/manufacturers?) that fits that bill of minimal contact with your old hive.

But it'll be a good idea to set up a bank account under your own name, along with a debit (not credit) card, and if you can stomache the feeling of borrowing money without asking for permission or telling when you'll return it, then transfer a sensible amount from the hive account to your own.

But remember don't overdo it, make it small enough so it still seems like something just to help yourself get through these troubled times of getting on your own and nothing more.
>>
No. 876412 ID: 486e87

I wouldn't try and withdraw any more money yet, although at some point you will need a bank account of your own. I don't know how your hive treats rogues but there's a chance they won't remove your account access straight away, provided you don't bring it to their attention by withdrawing a lot or regularly. Does your hive have a set day when they do the accounting and such?

As for jobs, I'd say go to a craft store in roguetown, since it fits your skill set. Don't go to the one your hive uses, it won't be pleasant for you.
>>
No. 876444 ID: 3abd97

>I don’t have a résumé or anything
You also don't have much to put on a resume, aside from your name and phone number, so that's just as well, probably.

Ideally, you don't want to apply for something where you drop a resume into a pile and wait for them to call you. You want a situation where you can use your theater chops; you've got social and acting skills, you want to use those in person to get yourself hired.

>I could call Luvi to get her input, but even if she’ll be chipper about it talking to someone I may have helped get fired will be very awkward.
She might have some good ideas or advice on how rogues find work. I'm not sure you can afford to let awkwardness get in the way, right now.

If it makes you feel better, promise yourself you'll do something nice for her later.

>the bank
That's a terrible idea. You took enough to buy a few meals, or put yourself up in a hotel, if you need to. That's enough to get you through emergencies. It's one thing to take enough with you when you leave to make sure you survive, when you had no better options. But now you have other options.

Don't push your luck and your hive's goodwill by taking what you don't need from them.

>I know of [a craft store] that my hive uses a lot
Anywhere you're going to bump into your hive is a bad place to work. You want to find a different one, or try something else.

>Filmmaking?
You might need to talk to Luvi or someone else to see who to talk to. There is a neumono film industry (they're almost famously B movies by alien standards), and it's unlikely the entire industry is a single hive, or even the big studios. On-screen is also one place where your empathy doesn't matter the least, although you're probably not going to get started in an acting role.

Designing sets is something you like to do, isn't it? I think this is one you should consider, you'd probably enjoy it more than retail. And if you do well, there's possible growth opportunities.

>Other things?
I know you're wary of aliens, but have you considered working for some aliens? A job as a sort of cultural liaison. Anyone offworld business that operate here is at a disadvantage if they don't have a neumono- there's all kinds of local knowledge they miss out on, and not being able to pick up empathy means they're missing things (not quite as bad as not being able to speak the local language, but close). And not everyone will afford to be able to hire a hive to help them out- and those who can may not want to: hives have a conflict of interest there rogues don't. It's a social job you might do well in!

Tricky bit is getting established, building a reputation, and landing your first group of alien clients.
>>
No. 876453 ID: eeb7d9

I like the craft store idea. As long as you avoid the contact of your former hive, you should have no problem.
Ignore Marassa completly, if you can, go and thank Kark personally, if not, you can always thank him later. I insist, he might be a jerk, but he is the kind of jerk that actually cares.
>>
No. 876482 ID: deec6e

Say goodbye to Marassa and offer her another thanks and mention that you'd be happy to help out again in the future, pending stability and free time. I think she's just gonna be abrasive as a default, so while you can't always take it seriously when she says to fudge off this seems appropriate enough for it.

>wat do

You could go to the bank to dump some of your excess cash and ask the bank attendant about whether your hive has any rogue fund options, like some hives do, or if the Tree legally obliges them to give you anything other than the standard package. You're too upset to check into it yourself, but a) they should know something about it, especially if they're based out of roguetown and b) as long as you're planning on opening up an account with them and keep your business their business, they should be willing to help out.

There's also - gulp - the option of taking on a loan, although I don't really recommend it as anything other than a last resort. Could still check out how much you could get and what the terms would be.

Make sure to text Luvi and say you're sorry to hear that and that you truly appreciate the extra mile she went to in finding you, since you'd have been pretty lost without her and Kark and Marassa were nice in their own way. Offer to share jerky in exchange for bagels when she picks you up to drive you somewhere.

If you wanted to help out Luvi, you could call in to her boss and say that you wanted to apologize to the bureau for giving their employee such a hassle in tracking you down today, you were really out of it. I doubt it'd save her job, but it might smooth things over a bit to hear that she actually did have to waste a bunch of time tracking you down. You could also use it as an excuse to fish for what your Queen said when she called the bureau and maybe get a hint of what happened.

And/or, and this is heartless - and will probably lead to some emotionally draining work and added awkwardness with Luvi - but if she was just fired from her job, you... could ask if they're on the lookout for a new rogue greeter.
>>
No. 876939 ID: 78a3e5
File 152277794827.png - (168.45KB , 1000x800 , 57.png )
876939

As much as I’d like to say something snide or sarcastic, I don’t rise to the bait. I think that pisses her off more than if I said something. She leaves, and I’m left alone.

I don’t have to ask anyone how much it’d cost to feed myself, I can make some rough estimates on my own. 1500 zeny a week if I eat normally, probably? Half that if I try and stretch it. As for how long I might have access to the bank account, I’m not sure. I think the Queen does the Hive finances in the beginning of the month, so if I’m not locked out in the next few days I don’t know when I will be. It occurs to me that I’ll have to go to the bank anyway to open my own bank account once I do get a job. I’ll do it after. I take out my phone to find the nearest craft store and…
>>
No. 876941 ID: d0bba6

>>876939
Do a flip
>>
No. 876943 ID: 78a3e5
File 152277815164.png - (116.88KB , 800x800 , 58.png )
876943

…I didn’t tell Kark about Luvi. I feel like an asshole; how did it slip my mind so quickly? I’ll feel even worse if I avoid talking to her now. I’ll text her while I walk to the store.

sorry about your job.

Hi Mac! You need me to pick you up!? : ) And don’t worry, things like this happen!

no im fine. will call later for ride.
weird question but do you know anyone in the film industry?

You know I don’t think I do! But I’ll ask around! Is that where you are interested in working?

dunno just a thought i had. will be trying to apply for some jobs today.

Really!?! That’s great! You are a real go-getter! Remember to smile and put project your best self when you are interviewing! And don’t get discouraged! You can do it!
>>
No. 876944 ID: 78a3e5
File 152277818768.png - (123.70KB , 800x800 , 59.png )
876944

This was the only craft store I could find in walking distance, and it’s a fucking Al’s. They’re where hobbyists shop at, and most of their stuff is cheap junk. I haven’t been in one in years. The last time I was inside one was when J’raine walked me through, teaching me how to tell good materials and tools from bad ones.
>>
No. 876945 ID: d0bba6

>>876944
Well, go in if you think you can restrain your rampant snobbery. Remember hobbyists deserve to mess around too and that you don't have that many options to choose from.
>>
No. 876947 ID: 86eb65

A job is a job. Squash that feeling of them being cheap junk deep down and hide it.

Then get in there and try your best. If you don't get a job you just try again somewhere else.
>>
No. 876956 ID: e1c8f7

Get your acting face on and head on in. What's the mood of the staff?
>>
No. 876957 ID: 5f3f48

>>876944
Don't be a snob. Not everyone has the time or room in their life to be more than hobbiests, and even people who end up as more than that have to start somewhere. Like kids. They'll have fun even if it's not the best stuff, right?

