[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]
In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
[Catalog View] :: [Quest Archive] :: [Rules] :: [Quests] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]
Posting mode: Reply
Name (optional)
Email (optional, will be displayed)
Subject    (optional, usually best left blank)
File []
Password  (for deleting posts, automatically generated)
  • How to format text
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Maximum file size allowed is 10000 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.

File 156521872605.png - (43.47KB , 800x600 , ai-title.png )
941730 No. 941730 ID: 57353f

This quest will almost certainly be NSFW. Please avert your eyes.
Yeah, I know making another new quest is a bad idea, but I am a mercurial dumbass
Expand all images
No. 941731 ID: 57353f
File 156521874744.png - (50.93KB , 800x600 , ai1.png )

Ngh... everything hurts. Can't remember anything.

Name's Rakkani. That's all I've got. Blurred things I can't piece together.

Where the hell am I? Why does my left eye hurt so much?
No. 941732 ID: 57353f
File 156521877942.png - (102.25KB , 800x600 , ai2.png )

...No, seriously, where the hell am I?

...I should... I have no idea where I am. Or what to do right now.
No. 941733 ID: 395c02

Look for the amtsvane.

Uh but your left eye hurts because it probably is or was missing. To start off with you should probably stand up and examine your surroundings better.
No. 941734 ID: b970b2

Waking up in the middle of who knows where is rough, get up and inspect your surroundings, kinda sucks but this is a survival situation now.

You have a eye patch over your left eye, probably best to leave it be and let your regen handle it for now. There's no safe way to inspect it unless you have some kind of reflective surface anyway.
No. 941736 ID: 83bf07

Get out of the sun before you burn. Check self.
No. 941737 ID: 465a14

Well you have amnesia, red eyes, and an eyepatch. It's time to wait for the rest of your anime protagonist powers to kick in. Try thinking about your friends, getting real mad, and screaming for hours.
No. 941739 ID: 0fae41

Look to your left.
No. 941740 ID: a9af05

You should get up and move inland before the tide comes in and drags you out to sea.
No. 941742 ID: ad51b8

well you're wearing an eye patch so maybe you are a pirate that got shipwrecked.
No. 941743 ID: b1b4f3

You might be in a wilderness survival situation. Look around you- if you're shipwrecked, is there some wreckage? Or anything else you can salvage supplies from?
No. 941751 ID: 2df440

You’re clearly on another island, silly~!

Look around for potential shelter.
No. 941753 ID: bddb0f

You do you, Cirr.

You're clearly on some kind of tropic island, and your left eye is something you should check in the reflection of a still pond if you can find one. Better yet if that pond can be freshwater so you can not die of thirst anytime soon.
No. 941805 ID: 864e49

Are you a neumono? Find pygmies.
No. 941831 ID: e6f10c

Alright, you appear to have amnesia. Hopefully it's temporary and you'll get your memories back with time.

Now, before doing anything else, do a physical self-assessment. Slowly and carefully move to check if you've got any broken bones or internal injuries you didn't feel 'cause you were laying still. Look around for any obvious nearby dangers before attempting to sit up, followed by standing up. Then look and feel yourself over for anything odd or stuck to you. After that, look around the area around you for points of interest, dangers, and resources. Check how damp your fur is and if it smells of seawater. Look in the indent in the sand where you were lying to see if there was anything under you.

It's plainly apparent that you've also stark naked, save for your eyepatch. Given that you're a neumono, if there's damage to your left eye it ought to heal relatively quickly, assuming there isn't anything stuck in there. Check if your left eye has regenerated enough to partially see by lifting the eyepatch slightly and checking if you can see any light with it.

Priorities are water and food. Unless neumono can drink seawater without detriment, you'll need fresh water. Search for a stream to drink from. Avoid standing water if possible.

Food for you means meat, and to get meat you need to hunt animals, trap animals or scavenge it from the carcasses of critters killed by other animals. Gotta get on that soon, before you get weaker from hunger.
No. 941832 ID: 8d4593

You are on a beach.
Perhaps an island paradise.
Island paradises could be dangerous.
Best weave yourself a grass hat.

Beware of Pygmies.
No. 941860 ID: 57353f
File 156530459035.png - (17.31KB , 800x600 , ai3.png )

That sounds familiar but I don't think I know what that is. Well. I don't know what it is, that's for sure, but maybe I did know.

