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File 151807450133.png - (259.13KB , 800x600 , xq251.png )
865754 No. 865754 ID: ed67d9

712 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 877502 ID: 2251c3

Where is Laertes when you need them.
>>
No. 877512 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152304201953.png - (82.22KB , 800x600 , xq442.png )
877512

You turn on your Ethereal Sight.
>>
No. 877513 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152304203156.png - (89.92KB , 800x600 , xq443.png )
877513

You sign to Khoros, "Can see you now. Split yourself? Turn off power?

Khoros starts to sign back at you an—
>>
No. 877514 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152304204536.png - (688.00KB , 800x600 , xq444.png )
877514

PAINFEARPAINFEARPANICANGERJOYFEEDHUNGERPAIN
>>
No. 877515 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152304208175.png - (476.92KB , 800x600 , xq445.png )
877515

The pain and fear and sudden wash of extreme and powerful emotion you feel coming from OUTSIDE this room FEEDS your HUNGER to overflowing. Unlike before, you do not resonate. You have CONTROL You can CHOOSE to manifest as PHYSICAL or remain ETHEREAL. If you become PHYSICAL then you WILL REMAIN AS ONE. You will be able to interact with objects and people. If you would suffer any harm or injury you would instead go back to being ethereal. If you remain ETHEREAL then you will be able to still possess other people and travel instantly between those you have a bond with, as you currently can. What will you choose?
>>
No. 877516 ID: a363ac

>>877515
physical
>>
No. 877517 ID: cb585b

Ethereal, even if it'd be nice to return to your physical body, it's kind of hard to deny that being a ghost-like thing is pretty useful, though it of course has a few drawbacks as well i guess...
>>
No. 877518 ID: 2251c3

Can we defer our manifestation?

If not, then.. physical.
>>
No. 877520 ID: 4854ef

Become physical, then we could open the cells ourselves.
>>
No. 877521 ID: f62af6

>>877515
Now isn't the time. Remain ethereal. They would be able to see us if we were physical.
>>
No. 877522 ID: 56e50f

>>877515
Ethereal! Jump to Outissa! We need a moment to collect ourselves, then we can jump back to Melinoë to relay and assess the situation.
>>
No. 877523 ID: 1a4728

Physical.
>>
No. 877524 ID: 91ee5f

>>877515
Remain ethereal.

We can’t interact with anything while the lights are off because we don’t know where anything is located.

Besides, even if we did become physical, with our dumb luck, someone would run into us or step on our foot or something, which would cause us to become ethereal again.
>>
No. 877525 ID: 12b116

remain etherial seems to be the more practical option right now
>>
No. 877527 ID: 5bfe0d

physical form
>>
No. 877528 ID: c88e6d

>>877515
Remain Ethereal so you can jump to Melinoe and tell her everything.
>>
No. 877532 ID: b1b4f3

>>877515
Ethereal, we need to intercept whatever the fuck is happening IMMEDIATELY. Physical body is TOO SLOW.

I suspect the power outtage released something horrible. We need to verify that and then warn everyone and I do mean everyone.
>>
No. 877537 ID: b1b4f3

Wait, our VV ability lets us tell if something's an echo or a hallucination, but do we have to manually check?
Is this burst of emotion real?
>>
No. 877543 ID: b1b4f3

Here's another possible way this isn't as dangerous as it looks:
It's possible the mushrooms these alt-noxans eat have emotions(yet lack sapience, hopefully), and the alt-noxans have a massive surge of emotion from eating them.
>>
No. 877553 ID: 3740b1

Maybe the other red was the rest of us, somehow? After all, it's identical to Khoros... our identical twin. I say take the risk of going for physical. Surely it's what she wants for herself. Grab a star and hope it doesn't burn.
>>
No. 877574 ID: eeb7d9

Yes... YES, YES!!! THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! FINALLY A BODY! NOW WE ARE GOING TO DO THINGS VERY DIFFERENTLY!
Physical form, please... HehehehahaHAHAHA!
>>
No. 877578 ID: 4ccc6a

>>877537
(Clarification: You do NOT have to manually check. It will be made very obvious if something isn't real.)
>>
No. 877588 ID: 6e59e3

Get physical.
Tease the cute boy that has eyes for Khoros.
We should act like Khoros.

Oh, and we should probably let them out of their cages.
>>
No. 877589 ID: f5d2df

try physical
>>
No. 877595 ID: 91ee5f

>>877588
>Oh, and we should probably let them out of their cages.
How? We don’t know how to open the cages and even if we did, we wouldn’t be able to find anything in the darkness, since apparently only Khoros can see in the dark.
>>
No. 877600 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152307979471.png - (3.13KB , 800x600 , xq446.png )
877600

You choose to manifest Physical.