Also if your hive never comes here, that's a good thing.

Now remember, don't be crushed if they don't hire you on the spot, or don't have any openings. Job searches are a lot more miss than hit- don't take stuff personally.
>>
No. 876976 ID: 06a343

>>876944
The salary is probably shit and the goods are meh at best, but hobbyists dont want to spend considerable amounts of money on equipment and materials for something they might suck so hard at they'll regret it.

Perhaps that's why it's perfect, since someone with your skillset definetly can give them advice on how to become better then.
>>
No. 876986 ID: f9d2b4

I'm sorry Mac, but you're the employee equivalent of cheap junk right now. Try to put on as good an attitude as you can: remember, making something good with inexpensive (not cheap! inexpensive!) materials is the mark of a really good artist, so think of this a place that'll challenge your creativity.

Read the note on the door before you go in, though.
>>
No. 876987 ID: f9d2b4

If you think you'll be all right for money for a little while, you might offer to work for free a few days to demonstrate that you can do the job and you know your stuff. And that you won't be a drag. You'll probably have to practice using your acting trick during work hours.
>>
No. 876989 ID: 074011

You don't need to work here forever but you need to work somewhere and soon. Go get that job! Show them that you know your stuff, and show them that you are willing to see some hobbyist come here for toys and respect them as a hobbyist (What people do for fun in private is their own business...) and be glad to see them leave with something that they can use (If it is wanted, then it isn't garbage!) You can do this!

Is Luvi a proper name? The thought that... that... was done to her is mildly horrifying. Does she even have any friends? People who do more than tolerate her empathy because she is helpful? Maybe if she had someone that she could rely upon, and chat to for no reason, she might get a little better over a long time? She is helpful, and seems to be trying. There is probably a genuinely nice person mixed with all the forced nice person...
>>
No. 876991 ID: deec6e

>>876944

Might want to clamp down on the rhetoric a bit. If you get a place to work here, those hobbyists are going to be your customers and part of the crowd that will keep you fed. They wouldn't be amateurs, but rather the people indirectly keeping you housed and fed... and do keep in mind standards and needs differ - a hobbyist isn't necessarily after being part of a proper production. Many just want to create their own small things and have fun with the act of creation.

Anyway. Do a quick check of yourself before you enter the store. Are you looking alright? Emotions kept a firm hand on? Have you thought about how to sell yourself as an interested worker if it turns out they do have an available place? Do you have at least a vague grasp on how you should act like as an employed salesperson?
>>
No. 876996 ID: 3abd97

>Remember to smile and put project your best self when you are interviewing! And don’t get discouraged! You can do it!
This is good advice, actually. Confidence projecting a positive attitude help.

And really don't get discouraged. It can take multiple tries to find a job.
>>
No. 877002 ID: 0d45a9

People have to start somewhere, even if it's going to hobby stores, so put away the snobbery. Anyway, put on a mask of positivity and ask if they have any job openings.

Remember your applicable skills and how to sell them: Wide range of practical arts and crafts knowledge (aka not focusing on one thing), you can give advice for whatever project a customer is working on, or answer any questions they have.
>>
No. 877003 ID: c73fcd

Well mac, that just adds to your employability! You can help customers make informed purchases and all that jazz.
Now, turn down that disgust and get ready to go inside.
>>
No. 877026 ID: 8a55a9

Should you be doing this in character?
>>
No. 877060 ID: c88e6d

>>876944
Look, you don't need to do stuff for professionals, you just need to do stuff to get paid. The alternatives could be FAR worse.
>>
No. 877103 ID: a43366
File 152286861323.png - (127.63KB , 800x800 , 60.png )
877103

It’s not being a snob, it’s having standards!

Buying cheap materials is fine in certain specific circumstances. If using low-quality tools is part of the point of the project, if you are on a strict budget, or if you are teaching extremely young kids for example. Outside of reasons like those there is no excuse for using sub-par materials if you have even the the minimum amount of respect for yourself or the art you are creating.

A great artist can use cheap materials and make a masterpiece, but if amateurs don’t at least use mediocre materials they are putting a millstone around their neck for no good reason. A tool is just a tool, but tools are essential in the creation art. Even someone off the street would be able to tell the difference between the two similar pieces by the same artist if they used different quality tools for each one.

Not to mention, even if the use is frivolous at the time it can be disastrous for the piece in the long-term. If the color isn’t treated properly it can fade with exposure to light, and that finger painting your kid did 100 years ago will be faded when you take it out! That’s tantamount to losing a memory! Or if you make a ceramic cup and put a design on it, some people wouldn’t check that the pigment used is non-toxic. You could poison the next alien you have over if you are that sloppy in your planning stages.

Quality is one of the most important things to consider in any art project, no matter how trivial, and the fact that people don’t understand that is terrible!

>You're the employee equivalent of cheap junk right now.
…I hope no one inside felt me get worked up like that.

I can be a confident person, if it’s just for a little while. I check myself over to make sure I’m presentable before I enter.

The store is mostly empty, and smaller than most Al’s. There is a tired guy at the register, and he’s the only employee I can see. I assume that going up to him and asking if I can have a job like a hobo isn’t the best way to get hired, so I should come up with some sort of introduction.
>>
No. 877112 ID: 86eb65

Honestly that's how it works.

Walk up and say you are looking for work and if they have any applications.
>>
No. 877126 ID: e1c8f7

>>877103
It's not so much asking for a job as it is asking for an application.
>>
No. 877133 ID: 092c63

Probably the power move would be to buy materials to make a resume, put it together and then hand it in. Not sure how well that would really work, though.

Start by looking around, see if they're sold out of anything or if there's anything major to take note of, then ask him how long he's worked here, if he enjoys it and what it's like. Showing that you've researched the place you want to work is generally a good idea. Be on guard because if this guy's not the owner he might be your competition.

Since you're a neumono, your attitude is important, too. This shop services a rogue area, right? Art must be an important outlet for their customers - or could be. Even if their clients aren't that good, an inexpert attempt at expression can do a lot to vent a person's feelings and having something that you made yourself, something real and concrete that you can touch, can do a lot for someone's self-worth in the right circumstances. Working here, you can help with that. You can help other rogues avoid some of the feelings you've already tasted and, more importantly, that sort of thing applies to you as well. Having a job whose worth you can believe in, on some level, will help you out a lot psychologically. You are not going to mope. You will work at this job.

You might end up having to put in extra time and your own money to try encourage rogues in the area to take up some hobbies. You'll need to tailor them to your targets' psychology, of course. Some touchy-feely public fingerpainting class on your day off probably wouldn't go down well, but I'd bet painting up some cardboard boxes that have been loosely shaped and then letting people go to town wrecking them could be popular. Never underestimate the therapeutic qualities of making a miniature city and pretending you're a giant monster.
>>
No. 877138 ID: 0d16d5

>>877103
Just ask if they're hiring, and if you can fill out an application. Dunno what the job market is like on Astreneus but you're both knowledgeable and able to hide your emotions behind your mask. You're a great candidate for this job, and maybe afterwards you could look for something in sales.
>>
No. 877140 ID: deec6e

>>877103

>artists where low-quality is the point, people on a strict budget, teaching young kids

If anything, those groups, particularly the last two, are precisely the ones this place is catering to! Rogues who just want to lose themselves in a cheap hobby, or the children of rogues who just want to have something fun and creative to play with. Anyone else with genuine needs you can direct towards the more high-quality goods available on special order from a different branch. It'll be fine. You're not a bad fit for this job if you can mold your expectations and learn to encourage art from humbler beginnings and to humbler ends.