I feel like I should be more bothered about this than I am and that fact is bothering me a little. I still have bigger problems.

>left eye missing
I slowly reach up to my face and prod the odd headgear I seem to be wearing. The dull but constant ache spikes into a burning pain that tells me maybe I shouldn't do that again.

>get out of sun
>move inland before tide takes you
>look for shelter
I get up, which takes a lot more willpower than I feel it ought to. The various aches all over my body complain but not enough to stop me, but I feel exhausted. Also hungry. Also thirsty. Just not in a good condition all around. I brush the sand off my back and shake around a bit to dislodge it. My body's dry, so I've been here a while, I guess.

>look around
Well, it looks like the sky is greener than it should be, some weird things are in the sky that look too solid to be clouds, but the rest of the environment looks like a beach. Rocks, but weirdly blobby looking ones. Driftwood, but it's a weird olive colour. Even the water doesn't seem right.

However, there are things that look vaguely like trees further inland, and trees mean shade. I don't know what kind of trees they are, and this for some reason is bugging me the most out of everything else here.

I see one other thing of note here, though...
No. 941861 ID: 57353f
File 156530460821.png - (15.63KB , 800x600 , ai4.png )

It looks like a backpack of some sort. One of the straps is broken. It looks like it has some maroon hairs on it so I guess that would make it mine.

It's mine now anyway, I guess.
No. 941862 ID: 57353f
File 156530464459.png - (75.00KB , 800x600 , ai5.png )

I empty the contents of the backpack on the beach a little further inland so I don't get things swept away.

Inside it is a note, written in a language I can't read, another note written in a language I can read, and a small green plastic container.

I gently open the container as I best as I can with my hands (fine manipulation was never my strong point) and place it on the sand, to observe the contents.

For some reason there are a lot of seeds in the container. I... feel like I ought to know the significance of them, and something does bubble up, but it's too foggy. I know they're seeds from plants back home. I know I didn't come from here. I know I used to know a lot about plants like this, but it's all so foggy and murky and slipping away. Maybe it'll come back to me.

I close the container and put everything back in the backpack, and keep going.
No. 941863 ID: 57353f
File 156530467353.png - (26.72KB , 800x600 , ai6.png )

I walk into the forest, a walk that takes maybe what feels like an hour but I can't be sure, pain distorts things, and I still feel really thirsty and hungry. A little light-headed, too, like the act of walking here was too much.

I find a tree to sit under. Shelter, of a sort, I guess. Next, water, I guess.

...can't see water from here. Well, with the way my muscles hurt, even breathing is feeling like a slight challenge. I guess I can rest and read that note first.

Rakkani, if you're reading this I guess I or we or you or whatever pronoun you use to address your future self you are still alive. And can read. That bit is important too. I don't know how you or me or whatever is alive or where I am will going to be you are but I packed the most useful seeds I still had on me in the backpack this note should be with. If you only have this note, look for the backpack. It should have the pillbox I used for seeds. If you have it and there's no seeds I wish you the very best. If you do have seeds start looking for somewhere to plant the weird yellow spongy ones next to a body of water. They'll grow spongy tubers that we can eat for a couple days until we find some meat. The red pointy seeds only grow in meat that should be safe for us to eat. Assuming decent conditions you'll need to wait a couple days for the Mamina's ogolboko tubers to grow and a day for the greater bloodvines to grow enough to show you can eat whatever they grew in. Well, the species. Don't eat the bloodvines it will not end well. They go deep so don't think you can just cut them out and be safe. Do cut them out after a few days, dry them out and they're a really tough fabric thread. MAKE SURE TO WAIT A FEW DAYS DO NOT WEAR FRESHLY CUT BLOODVINES.
Figure out the rest I'm out of time see you later - Rakkani <3

I vaguely remember writing this while explosions were happening. Then I was here. Huh.
No. 941864 ID: 57353f
File 156530468217.png - (25.06KB , 800x600 , ai7.png )

I put the note back in the backpack, and awkwardly try to wear the thing around one shoulder before I give up and carry it by the functioning strap.

Wait. I think I hear the sound of water!

I start to pace faster toward the sound and... and...

Words fail me.
No. 941865 ID: 0fae41

Follow it upstream. If it ends, dig for a spring.
No. 941866 ID: b1b4f3

Welp, follow it either upstream or downstream. Either direction will hopefully lead to a pond or something, where you can plant your tubers.
Not sure how the tubers will grow fast enough for you to survive by eating them, but maybe they're nanotech seeds or something?