And like that, the roiling onslaught of emotion vanishes. You stumble to the side, as much from the sudden deafening absence as from the press of gravity. You bite back a whimper when you stub a toe, the pain from it infinitely more intense yet infinitely less so than what was wracking you moments ago.

Spiky noxan when I am scared a lot I try to think about things that I like! What are some things that you like very, very much?

u-um... um... g-grilled mushrooms. cute boys. climbing trees.

I like all of those things too! Yay!
>>
No. 877601 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152307979788.png - (15.79KB , 800x600 , xq447.png )
877601

You walk very slowly towards Khoros's eyes, hands out in front of you. After a few moments, they press against the cool, hard surface of the glass, and you slide a hand down until you can feel a latch, which you unlock with as much quiet as you can. You are grateful that Astarte is keeping the strange noxan occupied with conversation. You push on the enclosure door and it opens inward.

You estimate that you can stay manifested for roughly an hour.

>>
No. 877602 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152307980022.png - (52.25KB , 800x600 , xq448.png )
877602

I want to have babies! Do you want to have babies?

this noxan has not thought much about that.

Khoros stands still, letting you approach.

You hug.

You hug your brother. Your twin. Your mirror image. And with your
own body. You had almost forgotten how much like you he felt. There is a closeness the two of you have always shared, and always will share.

In the darkness, where no one else can see... the two of you finally let the tears roll freely.

>>
No. 877603 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152307980335.png - (3.13KB , 800x600 , xq449.png )
877603

His mouth right against your ear, Khoros whispers:
If you and I
Had been anything less
Than these tormented souls
We would never have gone so far
To become what we are



You have a decision to make.
Do you ask Khoros to stay and keep Astarte and the other noxan safe while you go investigate (you're pretty certain that it's light enough to just barely see by outside the room)

or

Do you stay here with Astarte and the other noxan and instead ask Khoros to go see what is happpening?
>>
No. 877604 ID: 6e59e3

Ask Khoros to stay and keep Astarte safe.

We cannot keep her safe if we are injured or are about to fall to harm - we will turn ethereal and be unable to protect her.

It is less risky for us to scout, and Khoros to proteect. He is a good guardian.

Sign to Khoros to stay and protect Astarte, and that it brings great joy to embrace him as kin once more, despite the fleeting acquaintance and poor circumstance.

With good family, all is right in the world.
>>
No. 877605 ID: a363ac

>>877603
let khoros explore he is better at it by 90001% also we can make lewd jokes with Astarte. go touch her boob while we are here "honk"
>>
No. 877606 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, didn't occur to me that going physical would cut off the empathic feedback. That's a definite advantage. Unfortunately that also means we can't monitor the empathic situation anymore, nor can we warn Melinoe.

>>877603
Barely seeing is good enough for us. If there is a super-dangerous hostile we will almost immediately go ethereal which means there is no risk to ourselves. Then we can come back to give Khoros some info on what the threat is, and maybe how to defeat it.
Staying here would be a serious risk because we can't actually fight like this to protect Astarte. We'd have to just hope Khoros is enough to handle whatever it is out there, on his own, with no prior info.

We should probably get the answers to those two questions we asked? If he did split off, he might want to relay info to Melinoe.
>>
No. 877608 ID: 91ee5f

>>877603
Ok, let’s try this again. Ask Khoros if he split himself and if he turned off the power. We didn’t get his answer the first time because we were overwhelmed by the amount of emotions we were getting from these noxan.

Also, tell him that you can only stay physical for 1 hour or until you are harmed somehow, then you’ll become ethereal again.

>Khoros stays and we go or we stay and Khoros goes?
Technically, Khoros is already somewhere else since he split himself, so I think he should stay here, since he’s the only one that can see in the dark, so he’ll be able to protect Astarte from any dangers in the darkness.
>>
No. 877610 ID: c88e6d

>>877603
Have Khoros keep Astarte and Scared-Noxan safe.
>>
No. 877617 ID: e1c8f7

>>877603
Sign. "We will stay with Astarte. Stay safe. We love you."
>>
No. 877634 ID: 4854ef

We should stay.. Khoros is far better at seeing then we are, and while we cannot properly defend her if we fall back, the doors can be shut once more.
>>
No. 877660 ID: eeb7d9

This is the worst scenario for this beautiful moment.
Let him make the scouting. He can see better than you in the dark, and he can take care of himself. Besides, this must be a real shocker for you and your body. You need to get your bearings first. In the mean time, you can watch the two young ones, i am fearly sure that that feral noxan is as young as Astarte, or at least a little bit older.
Take care boss. We will be waiting.
>>
No. 877676 ID: 10c408

We should go scouting so as to keep the guard unaware of what is even going on.