Really, Kark pointed out a pretty vital thing for you. You're free to mold your own expectations. Most rogues do it for the worst, simply from not knowing any better and constantly peering into the has-been and never-will-be-agains. But if you set a goal and stick blithely to it, that's now a thing you can do without any intervention or holding back. It's scary, but also liberating in a way that at least Kark seems to have managed to harness.

For example... you can do something for this store, even if you don't get hired immediately. Do a quick check around the store, assess their stock and then ask the employee if they ever organize events or workshops inside - or outside - the shop, to attract customers. Like, lessons for kids, or for teaching interested hobbyists simple drawing and crafting techniques.

If they don't, ask why. Not enough rogue kids or rogues who art it up around? Or simply nobody who's done it before? Or have they tried it before to no effect?

Then say you'd be interested in running some simple art-promotional gigs here. You used to be with an art hive and you'd still like to pursue your vocation in some small way while earning a living. You're also interested in steady work, if they've got an opening, or should happen to get one.

Does he handle recruitment? If so, give him your phone number and name - and ask for his own. Network.
>>
No. 877142 ID: 3abd97

>I assume that going up to him and asking if I can have a job like a hobo isn’t the best way to get hired, so I should come up with some sort of introduction.
Well, there's a good chance the guy behind the counter is just a wage slave, like you're shooting to be, not the owner or the manager. (Especially if this is part of a chain of stores). So he probably doesn't have the authority to offer you a job even if he wants to.

And going up to him and being polite and friendly and asking if they're hiring or if you can have an application is pretty much the way you do it, yes. If you're lucky you'll be able to talk to the manager, or you'll be able to strike up a rapport and chat with this guy.
>>
No. 877177 ID: c88e6d

>>877103
Ask for a work application.
>>
No. 877757 ID: 15a025

Don't beat around the bush, start off up front and ask if they've got applications.
While you're filling it out (if they have one), ask about the store. Do they do any kind of community events? Lessons?

If they don't have any, try and learn a bit about the guy. Ask for their name, what their hobbies are, try to crack a little bit of smile out of them. It'd be good to make acquaintances with them in case we ever need to come back here for some crude supplies.
>>
No. 878822 ID: 0cb1a6
File 152378162456.png - (128.97KB , 800x800 , 61.png )
878822

I walk through the store for a moment to note anything that stands out. It seems like a standard Al’s, though the shelves are kind of old and the floor hasn’t been swept recently. The stock looks sparse in a few places, but I only run into a couple of other customers while I’m doing this. I take a second to put myself in the right mind frame before I approach the cashier. Upbeat, confident, and friendly. Best foot forward.

“Hello, my name is Mac and I think I could be, I mean, will be a great addition to the Artist Loft family. I am actually an artist myself and have experience with a lot of different artistic disciplines, so I definitely have the knowledge you guys ne- want.”

He’s not reacting.

“I looked around the store and saw you guys have a lot of, uh, cheaper products on the shelves. I think I can suggest some better brands, so customers can get more out of their purchases. Not that they don’t get quality out of their purchases now. I mean, they don’t, but-“

He blinked.

“Do you do art workshops? That could be a fun activity to kind of get the community invested in… self-improvement? Since we’re in roguetown. And rogues… can use art. To feel… better?”

He feels more confused than I feel awkward.

“I’m going to stop talking now.”
>>
No. 878823 ID: 0cb1a6
File 152378166044.png - (105.58KB , 800x800 , 62.png )
878823

This guy caught about a third of the words I’ve said. I keep the smile up but it’s starting to feel even more forced as he stares at me.

For a while.

Quite a while.

>”Do you want a job application?”

“Yes, please.”
>>
No. 878824 ID: 0cb1a6
File 152378170013.png - (113.02KB , 800x800 , 63.png )
878824

There’s a lot of stuff here that I don’t know how to answer. Specifically, who to cite as references and what to put as an address. I think that putting nothing down for those will get my application thrown in the trash automatically if the fact that I must leave the Hive space blank doesn’t already. I don’t have any employment history either and that’s like the entire back of the page. And my education isn’t very impressive. I stopped going to actual school in my early teens.

Do I have to write the truth on these things?
>>
No. 878826 ID: 17c2ee

>>878824
Technically you don't, but it's really easy to check and you can't hide lies in your empathy for jack. Just try and calm down, write down the truth, and if they ask to talk to you keep things simpler. You're familiar with crafts, very passionate about them, and willing to work. Don't say extra, unnecessary things. Want job, know work, like work.
>>
No. 878835 ID: 91ee5f

>>878822
Mac, normally when people put their best foot forward, they don’t put that foot in their mouth!

You’re probably gonna need a crowbar to dislodge your foot from your mouth!

>>878826
Yeah, this sounds right.
>>
No. 878837 ID: dccc88

>Do I have to write the truth on these things?

Well, you don't have to fill it out right now, do you? First of all, the lack of an address is the big one, that'll get in the way of other things. I'm afraid you'll have to either go to the free rogue housing, find a super cheap coffin hotel, or get yourself a postbox if there's anywhere around that hires them out. If you're really pushed, then just find the nearest post office and give its address as yours, they can keep letters to be collected when called for, though I'd ask them about doing that first. They might rent out postboxes, too. You'll probably need an address to open a new bank account for yourself, too, which you do need to do soon so you can get as much money as you deserve, then you can use that money to rent a place, then update your addresses to there.

Don't leave your hive space blank, just write the name of your hive and write "(former)" next to it, probably looks better. A small art shop probably isn't going to really call up your references, so just put your Queen's name and number for one, another high-ranking former hivemate and theirs for another, and... let's say, Luvi's name and number. For education, say that after school you went into apprenticeship with [older hive member that you learned things from], and for your employment list projects and productions you were part of with a title for your work with that. "Production assistant" or "lighting technician" or "makeup artist" or "supply manager's assistant" or things like that, with a brief description of what that means in terms of skills you had to have and duties you had to perform. Emphasize things applicable to this job, like managing inventory, selling tickets, et cetera.

Don't think you have to make yourself sound too impressive, this isn't that high-class of a job. Tell the truth, just tell the truth in a... business-y way. You know? Don't restrict yourself to thinking you need super-formal education and employment details, what they want is just to know what you can do.

Maybe talk to Luvi and see if she has any advice? It was her job to help rogues out with things like getting jobs, she might at least know some technical/bureaucratic details about it.
>>
No. 878840 ID: 86eb65

Mac everyone has a first job application. Everyone has to start somewhere.

All of the things you lack you can earn in a few years if you work hard. There are loans and scholarships for going back to school. Getting a work history is just a matter of time. It might be rough to start but you can make something of yourself if you try.

Honestly of this sort of entry level job you don't want to be amazing and overqualified. Just need to be decent. So be as truthful as can be. Also you don't have to fill it all out here if you don't want to.

For references put Luvi and anyone you can think that would say "Mac is ok"

For previous jobs list your art stuff with your hive.

Massage the wording so it looks nice but don't lie.
>>
No. 878845 ID: eeb7d9

>>878826
Yeap, this will work. Maybe.
>>
No. 878859 ID: cf5a32

I'm sure Luvi can help you out with anything you don't think you can put in. She'd know what the standards are for these things, after having helped so many people out before.
In general, though, you want to be honest.
>>
No. 878872 ID: 0c3c2c

>>878824
You have to write the truth down. Go find Luvi, she's the most distressingly happy Rogue we know, she can help out.
>>
No. 878878 ID: e1c8f7

>>878826
Basically this. Luvi will help you with whatever info you have trouble with.
>>
No. 878883 ID: 3abd97

>>878822
Good attempt at a pitch, but the guy working the till probably isn't the person making hiring decisions.