Probably shouldn't try any of the other seeds until you remember at least general information about how the seeds work.
No. 941867 ID: ad51b8

follow it to the source
No. 941869 ID: b970b2

Ok, assuming this note was actually wrote by you we can deduce the following: You knew you were going to lose your memories, you knew a lot about plants, and judging by the little picture on the front, were pretty cheerful.

Hey, any running water is good. If you can find or make a container that's water you can drink, or at least make drinkable; and if you dig a hole for the trickle to fill you'll have a body of water to grow the spongy seeds to grow in.

What I'd recommend is tracing the water to see if it's just split off from a larger stream or a body of water, as that'd be easier to work with than just a trickle, but if not it's still better than nothing. It might be worth picking up one of the rocks too, it's better to have something if there's any hostile wildlife about.
No. 941870 ID: e7c7d3

Taste the water first to see if it's fresh. Then follow the trickle to it's source. If it's just leaking out from nowhere, use rocks to make a dam and build your own body of water to plant the tubers next to.
No. 941871 ID: 91ee5f

Apparently you wrote that note to yourself.

And considering the instructions on how to use certain seeds, your past self correctly guessed that you were going to lose your memories.

Follow it upstream. Maybe there’s something blocking the flow of water? That could be why this stream looks so pitiful.
No. 941873 ID: b1b4f3

You could just straight up drink some of this right now. Dig out a depression so you get a puddle to cup water out of (or however you drink it)
No. 941911 ID: 1ed92d

Search for THE SOURCE.

Also, write yourself a note at the first opportunity: "Label ALL the seeds next time, jerk!"
No. 941942 ID: 7fb87a

the soil is probably saturated, this could be as good a spot to plant the tuber as anyplace upstream, where creatures will be looking to drink
No. 941948 ID: 2202fb

Try and discern whether this is fresh or saltwater. If it is fresh, try and find a source.

Probably should try and make something to be used as rope as well.

Past-you mentioned turning the blood-vines into fabric, but do you even know how to weave, let alone sew?

Additionally, the note makes you sound like a complete scatterbrained airhead. I wonder if something happened to shift your personality to the more level-headed state it is now, or alternatively, whether you are even actually Rakkani.

cirr, why do you start so many different quests? Don't you have like five or six active right now? Seems like too much to handle.
No. 941968 ID: 12323b
File 156538824303.png - (18.16KB , 800x600 , ai8.png )

oops, all quests please help me i have a problem

>take rock
I pick up one of the smaller rocks and put it in the backpack. The one I choose feels like a good trade-off between carry weight versus rock... uh... heftiness. Worst case scenario, I can use this thing as a swinging weapon, I guess.

>weaving and sewing
Nope. No clue how to weave or sew.

For some reason something deep down inside me feels like tearing someone's throat out with my teeth for calling me that.

...actually, trying to cling to the last moments I can remember of writing the note, I think I was... trying to... boost future me, well, present me's morale?
I really was grasping at anything and everything, wasn't I. I guess whatever happened happened real fast.
Maybe I am or was scatterbrained and real defensive about it. Agh, I feel like I can remember more things but then they're just too far from my grasp.

>taste the water
I dip a finger in the water and lick it.
It tastes mostly like sand. No salt, though. Good! Good, this is at least a start, even if a disappointment.

My mouth is real dry right now, though. I dig into the sand and wait an agonising couple of minutes for the hole I've dug into the ground to fill to the point I can try to--

Okay my hands are too big to cup water out of a volume this shallow, and if I try digging any deeper I'll be here forever. Whatever. On my knees, snout into the water.

This feels a mixture of incredibly awkward (not to mention aggravating all my muscle aches) and incredibly refreshing. I drink what I can without swallowing a bunch of sand in the process, waiting for the tiny flow to fill up as I get my breath back in between gulps.

The water is almost as warm as my body temperature but I'll take what I can get over dying of thirst.
No. 941969 ID: 12323b
File 156538825270.png - (33.11KB , 800x600 , ai9.png )

Right. Actually, on that note, I don't seem to be doing too bad. I'm not visibly wasting away. I look healthy enough, despite all the aches. I've probably still got a few days before this gnawing hunger turns crippling.