Also? lightly boop khoros on the nose, he should have trusted us.
>>
No. 877685 ID: 2251c3

Khoros should stay while we go investigate.

I have a certain.. precognition about this.
>>
No. 877713 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152314663387.png - (131.24KB , 800x600 , xq450.png )
877713

>Sign to Khoros to stay and protect Astarte, and that it brings great joy to embrace him as kin once more.
I understand. Be safe. I love you.

You feel your way along the wall towards the door to this room. You open it just enough to fit through, and it would seem that neither Astarte nor the other noxan notice you leaving.

You keep a hand on the rightmost wall and follow it to the earlier hallway that was earlier bustling with activity. There's a sharp smell that tugs at your memory a little, but your mind is still too fragmented to identify it.

Your eyes adjust to the very faint light and... you feel a momentary wave of nausea and dizziness. It passes, though, and you see that this corridor appears to be empty.

But.

Your Verisimilitude Vision activates, and you instinctively know that what you are looking at is a hallucination. You don't know exactly
what is off about this scene, only that something is.

You continue to press forward, hoping to perhaps see where the other noxan went.

>>
No. 877715 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152314665118.png - (133.57KB , 800x600 , xq451.png )
877715

You eventually come to the doors earlier where the noxans were having their meeting. Perhaps they are all in here?

Your Verisimilitude Vision advises you that there's still something very very off. You're still hallucinating.

It's too dark to see much at all, thoug—

>>
No. 877716 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152314666220.png - (366.44KB , 800x600 , xq452.png )
877716

A slow hum runs through your body, setting your fur on end as the main power comes back on! Light once more!
>>
No. 877717 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152314667293.png - (369.54KB , 800x600 , xq453.png )
877717

The sudden change in illumination is too much for your mind to follow, and your hallucination ends... and you know that everything you are looking at right now is real.

All you can hear is the thudding of your own heart and a slow drip... drip... drip.

>>
No. 877719 ID: a363ac

>>877717
open strawberry jam door
>>
No. 877721 ID: c88e6d

Open the goo-drooling door.
>>
No. 877725 ID: f18fcf

Well this is ominous. I really doubt it's Melinoe doing that.

Something else might be here with us, and the other noxans. Opening that door might be dangerous.

Maybe go back and make sure Khoros and Astarte aren't still locked in?
>>
No. 877730 ID: cb585b

Can you go ethereal and investigate what's on the other side? Could be a bad idea to walk in physically to immediately die
>>
No. 877740 ID: b1b4f3

Oh god the hallucinations were hiding the blood and gore.

Steel your/ourselves and turn around.
>>
No. 877747 ID: e1c8f7

Why did we decide to go physical and go scouting?

Danger near, break off and retreat. We need to somehow get back to the cells without getting ambushed by whatever this is. Let's hope that Spiky won't flip when he sees us. Likely will though, so we have to appear as non-threatening as possible.
>>
No. 877748 ID: 12b116

Open the left door, be prepared to fight
>>
No. 877754 ID: 05ff2f

Oh, dear. If the hallucination was covering up what I can only assume is blood, then what about the hallucination you sensed in the hallway? Quickly turn and look up and down the hall. If there isn't obvious carnage, blood and gore there, touch the red smear on the floor with a finger, then bring it to your face to smell and taste to confirm if it's blood or not. Is the smell of it the sharp smell you couldn't identify?

You better run back to the holding cells. If there's something going around attacking and killing folk while hiding itself in hallucinations, Khoros, Astarte and the spiky noxan wouldn't see it if it shows up there. That means Khoros can't protect them or himself from whatever it is. Y'all need to move as a group to be safe.
>>
No. 877756 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152315227180.png - (232.66KB , 800x600 , xq454.png )
877756

You take a deep breath to try to calm yourself, but all you get is that same scent from the other hallway - just as strong and just as sharp. Your brain finaly makes the connection: it is definitely blood.

You approach the door, hand trembling as it rests on the handle... but you can't quite bring yourself to open it.

You are torn with indecision.

So... you review the facts:

- If you would take any harm or injury, you will instead go back to being ethereal.
- You still have nearly an hour left in this physical form.
- While manifested physical, you cannot use your ethereal abilities. This includes Ethereal Vision.
- Khoros is watching over Astarte and the other noxan back a little ways away.
- The hallway that you are in RIGHT NOW seemed fine. The only places you were hallucinating in were this little alcove, and in the corridor right by where Khoros and Astarte are. That particular hallway was a couple minutes' walk away.
- You are currently not hallucinating... although you so desperately wish you were.