>Do I have to write the truth on these things?
No one's going to arrest you for lying on a job application, but if the employer catches on that you're lying, they're going to be a lot less likely to hire you.

Also you can thank him in and put it in your bag and return it later, you don't have to fill it out this minute. You could even go around and collect applications from a few places so you can fill them out all at once.

If you're not sure how to put things, you can talk to Luvi about it later.
>>
No. 878890 ID: 12b116

You can probably put Luvi as a reference, as long as they just call her and don't meet her in person. You were previously employed, bit with your hive. Just put down costume design or your most applicable skill that you did previously as your job.
>>
No. 879014 ID: 8a55a9

It's not a lie if it's an embellishment. Luvi will probably know what to do here.
>>
No. 879863 ID: 15a025

Call up Luvi and see if she can't help you out?
>>
No. 880310 ID: 78a3e5
File 152453071749.png - (129.02KB , 800x800 , 64.png )
880310

I fill out everything I can right now.

Hive: I put down the Storytree hive, but add ‘former’ to it.

Education: I stopped going to school in middle school, but if I think about it, that’s not uncommon. It hopefully won’t be too big a negative.

References: Putting Luvi down as a reference is probably safe, even if I’ve only known her for less than a day. I don’t think she could make anyone sound bad if she tried. Putting down other Hive members, or my Queen is... something I am very conflicted about, for a lot of reasons. Not least of which how they’ll react if they get called.

Address: I still need to fill this out.

Employment History: I put down ‘Hive employment’ and start listing all the little jobs and apprenticeships I did for the Hive that I can think of a good sounding title for.

So, do I turn it in now or wait until I get an address to put down? If I wait I can go around and grab some other applications and submit them at the same time. If I turn it in now I can use the rogue housing address, my old address (despite misgivings), or wait until I have something more permanent. Also, do I call Luvi for advice on how to fill this out? I’m wary of over relying on her.
>>
No. 880315 ID: 86eb65

Wait until you have all the info. Ideally get several applications and fill them all out and turn them in a bit later.

If the boss finds a half completed application they usually just ignore it. This is entry level work and no one wants to have to find that info after the fact.

You could also use Luvi's address. Even if you won't live with her you could call and check if she minds. Will give you a spot to collect your mail until you get set up.
>>
No. 880320 ID: 0c3c2c

>>880310
Call Luvi and ask if you can put down her address. Tell her you've got a job application filled out and just need that. If she says no, just use the Rogue Housing address and ask Queen if you can pick it up when it arrives.

Prepare yourself mentally for rejection. The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Job Applications in general are rejected, even with the most normal or qualified of people.
>>
No. 880321 ID: d2e2ce

>>880310
Yes, call Luvi. You're going to have to get used to asking people for help with your situation. Be sure to ask her if she has any advice about the applications, if you can crash with her for a bit, if she's doing alright, if there's anything you can do for her. Have an actual conversation with her, don't just ask for stuff, offer her help if you want to avoid relying on her too much.
>>
No. 880379 ID: 3abd97

>Education: I stopped going to school in middle school, but if I think about it, that’s not uncommon. It hopefully won’t be too big a negative.
It's retail. It's not like you need an advanced degree. A high school diploma or equivalent might give you the competitive edge, but if a lot of neumono who don't expect to work outside their hive stop at middle school, that might not be as significant in the time and place you live.

>address
You can't afford to leave that blank, and putting your hive down is probably a bad idea. Don't want to go back there for mail.

>Also, do I call Luvi for advice on how to fill this out?
Yeah, sure.
>>
No. 880416 ID: 3804c3

Call the Luvi.
>>
No. 880484 ID: 56e50f

>>880310
I'm sure Luvi wouldn't mind giving you this small favor. Call her.
>>
No. 880571 ID: 8d3803

Just hang on to the application for now. You don't need to fill out the entire thing on the spot; wait until you have a few more done.
>>
No. 881403 ID: 15a025

Wait till you can fill it all out. Call Luvi.
>>
No. 883678 ID: a43366
File 152597927798.png - (120.11KB , 800x800 , 65.png )
883678

I’m going to take the application with me. I can gather a bunch, complete them, and then turn them all in at the same time. This way I can be sure exactly what to put on them and work out this whole address thing. I leave the store to call Luvi. It rings for a while before she answers and there’s static in the background when she finally does.

“Hey Mac, have you already found a place to work at?”

“Not exactly. I called to ask for some favors.”

“Well ask away, pal!”

“So first, is it okay if I use you as a reference?”

“Definitely, you didn’t even have to ask!”

“Also, I don’t really have an address right now so…”

“Say no more, I’ll text you my address. Anything else you need? Are you ready for me to pick you up?”
>>
No. 883679 ID: 0c3c2c

>>883678
Sure, that'll be nice. Go spend some time with Luvi.
>>
No. 883682 ID: 14e348

Make sure you remember which forms go to who. Some businesses might use stock forms that don't have their information on them.

Tell Luvi only if she's sure it's no trouble to her.
>>
No. 883720 ID: 3abd97

>Are you ready for me to pick you up?
You might want to wander around and grab applications from some other retail places, first. Maybe have her meet you in an hour, or half an hour? They don't all have to be art stores.

Retail is kind of bottom-tier when it comes to employment, but it's better than nothing, and you should have a fall back plan if you don't get lucky and find a lead working on sets for movies or something else creative.
>>
No. 883784 ID: a6c84a

Yeah we could get picked up now. We also need to think about housing soon, but you can chill with Luvi for now if her empathy isn't too toxic.
>>
No. 883824 ID: 56e50f

>>883678
"Only if it's convenient to you, Luvi."
>>
No. 884051 ID: 15a025

See what other places near by might be hiring first.
>>
No. 884312 ID: fd2d31

>>883678
Shotgun approach, find some more places that could use your competences, then figure out the short term and long term housing situation.
>>
No. 884487 ID: bd5422
File 152642835119.png - (138.32KB , 800x800 , 66.png )
884487

“I wouldn’t be causing you any trouble, would I?”

“No way! It might take me a while to get there, I went to visit a friend who lives outside the district.”

“That’s fine. I can get some more job applications in the meantime. Also, I wanted to ask you about-.”

I hear someone yell something on the other end and Luvi’s voice gets muffled. It sounds like she’s arguing with someone, but I can’t make anything out but the static that was already there.

“Sorry about that, I’ll call you when I get to Shattersteel! Bye!”

She hung up.
>>
No. 884488 ID: bd5422
File 152642839960.png - (329.09KB , 800x800 , 67.png )
884488

I go to nearby stores in what I guess is a retail area of Roguetown or Shattersteel or whatever and pick up as many applications as I can. In a herculean feat I also manage to not embarrass myself again.

The atmosphere of this place feels strange, in both obvious and subtle ways. Not just the background empathy of the neumono around me, which is predictably more depressed and anti-social like everywhere else in roguetown, but I feel like there are also more aliens here than in the rest of Queenwood. Aliens aren’t exactly rare, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place where they outnumber neumono, even if it’s just in this small area. Almost every shop around here is staffed by aliens too. I probably have enough applications at this point, so I don’t bother going into any of them.
>>
No. 884489 ID: bd5422
File 152642843093.png - (258.80KB , 1000x800 , 68.png )
884489

I sit down at a bench and eat some of the jerky I bought. It’s ridiculously over spiced, but even cold it’s still good.