>follow the stream
>find the source
I start trying to track this dribble of a stream to wherever it came from. It takes about all of a minute before I find what looks like a much, much larger stream that the tiny rivulet looks like it split off from.

I feel kind of dumb for sticking my face in the sand earlier now.

I keep heading upriver, before I notice the terrain gradient getting noticeably steeper.

Well, this river is a better place to try planting things, I guess?

Still haven't noticed any signs of life but me. Maybe a few bugs that have kept well away, but that's it. I guess I could always try eating those.

Okay. Shelter, I can be under a tree, water, found, food, planned, uh... what else...
No. 941970 ID: 0fae41

Giant floating eye... Eh, it's probably nothing. Punch the tree and build a crafting table.
No. 941971 ID: b1b4f3

Okay what is with that triangle thing with the eye in it, in the sky? It's been visible every update, somewhere.

>what else
Food, water, and shelter are the big three. Do you know how to start a fire? Cooking food is a real good idea. After that you'll want to explore and gather resources to climb the primitive tech tree. Get some tools, gather wood, clay, stone... attempt to get some access to metal at some point.
No. 941973 ID: bddb0f

Look about, explore your environs, in case there's a better place for your seeds, I suppose. Let's learn the lesson of tiny river mouthwash.

Those bamboo-like plants there? If there's vines around, you can probably use them to construct shelter.
No. 941977 ID: ad51b8

plant some of those tuber plants you talked about in that note... also I'm seeing something in the sky.
No. 941988 ID: e6f10c

Get a feeling that you're being watched. Look around then up in the sky and see the giant flying eye-inna-triangle looking down at you. Decide to find a place under cover near the river. One that blocks view of the sky.

Examine the stalk-like plants to your left for potential for use as crafting or building material.

Plant two of the Mamina's ogolboko tuber seeds on the river bank, but space them well away from each other. This way if something destroys one plant it'll be less likely to get both of them. Keep one seed in reserve in case you need to abandon your plantings here and move elsewhere. And hope that you'll be able to harvest seeds from these plants once they're mature.

Take a inventory of the seeds you have that aren't in the note. Try and remember what each of them does.

Since it's gonna be a few days 'till you'll have any food, resting as much as possible to conserve calories is gonna be the name of the game. Find a shaded spot near the river to make your camp and settle in.
No. 941992 ID: 8d4593

Is the sky watching you?
No. 942214 ID: 58b4f3

>I look healthy enough
If you were talking about your wide childbearing hips and your thick thunder thighs, then yes, you do look pretty damn healthy!

Also tell that eye to quick looking at your naked body like a perv.
No. 942229 ID: 1ed92d

Watch the skies!
No. 942244 ID: 12323b
File 156555595342.png - (39.40KB , 800x600 , ai10.png )

>eye in the sky
...Huh. There sure is.
Not much I can, uh, do that about that.
It's making me feel uneasy looking at it, so I'll just... ignore whatever that is. It doesn't feel like it's looking at me so much as through me. Like, I don't know how big that that thing must be for it to be this visible, but it definitely... yeah, okay, my depth perception isn't too hot right now, but if I wiggle my head around a bit it doesn't really change position. It's cloud high, that's for sure.

What the fuck-- I looked away for a second, turned back, and now it's... gone? How? What? How? Did I... am I seeing things? Nothing that big could just move like that.
Okay. I'm just gonna keep checking the sky now and then to see if it's back.

>hips and thighs
Yeah I have more important things to worry about right now. I have good genes, I guess.

>seed inventory
As well as the Mamina's ogolboko and greater bloodvine seeds, I have a few redgrass seeds. The names of the others escape me at the moment but the green spiky ones, the weird cyan clump, the weird pink wiggly ones and the ones with spurs jutting out are... hrm... ngh... nope, can't recall. Argh.
I'm also remembering the actual reason for the ogolboko seeds now. They soak up a lot of water and they work as a way to purify water and also I guess just fill up enough to fight off hunger cramps. Not very sustaining. Just slightly more comfortable than starving to death on an empty stomach.

>plant the tubers
Yeah, they can go here. I'll plant them on opposite sides of the river.

I... I don't really know how to make fire either.
Okay, I'm beginning to realise I don't know how to do a lot of things. A lot of any things.
Okay. No, get it together, Rakkani, don't start freaking out.