Do you enter the room or do you return to Khoros and Astarte?
>>
No. 877758 ID: a363ac

>>877756
open door if its anything dangerous we can teleport back to astarte when we get ganked
>>
No. 877759 ID: 12b116

Go in, if somebody's hurt we might be able to help them. If it's a monster we can always yell for khoros
>>
No. 877760 ID: e1c8f7

>>877756
Pull back, pull back. We are no fighter and we do not want to set off a trap.
>>
No. 877761 ID: 05ff2f

>>877759
Khoros is several minutes walk away; Says so right in the update. He's out of earshot.
>>
No. 877763 ID: b1b4f3

>>877756
Open the other door. I doubt there's any survivors in a room with enough blood to leak under the door.
>>
No. 877767 ID: 05ff2f

>The only places you were hallucinating in were this little alcove, and in the corridor right by where Khoros and Astarte are.
>...and in the corridor right by where Khoros and Astarte are.
Run back to Khoros and Astarte! Whatever is using hallucinations to cover up itself and signs of its killing was back there. It likely is going for those in the holding cell room and they don't have any way to see it to protect themselves. You also smelled blood in the air back there, which either was from a fresh kill or from blood stuck to the killer. You need to warn Khoros and Astarte and be there to spot the hidden attacker(s) for them.
>>
No. 877768 ID: c88e6d

>>877756
Enter the room.
>>
No. 877770 ID: 4854ef

Run back to them!
>>
No. 877773 ID: 7a17d4

Something is very wrong here. I vote that we fall back to Koros and let him know what we found.
>>
No. 877775 ID: c9f250

Open door!
>>
No. 877779 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152316062776.png - (48.76KB , 800x600 , xq455.png )
877779

>Open door
>>
No. 877780 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152316063788.png - (65.33KB , 800x600 , xq456.png )
877780

>>
No. 877781 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152316064325.png - (66.51KB , 800x600 , xq457.png )
877781

>>
No. 877782 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152316065081.gif - (221.92KB , 800x1000 , xq458.gif )
877782

You stare and stare and stare and hope something, anything changes. That the bodies littering the floor, cut and shredded... that they... but...

No. Nothing changes. No matter how hard you stare.

It's real.

>>
No. 877784 ID: b1b4f3

>>877782
I still don't believe Laertes is real. Someone is still trying to fuck with our heads. We still have no significant evidence Laertes is anything more than a horror story. Use Ethereal Sight, check where Melinoe and Khoros/his second piece are.

When the violence happened we saw roughly where they were before. Now we can get a second point of data for that. See if either of them could have done this.

Also check the bodies for life signs. Are any of them still alive?
>>
No. 877785 ID: e1c8f7

>>877782
No. We won't be powerless this time.
>>
No. 877786 ID: b1b4f3

...heck, if anything this just confirms "Laertes" is nothing more than a scare tactic.
>>
No. 877788 ID: a363ac

>>877782
check bodies, look around, realize that someone is fucking with you and suddenly remember that we are down a party member outside the building maybe go pick them up first.
>>
No. 877789 ID: 12b116

run back, go get Khoros
>>
No. 877790 ID: 05ff2f

>>877784
>Use Ethereal Sight, check where Melinoe and Khoros/his second piece are.
Can't use Ethereal abilities while physically manifested. Says to right in >>877756: "While manifested physical, you cannot use your ethereal abilities. This includes Ethereal Vision." That's something I really wish we had known before choosing to go physical rather than stay ethereal.
>>
No. 877791 ID: b1b4f3

>>877790
Oh right. In that case, we could punch ourself to go Ethereal so we can use the sight again. I would rather we tried to find a survivor first though; can't administer any kind of first aid while ethereal. Check nearby rooms.
>>
No. 877795 ID: 05ff2f

Penelope, do you trust your brother? You do, completely. Then trust that what he said before, that Laertes is not real. That Laertes is but a figment your sister whipped up, and that Melinoë in her nightmares believed real. He does not exist unless you believe he exists, and then only in your mind. Something is wrong, but it's not Laertes is real.

This is might be connected to Melinoë somehow. Maybe when she ramps her power up all the way her nightmares infest the minds of those in a wide area around her? ...Or if she ran across someone or something with the power to make a person's fears or nightmares manifest... That'd be Bad Fuckin' News.