This is the first time I’ve ever actually been in Roguetown and while it’s not great it’s not nearly as terrible as I imagined it would be. The streets are clean, there’s not too much graffiti and I’ve only seen one fight so far. My biggest worry is that the empathy around here is contagious. I already feel a little pricklier towards other neumono because they’ve been sending those vibes towards me subtly. I might be imagining it though? Feeling more alone because I expect to feel alone? I also feel like I’m missing something that’s obvious to everyone else and it’s making me feel uneasy, but I can’t even begin to narrow down what’s causing it. Maybe I just need to take a nap and reset my whole mood.

There’s a kid around who is focusing really hard on not being seen, which is making them stand out. Other neumono are ignoring them on purpose.
>>
No. 884497 ID: d2e2ce

>>884489
Make a mental note to ask Luvi about your empathy and stop worrying about it. Stare at the kid as you consider your options for non-craft shop jobs.
>>
No. 884499 ID: f3fe9b

Your empathy is a facade, remember? You're acting. Are there problems that come from doing that for too long?
>>
No. 884504 ID: 08c5fd

>>884499
Don't remind her, you'll make it harder to maintain!

>>884489
>I also feel like I’m missing something that’s obvious to everyone else and it’s making me feel uneasy

Maybe there's some local crime syndicate or gang or something keeping everyone in line. You'd better play along with what all the other neumono are doing. It's not like that kid has a gun or anything, and they're obviously not avoiding the shopkeeper's line of sight.
>>
No. 884509 ID: 3abd97

>I went to visit a friend
>I hear someone yell something on the other end and Luvi’s voice gets muffled. It sounds like she’s arguing with someone
I really hope she didn't bail on a friend right after going out to see them on your sake. You could have waited some!

>I also feel like I’m missing something that’s obvious to everyone else and it’s making me feel uneasy
It might be something about you everyone else is picking up on? Your empathy is still probably shouting "less than a day old rogue" even if you're not freaking out over it. Wound take time to heal, and sharp edges time to blunt, and the downside of empathy is they're out there.

>>884499
Might also be strain from the acting trick, yeah. Remember you want to let that down when you're in some safe, not-public place.

>There’s a kid around who is focusing really hard on not being seen, which is making them stand out. Other neumono are ignoring them on purpose.
Well... I guess that's polite? He doesn't want them to pay attention, and they're obliging him.
>>
No. 884538 ID: bd5422
File 152644174434.png - (257.99KB , 1000x800 , 69.png )
884538

My current empathy isn’t a façade, I’m just ignoring the emotional context the facts about my life right now. I guess it’s a lot harder to explain than it is to do. I’m lucky I learned it so young from my hive or I probably wouldn’t be able to do it. I don’t think there are any negative effects from doing it too long, but usually I only do it for a few hours during a play. I can breakdown and cry when I know I have a bed to do it in. So not anytime soon, at least. The weird empathy I’m feeling is everyone else, not me. I still feel mostly normal, considering. I’ll ask Luvi about it later.

I picked up job applications from everyplace that would give me one. A liquor store, a restaurant, some others. Hopefully one of them takes me.

I watch the kid for a while and they are remarkably bad at not drawing attention, standing where the shopkeeper can clearly see shuffling around a lot. The kid finally notices me and starts, which I suppose let them work up the courage to do something. They try to casually walk past the stand and pocket something from it. I say try because the kid somehow manages to trip and knock the stand down.
>>
No. 884541 ID: d2e2ce

ignore this tiny-handed child and move on with your life--actually wait, what was it trying to pickpocket?
>>
No. 884542 ID: 86eb65

Well at this point its only shoplifting if he runs for it with the stuff. He can play it off as being a clumsy oaf if he was a good actor.

Oh wait there is a good actor right here who could help him!

Why not help the kid out. Rush over and help the kid put the stand back up. As you are putting items back on the shelf loudly tease him for being so clumsy when he is trying to get a snack to buy.

If he is smart he will play along. If not he will bolt for it as you approach and you can just ignore the situation from there.
>>
No. 884543 ID: 0c3c2c

>>884538
This is the saddest shoplifter in history.

Like, let's not even go into his poor attempt. Let's point out the fact that his hands are ENORMOUS and he's trying to pluck one small item out of it dexterously and stick it into his pocket. This is almost the absolute worst possible chain of decisions they could possibly have made.
>>
No. 884546 ID: 3abd97

Okay, your options are to either:

(1) not interfere, and watch as the kid panics and runs off.
(2) Sigh and go over there and help clean up the stand, and pretend like the kid actually knocked it over by accident, giving him plausibly deniability.

Of course 2 might get you in trouble, or accused of being an accomplice if he steals something anyways, or might get something of yours stolen if he turns out to be an ingrate.
>>
No. 884559 ID: f3fe9b

Cover for him; say 'clumsy bastard' and empathetically tell him to help you pick that up before the aliens get wise.
>>
No. 884563 ID: 9b7b0d

The clumsy ruse was a distaction!
The real theft will happen while the shopkeeper is busy with the stand.
>>
No. 884564 ID: 4854ef

Clap for him, it's certainly an interesting "performance" piece.
>>
No. 884568 ID: 1fc6de

>>884488
What is that bizarre creature to the left there?
>>
No. 884578 ID: caf1de

slow clap
>>
No. 884602 ID: 0c3c2c

>>884563
I am beginning to suspect Neumono are very bad at subtlety. Mac, go and get involved. Walk up and ask if the incompetent Neumono thief is alright. The shopkeeper is likely on his way out and might kick the kid's ass if he thinks he's robbing the place. Make it seem like the kid really did innocently trip and help make things right with the shopkeeper.

Also, kick the kid's ass if he steals anything.
>>
No. 884614 ID: 12b116

I don't think a Miklik is gonna kick anybody's ass, but it can't hurt to offer to buy him a snack if he's starving
>>
No. 884617 ID: d9999b

>>884578
No, golf clap.
>>
No. 884627 ID: 0d45a9

>>884546
Yeah, split between these two options though. The first seems more practical, but the second is kinder. The risk with the second is we get accused of being an accomplice, and maybe empathy means it doesn't work.

Gonna say try to help to kid anyway.
>>
No. 884637 ID: 074011

Note that you are currently distracted, and thus vulnerable. Look for the kid's accomplice.
>>
No. 884640 ID: 91ee5f

>>884637
That is a possibility.

Mac better hold her purse real tight in her hands.
>>
No. 884648 ID: 4ee927

It's a trap! Don't fall for the two man con! There's probably a miklik going for your wallet right now.
>>
No. 884653 ID: bd5422
File 152651390626.png - (212.49KB , 1000x800 , 70.png )
884653

A few neumono snicker as they go about their business and some aliens stop to stare. One asshole even starts clapping. The kid’s embarrassment is palpable.

I put my food away and walk over to him. The Miklik has gotten out of his seat but he’s still behind the desk. The kid scrambled to grab as much of the food as he could before I got to him. I keep a hand on my bag in case there’s a trick, but the kid seems way too panicked for it to be one.

“Hey kid, you alright? You really have to be more careful. I’ll help you clean up.”

I think he gets that I am trying to cover for him, but he’s still torn between running with what he’s got or playing along. I really hope he’s getting how bad an idea I think that is.
>>
No. 884654 ID: 86eb65

Start cleaning up. If he runs he runs.

Either way clean up what is there. If he is still around introduce yourself.
>>
No. 884655 ID: 0c3c2c

>>884653
Continue empathically suggesting how horrible an idea it is to steal that much food this publicly.