>stalk plants
Okay, okay, okay, sure, yes, yes, I think I can do something with these. Maybe make shelter. Don't know how but one step at a time.
Wow I just realised it's pretty hot out here.

Hm, these things are pretty firmly rooted into the ground, I'll just need to apply force a little higher up--


Oof! On the sand I go. Ow. Well, okay, that could have gone worse. Wow these leaves are sharp looking. I'm gonna just... just avoid any likely accidents and take these leaves off.

And plunge my head in the river because wow is it hot.
No. 942245 ID: 12323b
File 156555596536.png - (64.23KB , 800x600 , ai11.png )

Okay. It's taken a while but I have what amounts to a few sticks. They're much taller than me but they're not any good for shelter. If I knew absolutely anything about starting a fire I could go grab more rocks and set up a campfire, but without that all I know is, like, rubbing dry sticks together with stuff that burns well. And that's all I'm aware of. Like, don't get me wrong, I know the basic ideas behind making a fire but I've never done it before. And I know I'm having memory problems but I'm fairly certain it's nothing I've ever done before.

Also right now fire is the last thing I want. Jeez it's hot. Can I take all this fur off? I should have taken two rocks so I could bang them together and get a sharp edge on them. Uh. Somehow.

It's real wonderful to learn how I don't actually know a lot of basic survival techniques when I'm in a basic survival situation.
All I have to do is hold it together and hope I don't get myself killed from something really dumb or painful.

>conserve energy
There's no point trying to gather and strip any more of these stick plants, but... hm. I don't know what else I can do with one of these but...

I move to the tree I found earlier that's nice and cool in this increasingly awful heat. I take the sticks with me. They're surprisingly lightweight for their durability.
Something in the back of my head observes the phenotypic similarities between the tree and the stick plants. Those strange erratic sharp leaf-like sprouts from the main body. Possibly related?
The tree has more of them and they're flatter, and better at producing shade.

I get comfy beneath the tree, and-- oh good. It's raining.

Maybe I won't bake to death.
No. 942246 ID: 12323b
File 156555598178.png - (71.80KB , 800x600 , ai12.png )

I look around for any sort of rock with an edge and take one of the sticks as I slowly get drenched from the rain.
I'm terrible with this kind of fiddly work, but I have an idea. It might help me, or it might not.

I find a rock with a good enough sharp edge and start scraping it along one of the more warped sticks, one that hasn't grown as straight as the others.
The outer layer of the plant carves off as... bark? It seems like bark. I give it an experimental tug. Strong tensile strength, very easily snapped with shear force. Like the rest of the plant itself.

I don't remember how to make a fire but I sure do remember something about bark cordage. Well. I'm remembering it mostly because I think I was trying to sell some others on a particular plant's usefulness and decided a live demo was the only way I'd get through to them... was I some kind of plant merchant? Huh.

Ah, but it's raining, this is not a good time to be doing this. I remember that much.

Well. That... kind of gives me a bit of hope, I guess. I'll have to wait for the rain to pass but I can probably turn some of this into rope and if I have rope I can do a lot more with these sticks.

Still, I don't want to just waste this time. With some force I snap one of the sticks into two so it's not too big to wield, and start sharpening one of the ends into a point.

The sun goes down and the cool rain on my drenched fur no longer bothers me. My backpack is now soaked and I'm glad the seed container is waterproof, because I don't think the backpack is.

I'm exhausted and the rain feels and sounds so good. I'm going to sleep. Pointy stick in grabbing range.
No. 942247 ID: 12323b
File 156555599486.png - (23.38KB , 800x600 , ai13.png )

I wake up with a backache from sleeping on the sand, but a major improvement from yesterday.

I head to the river to quench my thirst, head downstream to deal with other thingse, and then head back to the tree to work on making rope again.

The seeds haven't shown any sign of sprouting yet.

From sunrise to midday I spend all my time carving off strips from these stick plants and making them into weedy rope strands. Nothing I'd trust my own weight too, but good enough to tie some things together. If I knew a single thing about sewing, I could try mending that backpack's broken strap, but I do know one single thing about sewing and that's that I'd need a needle and I sure don't have one of those lying around.

Okay, so, now I have sticks taller than I am, and some way to tie them together. No idea how to make a better shelter from that, though.
Also wow I'm feeling the hunger now. I'm starting to wonder if I should try eating one of the sticks and I already know that's not going to go well.
No. 942249 ID: b1b4f3

You have sharp sticks. Go find something that you can kill with them, then test the meat with bloodvines. Either a fish or a small herbivore.