Close this door and then swing the door on the right open to quickly glance in and check for survivors, then rush back to Khoros and Astarte to report.
>>
No. 877805 ID: b1b4f3

>>877795
>fears or nightmares are manifesting
Some kind of bogeyman... that sounds a lot more likely than Laertes being real. It picked up on the alien noxans' fears of meat-eating predators, and also both Melinoe's and our fear of Laertes.
>>
No. 877816 ID: 10c408

Well shit on a turd sandwich. We were just here a few minutes ago.

...Yeah, time to report back to khoros. Maybe check the other door by opening it a tiny crack. DO NOT make any noise.
>>
No. 877829 ID: 2251c3

Check the room next to this one.
Then we should check back with Khoros.
Lastly, we should try to contact Melinoë as I believe she's the one that holds the answers to this mystery.
>>
No. 877832 ID: 4854ef

Return to Khoros
>>
No. 877861 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152321083290.png - (216.26KB , 800x600 , xq458.png )
877861

>Check bodies to see if alive
... none of the nox— of the BODIES are in one piece. T-they are definitely not alive.

>Check other door
You try the other handle. It is locked.

>Back to Khoros
Yes. Khoros! Khoros will help! You turn around and prepare to head down back towards Khoros and Astarte and the other noxan, but you hear a scuttling sound from the opposite direction. You glance over at the source of the noise.
>>
No. 877864 ID: c88e6d

>>877861
Chirp at it!
>>
No. 877865 ID: a363ac

>>877861
wave
>>
No. 877868 ID: 12b116

Get back to Khoros, that's probably his bit. We need to get everyone out of here.
>>
No. 877872 ID: 2251c3

Note that this Khoros' fragment may be hallucinating. So be prepared for it to be hostile.

Just wait and see how it acts first.
If it doesn't attack you, then hug it and carry it back to Khoros. In either case, you can't show it what's inside the door, as there's no guarantee what it sees inside will be real.
If it attacks you, then we'll need to evade it and run past it back to Khoros..
No, the situation may be direr even. It's possible that the hallucination is transferred to the Khoros where he is now, causing him to attack the ones he's supposed to protect. We may need to knock this fragment out right now.
>>
No. 877873 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152321241127.png - (216.86KB , 800x600 , xq459.png )
877873

You chirp at the Khoros fragment!
>>
No. 877874 ID: c88e6d

>>877873
.......I don't think that's Khoros.
>>
No. 877875 ID: a363ac

>>877873
run to it if its hostile we need to get to Khoros and astarte quick and we can't teleport while physical.
>>
No. 877876 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152321265346.png - (216.59KB , 800x600 , xq460.png )
877876

>>
No. 877877 ID: c88e6d

>>877876
Politely ask Khoros to stop killing people while backing towards the room we know Khoros is in.
>>
No. 877878 ID: a363ac

>>877875
>>877876
see top link
>>
No. 877879 ID: 2251c3

>>877873
If there's so many fragments.. does that mean Khoros came here? But if he split himself up then.. wouldn't it mean there was a fight?

>>877876
Khoros? Brother? Why are you here?

Walk to him. However, be extremely careful in case he's being manipulated.
>>
No. 877881 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152321295978.png - (229.54KB , 800x600 , xq461.png )
877881

>Brother? Khoros?
>>
No. 877882 ID: 0d45a9

We should run, very quickly.
>>
No. 877883 ID: 2251c3

Stand firm. He can't hurt us.
>>
No. 877884 ID: b1b4f3

>>877881
Move to the side. Maybe he's rushing towards something behind us?
>>
No. 877885 ID: c88e6d

>>877881
Ask his permission to possess him.
>>
No. 877890 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152321427839.png - (175.04KB , 800x600 , xq462.png )
877890

>Sister...
>It has been a long time.

>Father misses you.
>>
No. 877891 ID: 4ccc6a
File 152321427942.png - (43.05KB , 800x600 , xq463.png )
877891

>...aren't you happy to see me again?


CHAPTER FIVE
END

(Note! This thread will be closing soon! However, you are encouraged to go visit the disthread in the meantime! https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/119482.html <3)
>>
No. 877896 ID: b1b4f3

Welp time to struggle and eventually go ethereal from either struggling too much and hurting ourselves or Evil Khoros hurting us.

Then I guess the first person we warn is Khoros, since we like him better than Melinoe and presumably Melinoe is either not very far into the facility or has already seen him and run the fuck away.
>>
No. 877923 ID: eeb7d9

Okay? This is like really bad, isn't it?
WHAT IS GOING ON?
>>
No. 877925 ID: 4ccc6a

Part Three now up! https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/877908.html
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