Maybe imply you'll buy him some food if you can? There's no reason to be eating this unhealthy alien stuff when it's possible to get a bowl of stew for less, with more alleged nutritional value.
>>
No. 884656 ID: 3abd97

>>884653
Give him your best unimpressed, disproving stare and wait for him to crumble.
>>
No. 884657 ID: 4ee927

Kid, you're getting off the hook for free. Don't blow it just for some shitty stale bread. Help clean up this mess.
>>
No. 884658 ID: 08c5fd

Quietly say "There's way too many people staring at you right now" as you help him fix it. While you're here, you should probably get some food yourself, and something for Luvi since she's been a big help and is now unemployed.
>>
No. 884661 ID: 9ce3d5

Just start cleaning, even if the kid runs you'll be doing a good thing by putting things back.
>>
No. 884678 ID: e1c8f7

>>884538
Feign concern and go help him clean up the stand.
>>
No. 884701 ID: 10c408

Don't get involved. If there's any cops nearby they've likely already 'heard' this guy and are moving to intercept.
>>
No. 884731 ID: bd5422
File 152657568721.png - (114.22KB , 800x800 , 71.png )
884731

“Look, just help me clean up the mess and you won’t get in much trouble. I’ll even get you something to eat if you need.”

I put my hand on his shoulder to make sure he gets the point and give him my most Queenly stare. It’s full of as much disappointment and disapproval as I can muster. This always worked on me, so I figure it should stop this kid from doing anything stupid. He’s panicking, but now that I’m touching him I can tell he’s specifically anxious he screwed something up.

He glances at the miklik before-
>>
No. 884732 ID: bd5422
File 152657572133.png - (182.72KB , 800x800 , 72.png )
884732

>>
No. 884733 ID: bd5422
File 152657576501.png - (275.83KB , 1000x1000 , 73.png )
884733

…That hurt.

He hightailed it out of here, dropping most of the food.

>”Are you okay?”
>>
No. 884737 ID: d5ee3d

"Mostly my pride. Keep an eye out, he probably has friends."
>>
No. 884741 ID: 0c3c2c

>>884733
Mostly your pride got hurt. Offer to help restock the shelf. This tall, gangly alien seems nice. Thank him for asking.
>>
No. 884742 ID: 05b978

I knew it!
There's one at the cash register!
>>
No. 884743 ID: d2e2ce

"His friend is robbing the register."
>>
No. 884744 ID: 5f3f48

*sigh* I'll be okay, mostly my pride. Thought I could get the kid to back down from doing something stupid.
>>
No. 884750 ID: 9ce3d5

Clever bastard. He must have put up the other neumono to try something knowing he'd fail miserably, and then didn't tell him the real plan so his empathy wouldn't give him away.
>>
No. 884756 ID: 86eb65

You better check your register quick.
>>
No. 884766 ID: 56e50f

>>884733
You're fine, just winded. Tell the guy that the kid dropped most of the food but he still grabbed some. Apologize and say you tried to discourage them.
>>
No. 884770 ID: 3abd97

You might want to point over your shoulder back at the till, in case you can't talk.

"Might want to get the one at the till."
>>
No. 884779 ID: 10c408

Squeak out the words "cash register" before you sit down to ease the pain.
>>
No. 884908 ID: 05d8dc
File 152667632864.png - (125.06KB , 800x800 , 74.png )
884908

“Not my pride. There’s a kid at your register.”

>”Huh? Aw, hell!”

The kid inside hears the miklik and sends out a sudden flash of irritation.
>>
No. 884909 ID: 05d8dc
File 152667636378.png - (197.08KB , 800x800 , 75.png )
884909

The miklik runs back into the store and I hear a scuffle and shouts while I get up off the ground. Less than a minute later the miklik comes out with the kid held by the scruff of their neck.

>”Little shit didn’t even manage to get the cash register open. Thanks for the head’s up, lady. I’m going to call the cops if you want to hang around for a bit. They’ll probably be able to catch the brat that hit you once this one talks.”

Speaking of, I feel that boy come back in empathy range. The one the miklik is holding really wants to get out of his grip but is also preoccupied with something. I can’t tell what it is but they’re being protective of something that’s not in sight right now.
>>
No. 884912 ID: e5c658

>>884909
He's probably worried about the kid who ran away. Let the Miklik know that you don't care about that. If their friend got caught and punished, then that might be enough of a wake-up call to set them straight.

If the kid's empathy changes after hearing this, then you should know if you're on the right track or not.
>>
No. 884916 ID: a4691e

You don't really want to get this kid thrown in juvie, do you? Maybe you could ask the miklik to just let the kid go with a warning that next time he won't be so lenient?
If he isn't feeling so lenient then maybe it is time to get a bit more physical. A quick bite on the arm would probably distract him enough to let the kid go then you could take off running.
On a side note: Talking with the police seems like a bad idea right now. You know, with that big old bag of bitterweed sitting in your purse and all? Just food for thought.
>>
No. 884917 ID: 4854ef

>>884914
Well he did just try to rob him.. And the other tried to as well.. I really don't think we should help the kids.

That Miklik is surprisingly strong, he's just holding the kid by his neck with a friggen pinch!
>>
No. 884920 ID: 0c3c2c

>>884909
"Feels like they're trying to steal to help their sibling." Maybe the alien will have more sympathy for the alien thief if he knows they're not just doing this for the cash.

Then again, maybe not. They are an alien. Still, try calling Luvi again. Maybe she knows a Social Services solution to criminal youth.
>>
No. 884922 ID: 166e1c

I don't care.
I'm looking for a job. If you are hiring I will wait to talk about it, otherwise I will take my leave.
>>
No. 884927 ID: b59fad

Better not hang around too much or try get a job here, you probably don't want to be publicly seen as someone who's too helpful to the police.
>>
No. 884942 ID: 56e50f

Hey, ask if they're hiring.
>>
No. 884949 ID: fd2d31

>>884909
Get the kids to emphatically spill the beans of what they're protective about or you will tell the cops what you experienced.
>>
No. 884976 ID: 3abd97

>I can’t tell what it is but they’re being protective of something that’s not in sight right now.
Of each other, maybe. Or someone who put them up to it. Or who they were gonna give the food to or share it with.

>They’ll probably be able to catch the brat that hit you once this one talks.
*Sigh* "I was just trying to give him a chance not to do something dumb."

I don't think pressing charges on a kid a headbutt is really a good use of Mac's time. She can cooperate with the cops if they ask her any questions, and we're waiting for Luvi anyways, but it doesn't seem like something to prioritize.

>>884916
It's a little late for Mac to try and stop the kid(s) from being punished. It might not be all bad- if they have any responsible adults in their lives, the cops taking them home mean discipline. And if they don't, getting in the system has a chance of straightening them out or helping them. (Social services for kids might be better than for rogues- after all, they aren't rogues yet. They can still be adopted into hives and given better lives relatively easier).

Miklik probably doesn't have a choice here, either. This happened in front of witness, is probably on camera, and there's almost certainly a store policy on what to do. If he just let the kid go he might be getting fired.

>what else do
If we want to try and turn this into an advantage, you might be able to get a job out of this (even if a retail shop isn't great), or a recommendation.

At the very least exchange introductions with the miklik shopkeep, you met someone who now has reason to be inclined to be friendly to you in the future.
>>
No. 884977 ID: deec6e

Don't ask for work here and now, but do keep this place in mind for future forays into looking for work.

>>884909

Sigh as the youngster struggles. It seems clear he chowed down on something and he's trying to keep you from realizing, so he's at least a little pro at this.