Also don't forget that in an emergency survival situation you can eat your own ears. Skin them before eating them, of course-- you can use the skin for rawhide or something. It's very much a temporary nutrient burst though, as your body will want to regenerate the missing parts. It will keep you going long enough to hunt stuff though.
No. 942261 ID: ad51b8

well you could take those tall sticks and maybe try to make a tepee like hut or something. You'd still need something to wrap around all the sticks for it to be worth a damn but outside of braking down some more sticks it would be fairly low effort to set up

other idea is to take the sticks brake them apart even more and build a ramp like structure. I mean brake the sticks till you have two you size sticks, place them in the ground, put one food length stick between the first two, then have two more sticks lean on the first two at an angle, then place sticks on top of these 2 angled sticks until you have a roof and you should have a simple ramped hut to rest in.
No. 942265 ID: b1b4f3

The ramped hut is probably the best we can do with our current resources. Once we can harvest some large leaves they can cover the roof to keep out rain.
No. 942269 ID: bddb0f

Explore upstreams to find potential sources of food - if there's animal life around it should take advantage of the river much like you did.

You haven't seen any signs of life other than plant food have you? No fish, molluscs, bugs in or near the river? Needles can be made from fishbone if you manage to catch one.
No. 942274 ID: 8d4593

Ruba bik stick against a rock till its sharp. Then see if you can stab a fish out in the shallows.
No. 942277 ID: a9af05

>I'm starting to wonder if I should try eating one of the sticks and I already know that's not going to go well.
Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. You could try a single bite to see how good it would be. And I'm sure a little fiber in your diet wouldn't hurt, right?
No. 942279 ID: 58b4f3

>I have good genes, I guess.
But you're not wearing any pants! How can you claim to have good jeans when you're completely naked?
No. 942299 ID: a7aaa7

You have your priorities set well so far.

No predators yet, so the the most basic shelter against the elements should do. Tie a bunch of the long whatever-they-ares (they need a name, you might as well give them one) together to make a wall, and lean it against a pair of trees. A basic lean-to. From there, you can either build something more advanced, or explore. I suggest finding an ideal spot for something less temporary. You have no idea when or even if rescue will happen.
No. 942373 ID: 864e49

I think you may have been a botanist and maybe you were on a team exploring alien worlds or different dimensions.
No. 942454 ID: 12323b
File 156573163056.png - (18.29KB , 800x600 , ai14.png )

>build a lean-to
I've heard about this kind of thing. Seems like it should be simple enough... although smacking the sticks into the ground when they're as tall as I am is gonna be hard.

>go explore upstream for fish or animals
Urgh. I'm so very very hungry. The idea of actually getting to eat something is far more appealing than more construction or crafting. I'll come back to this idea later.

Terrible, terrible excuse for a spear in hand, let's go hunting.

I head to the river and follow it upstream. I don't see any animals but I move cautiously, trying to be as quiet as I can. With my fur rubbing against itself on multiple places on my body, I can only minimise the noise so much. The wind and the river are probably both louder, though.

Wait. I hear noise up ahead.
I drop to the ground and start crawling towards the sound.

As I get closer, I realise it sounds like a song. It's high pitched, but not shrill. Higher than my own voice, anyway.

"Ahooo mi fipkalteee...~"

I hear a sudden splash, followed by a lot more splashing.

I crawl further, bushes by the river getting longer and thicker, disguising my movements. I have no idea what's singing or if it's friendly.
No. 942455 ID: 12323b
File 156573164459.png - (39.38KB , 800x600 , ai15.png )

"Ahooo ee mi jisha lo nu fipkalte klama tiii...~"

I don't know who or what this is, but they look about my height. A little thinner.

They look at the fish stuck on... is that a trident? How do they have a trident?! Anyway, that aside, they pull the fish off, and throw it into is that a fucking wicker basket.

I stand up, still holding my spear defensively.

This catches their attention. "UE!"

I keep the spear held just in case things get dangerous.

"Do na zhutlei mi. Ee do zhutsi sekai ma. Khu do ba khrani mi." They wave the trident at me. "D-do ba na khrani mi. K-khu."

I point the spear at them to deter them from waving that trident at me.