Grab his hand to verify, frown at him, then tell him to spit it out unless he wants someone meaner than you to make him (not much of a threat, but still). If he does, ask the Miklik if these kids are first-timers. If they are, suggest he let them go, since he now knows to keep an eye out for them and they surely wouldn't be stupid enough to try the same trick twice in the same place on the same alien. Explain you don't really want to stick around for the police to show up, since you've got things to do and you don't know how much of your time they'll take up.
>>
No. 884979 ID: 91ee5f

>>884909
“He’s got something in his mouth.”

You know, while we’re here, we might as well get a job application for this place before we leave.
>>
No. 884995 ID: 12b116

Tell the kid to explain what he's hiding, you can tell from his empathy.
>>
No. 885000 ID: 91ee5f

>>884979
Also, Mac should definitely keep her purse close to her chest.

Because if this kid manages to break free, then he won’t want to leave empty handed and may try and steal Mac’s purse to get back at her for messing up his heist.
>>
No. 885158 ID: 15a025

Mention to the store clerk they might be hiding something from them.

Keep a tight grip on your stuff Mac. Kid might try to take something from you if he manages to get away.
>>
No. 885164 ID: cb585b

Make sure to watch out for the kid that headbutted you. Just because he ran doesnt mean he went far or came back...
>>
No. 885734 ID: 3334f7
File 152710877503.png - (135.49KB , 800x800 , 76.png )
885734

“I’m not really interested in sticking around. If you’re feeling thankful though, maybe you know where I could find a job?”

>“A job? Well I can talk to my old man and put in a good word for you. Maybe I can finally convince him to let me drop a few shifts and hire on some extra help.”

The kid stops struggling in his grip as the Miklik pulls out a cellphone and starts speaking into it. He’s just giving me a death glare and the empathy to match it.

“You shouldn’t do something as dumb as trying to rob a store. Your actions have real consequences.”

He wants to curse me out, but he still won’t open his mouth. Which makes me think…

“There’s something in your mouth, isn’t there?”

His glare doesn’t change but I can tell I’m right. Then I hear him swallow.

>“Not anymore, bitch.”

The other boy finally decides to do something and runs towards us.
>>
No. 885735 ID: 3334f7
File 152710881824.png - (126.64KB , 800x800 , 77.png )
885735

>”Let Jazz go, you jerks!”
>>
No. 885736 ID: 3334f7
File 152710884784.png - (136.38KB , 1200x800 , 78.png )
885736

>>
No. 885738 ID: 3334f7
File 152710887317.png - (153.67KB , 800x800 , 79.png )
885738

My phone starts to ring.
>>
No. 885739 ID: ee2d6e

Give him The Look, and answer your phone
>>
No. 885743 ID: 7fad5d

>>885738
Answer it while punching him with his own hands.
>>
No. 885746 ID: f3fe9b

Be a little embarrassed that he brought you down, answer phone.
>>
No. 885748 ID: 0c3c2c

>>885738
Radiate how unimpressed you are, then answer your phone, making sure to step out of punching range of Jazz. Say, "He literally tried to rob a store. You two are the jerks here."

Then answer the phone. Maybe you got lucky and it's Luvi calling you to tell you she won the lottery and is getting a crew together for a space adventure, and you're going to run the entertainment?
>>
No. 885753 ID: 91ee5f

>>885734
“That’s cute kid, but unless that’s food, how did you expect to get that back? Were you gonna have your friend cut you open and hope you don’t die?”

>>885738
*facepalm*

Keep an eye on both of them while you answer your phone so that you can watch out for one or both of them trying to do something while you’re distracted.
>>
No. 885757 ID: b1b4f3

>>885738
Go sit on him. Then answer phone.
>>
No. 885759 ID: 4854ef

This is just a comedy of errors isn't it.. Just go answer your phone.
>>
No. 885763 ID: 91ee5f

>>885753
Also, use your empathy to let the kids know that you would’ve covered for them, if a certain someone didn’t headbutt you! That way that kid will know that it’s his fault that you're not helping them.
>>
No. 885766 ID: 3abd97

>>885734
...Jazz, was that food you swallowed? You know it's a really bad idea to try and steal not food by swallowing it, right? Even for neumono.

>phone
I don't suppose you're best friends with child services, Luvi?
>>
No. 885801 ID: 56e50f

>>885738
Nice try, kiddo. Answer your phone and stare at him while you do so.
>>
No. 885838 ID: 66d39c

>>885736
Alright then, bud...

Answer your phone, but help the miklik keep an eye on these kids while you're at it. Don't let them snatch your phone, cause they would definitely try.

Also remind Jazz that he's going to have to shit out whatever it is that he swallowed... maybe he should take a tip to urgent care to get that removed?
>>
No. 885842 ID: b1b4f3

I would say not to just pull out your phone without taking measures to keep them from stealing it and running.
>>
No. 885866 ID: a1ae08

Don't let them steal your phone
>>
No. 885929 ID: cfac00

Just check your phone to see who’s calling and deny the call. We can call them back later when we’re away from the kids so it doesn’t get snatched.

Also can we catch this kid? Maybe tackle him to the ground and let the miklik hold onto him and jazz until the cops arrive.
>>
No. 886360 ID: 15a025

Jazz, I hope for your sake that was food you just swallowed.
>>
No. 886435 ID: 3334f7
File 152739826498.png - (140.22KB , 800x800 , 80.png )
886435

>Use your empathy to let the kids know that you would’ve covered for them, if a certain someone didn’t headbutt you!
I am certain they don’t know me well enough to be able to tell that I’m feeling that. If they could tell they’d already know anyway. Empathy isn’t telepathy after all.

>”Just run away, you fucking idiot!” Jazz yells.

The kid finally bolts, and I don’t think he’s going to come back this time. I certainly don’t have the heart to follow him, and I doubt the miklik does either. I pull out my phone once he’s out of range and the small one is securely held by the miklik.

>”Heya Mac, I’m back in town! Where are you?”

“I walked to a place with a lot of retail stores. I’m not sure its name but there are a lot of aliens around.”

>”This is Ironspring Plaza. There’s a big sign when you come in. Did you miss it?” The miklik says.

…I did.

“I’m in the Ironspring plaza. Also, I should ask, there’s this kid who was trying to steal from a convenience store. We stopped him but-“

>“Are they rogues? See if you can get contact information for their Hive or mother, first. If they don’t give it to you just try to distract them for a bit. Don’t scare them off or make them mad!“

“Uh…”

>“Keep them there and I’ll be there lickety-split. Don’t call the cops, okay! If they’re really street kids they really won’t like that!“

I hear an engine rev through the speaker.
>>
No. 886436 ID: 0c3c2c

>>886435
Tell the Miklik that a member of Social Services is on the way. Also, ask him his name and introduce yourself. Only polite.
>>
No. 886437 ID: b1b4f3

>>886436
Actually she got fired. So it's just... someone who used to work social services. Still pretty good though?
>>
No. 886438 ID: 7fad5d

>>886435
Okay, the other kid already ran and this one's pissed. Start eating him alive. You need to put him into his place or at least get rid of the problem. Plus hey, free food.
>>
No. 886441 ID: 0c3c2c

>>886437
He doesn't know Luvi got fired!