They take a few steps back, look at the trident, and drop it on the ground, stretching out their arms, looking at my spear nervously.

"Ee mi naljisha le nu ri khrani do! Ee mi se shmene zo sib."

I have not managed to figure out a single thing this thing's said.
No. 942457 ID: b1b4f3

Well drop your spear too. Start talking back so that he knows there's a language barrier.

Gesture to a fish. Take one when offered and plant your bloodvine in it to see if it's safe.
No. 942458 ID: c8d151

Unless you want to make enemies fast, point your spear down and ease your stance. This thing clearly has an advantage but it doesn't know that. Keep your spear close though.
No. 942459 ID: 0fae41

Exchange spear for trident.
No. 942478 ID: 1ed92d

Drop your spear too. This creature is extremely cowardly and there might be others around. If it's an ambush, then your spear won't help, whereas diplomacy will. Its language seems very similar to your own so learning it might be less difficult than you might think.
No. 942485 ID: ad51b8

stick spear in ground to grab quickly incase something happens.
No. 942515 ID: 0c9a8e

Hey, civilization, or what passes for it. An alien, definitely. Is that a metal ear piercing? Weird thing for a seeming primitive to have. Is it a tag set by whoever's controlling the Eye In The Sky? The alien also has some kind of vambrace in addition to the trident. Hm. Then there's the weirdly colored tips to the trident. What is that?

Looks like you have a new language to learn. Whoever - whatever - this is, they appear to be somewhat scared of you. 'Ee' may mean 'me' or 'I', since it sounds somewhat like they were making excuses for themselves after waving the trident. With that in mind, let's start you off with some wild shots in the dark.

>"Ahooo mi fipkalteee...~"
First part of the song we heard. Since they were fishing with a trident, it could be some kind of fishing-related song. Because we gotta start somewhere, let's go with

"??? am fishing."

>"Ahooo ee mi jisha lo nu fipkalte klama tiii...~"
Second part of the song. Repeats the words from the first, but somewhat differently.

"??? I am ??? ?? ?? fishing ???? ????."

An exclamation when you caught them by surprise. Could be a stand-in for "WHAT?" or "WHO?" or just be a general-purpose sound of dismay.

>"Do na zhutlei mi. Ee do zhutsi sekai ma. Khu do ba khrani mi."
Their first attempt at engaging with you. Nervous and defensive, waving their trident.

"Back this ???? mine. I back ???? ????? me. Go back this catch mine."

>""D-do ba na khrani mi. K-khu."
Followed after trident-waving. Asserting their rights.

"Back this is catch mine. G-go."

Pretty sure they were just screaming in panic here.

>"Ee mi naljisha le nu ri khrani do! Ee mi se shmene zo sib."
Dropped their trident, seem to be making excuses for themselves. Or just fearful for their life (despite having an arguably better weapon at hand).

"I am leaving have the catch back! I am only trying to eat."

Disclaimer: This is complete guesswork and I am certainly completely wrong.

That said, if the language structure isn't too dissimilar, 'Mi' seems to have a difference between it being used in a sentence and at the end of a sentence. It may be related to 'ma' as well.
'Khrani' - and many of the noun-seeming words - may be related to fishing, fish, catch, fishing spot, given the context of the conversation.
'zhutlei' and 'zhutsi' seem like related words, whatever they are.
'Khu' could be a verb that can translate into a command, since it was uttered like one, if nervously.
'le nu' and 'lo nu' seem related. Different tenses of a verb?

At any rate, this fellow may think of you as an enemy, a hostile stranger, a ghost/demon, and this may be why they are currently so intimidated. Let's disabuse them of any of those notions for now - you are much in need of friends, especially ones capable of catching meat. Lower or raise your primitive spear, point at yourself and say "Rakkani". Then point at them to see if they understand the gesture and respond with a name. Then rub your tummy and point at the fish basket. Begging is less embarassing when you can only use sign language, right?
No. 942522 ID: b1b4f3

"fipkalte" might just be a word for fish...
If we're going to try to figure out their language later we need to confirm guesses by asking a native about words etc.

I hope this turns out less awkward and roadblocked than Koror Quest.
No. 942549 ID: 7ff815

Excellent, your first slave. Kidnap it, tie it up, and learn the alien's language. Treat it well though, it disarmed itself, showing that a velvet glove will work better than an iron fist in this case. Then follow it to its village, use your regeneration to convince them you are a god, and install yourself as their emperor.