Also, since the cops are coming, plan B: Politely ask the Miklik to do us a solid and drag the Neumono kid off so the cops don't Police Brutality him all over the street so a member of Social Services can get him taken care of.
>>
No. 886442 ID: e1c8f7

>>886435
"What hive are you two from? I'll see about calling off the cops if you talk." Wink at the miklik.
>>
No. 886445 ID: 91ee5f

>>886435
>I hear an engine rev through the speaker.
She hasn’t hung up yet, so tell her that the cops have already been called, so if she wants to do anything, then she’d better try to hurry and beat the cops getting here!
>>
No. 886491 ID: 3abd97

>>”This is Ironspring Plaza. There’s a big sign when you come in. Did you miss it?” The miklik says.
Thank you.

>I hear an engine rev through the speaker.
Don't drive while you're on the phone, Luvi! That's not safe, even for neumono.

>See if you can get contact information for their Hive or mother, first.
This is a perfectly reasonable course of action no matter what else happens. If a kid gets in trouble, you should try to get in touch with their parent and/or guardian, assuming they have either.

>Don’t call the cops, okay! If they’re really street kids they really won’t like that!
I'm not sure what the kid likes is really the point, Luvi. And it's not me he tried to rob, it's not my decision to let him off easy.
>>
No. 886580 ID: d7b8dc

Yeah, mention that the cops have been called already so she should probably hurry if she has other plans. You should probably thank the miklik for being patient about this, too, and exchange names and such. Tell him that that was social services, and apparently if these kids are rogues they'll be the ones to talk to about them in lieu of the police.
>>
No. 887019 ID: ba5478
File 152774502948.png - (172.99KB , 800x800 , 81.png )
887019

“The cops may have already been called.”

I think I hear someone yelp over the engine.

”Sorry! Just stall them or move the kid then! I’ll be there soon.”

Luvi hangs up, probably to focus on driving. The miklik is dragging Jazz back into the store to wait for the police to arrive.

“Hey, uh…”

>”My name’s Sloane. Yours?”

“Mac. I was just talking to a social worker. She said she’s coming soon to talk to the kid and said to call the cops off.”

>”So? I already called the police, they can take the kid to social services or whatever later. Plus isn’t calling to the police to cancel a report illegal or something?”

I don’t think Sloane’s open to getting the cops uninvolved at this point. I start to follow him inside and try to talk to the kid while we wait.

“Jazz, do you have a hive we can call?”

>“Yeah, their number is five five go fuck yourself.”

Maybe I can come up with a strategy to get him to open up. Or I could just wait for the cops or Luvi, whoever gets here first.
>>
No. 887021 ID: 0c3c2c

>>887019
Politely explain to Sloane that Hive Cops are extremely... excessive in terms of force. Meaning they'll probably beat him to a bloody pulp then throw him in prison.
>>
No. 887033 ID: 10c408

Just give Jazz the score. The cops might forcefully extract whatever he swallowed and you wish you were kidding.
>>
No. 887048 ID: e1c8f7

>>887019
Your options are limited, Jazz. Cops or talking. Trust me, you don't want the cops. The cops will not play nice.
>>
No. 887075 ID: 3abd97

>>887019
>I don’t think Sloane’s open to getting the cops uninvolved at this point
Really, I don't think you should push on that. Maybe Luvi can help, but the kid did attempt robbery.

>Maybe I can come up with a strategy to get him to open up.
Come on, kid. Even if you get in trouble, you're better off getting your family involved.

Seriously. Someone is going to be worried if you spend the night in a cell instead of coming home. Give me a number.
>>
No. 887084 ID: 91ee5f

>>887033
Let’s try to scare him with the forceful extraction thing.

“Jazz, you don’t want the cops involved. I heard they cut open the last guy that tried to steal something by swallowing it! Didn’t even take him to a hospital to do it, they just gut the guy and then threw him in the car and hauled him off to jail!”
>>
No. 887118 ID: 891b91

>>887019
Tell him the cops are going to force him to spend an entire day with Luvi.
>>
No. 887306 ID: 15a025

He might not have a hive we can call. Give Jazz the jazz about what might happen if he doesn't cooperate a little bit.
>>
No. 887459 ID: fd2d31

Might wanna stash away the bitterweed for when the cops come, but don't think much about it or Jazz might pick it up by empathy.
>>
No. 887506 ID: ba5478
File 152808351776.png - (192.68KB , 800x800 , 82.png )
887506

”Kid, being an asshole isn’t going to help you in this situation. The cops are coming but if you just listen and do as the adults say nothing too bad will happen. Just tell me how to contact your family and they can help you deal with this.”

>“Fuck that, you seem more worried than I do. What have you done, huh?”

“What- nothing!”

>“I guess we’ll see in a few minutes. Why the fuck are you so interested, narc?”

“I haven’t exactly heard good things about the cops around here. Maybe they’ll cut you open to get whatever you swallowed, or something horrible like that.”

>“Yeah and if they do it’ll be your fucking fault. Did the lizards gangly arms fill you with lust or something? Is that what gets a freak like you off?”

“What, no I-“ I take a breath to calm down. “Look, if you just give me a number to call and I can get someone here that’ll be in your corner!”

>“How about you take out your phone and call your own mom if you’re such a giant pussy. Oh wow, hit a big nerve there, huh? Did mommy not even give you a goodbye kiss before your hive threw you out like a piece of trash? Get the fuck out of my face before I start testing my aim with spit. Or do you get off on that too, alienfucker?”

Fuck this kid. I stand up and walk away and try to calm down again. I stay close enough to keep an eye on him while I wait for someone, anyone to show up, and stew for a little while until I feel some neumono approaching with interest in the store.
>>
No. 887507 ID: ba5478
File 152808355444.png - (179.83KB , 800x800 , 83.png )
887507

A serious looking neumono walks into the store. She glances at Jazz but doesn’t pay him much mind otherwise.
>”Ma’am, you’re the one who tried to stop the child who ran initially, correct? I’m Officer Glint. Give me your own version of events, please.” She presses a button on her belt. “Your statement will be recorded.”
>>
No. 887509 ID: a8b0c6

Tell her that the asshole kid was trying to steal food, see how the response is to that. Try to draw it out for a while so luvi can get here
>>
No. 887511 ID: 3abd97

>>887507
Keep it simple and to the facts. Start by giving your name.

You were sitting on the bench over there, you saw the kid knock over the stand, you went over there to try and get him to back down instead of doing something dumb, then he headbutted you and ran off.

Sloane, the Miklik, came out to check on me. I sensed the other kid, Jazz, at the register and told him, and Sloane grabbed him. After that it was mostly the kid protesting and trying to get a number for his parents or his hive. Um, my friend Luvi called a little before you showed up. That's all, I think.
>>
No. 887513 ID: 0c3c2c

>>887507
Slowly and politely give your version of events and mention that you called social services.
>>
No. 887515 ID: 91ee5f

>>887507
Tell her that you saw some kid acting weird in front of the store and he knocked over the stand outside when he tried to swipe something. You went over to try and help him clean up and tried to convince him not to do something stupid and then he headbutted you.

That’s when the store clerk came out to check on you. And then you felt this other kid’s empathy in the store, so he probably snuck in through the back door, and you warned the clerk, who rushed in and caught the kid. That’s when this kid swallowed whatever he stole.

After that, we’ve just been keeping an eye on him.

>>887511
>Start by giving your name.
The rule is: If they don’t ask for it, then don’t give it to them.

The officer didn’t ask for our name, so we shouldn’t give her our name.

>Um, my friend Luvi called a little before you showed up.
And no telling them about things that don’t concern what happened. A phone call from a friend isn’t important to what happened.
>>
No. 887516 ID: 91ee5f

>>887513
Actually, we didn’t call Luvi, Luvi called us.
>>
No. 887517 ID: b1b4f3