Or you can be boring and go spear fishing to build bonds over something you have in common (or at least show you have something in common) despite the language barrier.
No. 942557 ID: 465a14

Clearly you should offer yourself as a slave instead. Then you won't have to worry about making important decisions, the alien will, and clearly the alien has a better idea how to get along here than you do, what with being a native and all.
No. 942559 ID: b970b2

I think this is a bad idea, you don't have any means of maintaining control over them nor caring for them. While you might be able to win a fight if it comes to that, they could easily stab you in your sleep or something if you managed to take them as a slave.

Try to talk to them, establish the presence of a language barrier, and lower your spear. Keep it close by in case things go sour.

We now know that this place has fish you can catch later, and you might be able to beg or convince them to part with some fish in order for you to leave them alone.
No. 942561 ID: dbf437

Look at their arms they clearly want a hug. Seeiously though you should probably stop waving your spear at a member of likely the only species that might be friendly to you.
No. 942590 ID: 12323b
File 156582530945.png - (27.96KB , 800x600 , ai16.png )

>become their slave
>enslave them
No. Well. Maybe. Not now. Wait. No, we don't do that anymore. Wait, who's we? What? No, back to reality, Rakkani.

>drop spear
>don't drop it but do lower it
I stop pointing my spear at its face and stand fully out of the bushes, stepping carefully forward.
They take a step backward, arms still held to the sides.

"Uh... hi," I say, trying to remember how to speak good. Not working. "My name is Rakkani. Rakkani." I point at myself. "Rakkani."

They look very confused. "Lo se bashru do smushau mi. Ee mi na tirna lo bangu do. Khu do tavla fo kaurbau."
"...Rakkani," I say again. "I'm very hungry." I rub my stomach and point to a fish. "Can I have one of your fish?"

I feel kind of pathetic.

"Wanai-- Khu do jisha lo nu do satre lo betfu be do pa finpe." They tilt their head and some of their head frills splay out momentarily.

I point at the fish and chew the air in an overly pantomimed way.

"Wa! Do jisha lo nu do sheetka pa finpe! Ee sohi finpe shu nenri lo rirkhe. Ee wi ehu miho fipkalte buhu ti!"
They sweep their arms out towards the river.

I point at the fish again a bit more determinedly.

They look at me tilted again. "Khu do shpedu le mi finpe."
"Can you give me one of those fish?" I try, hopelessly.

They tap at their chin for a moment. "Muhi ma lo khabzhu shu jisha tuha lo mi finpe. Ee do zhgari pa kilgaha ee zhe do bredi lo fipkalte."
"Please!" I shout with desperation, hoping I get something through that thick fluffy head.

They look at their basket, reach down, pick up a fish, and gently carry it over to me, handing it out.

"Mi dunda ti do riha lo nu mi jisha lo nu do sarkhe mi. Ee aho do sarkhe khu mi."
They smile.

One hand still on the spear, I reach out and take it.
It's all wet and slimy. I just remembered I don't know how to clean fish.

"Thank you," I say, gratitude almost spilling over into tears. "I, uh, thanks, I'm sorry, thank you so much."
"Khu do kanro." They seem a little flustered by my reaction.
"I don't know what you just said, but thank you."
"Mi sruma duhu lu kihe do lihu selsmu lu sankiu lihu mi. Ee kihe shizra zhe fetsi zhe shnino pendo do."
No. 942593 ID: 0fae41

That face... you can't trust them at all. Leave in a direction well away from your camp, and try to find theirs.
No. 942596 ID: b1b4f3

Remember, you need to check before eating it. Rip it apart so that you don't taint the whole fish with your bloodvine, then plant one.
After you've confirmed it's safe to eat(no idea how long that takes), go ahead and eat what meat you can get out of it (watch out for bones) and go fishing for more.
No. 942597 ID: 4f675d

Oh wait, you're no murderhobo.

You may as well try spear fishing while you're here. Get some practice. Might even have combat applications if there is hostile fauna. Any language you figure out is icing.
And remember to test the meat before eating, unless you are dying of hunger.
No. 942601 ID: 2df440

Try not to think about how you’re both almost totally naked.
No. 942604 ID: 0c9a8e

Congratulations, you lucky girl you, you've just accepted his marriage proposal!

... I kid, but it's true you have no idea what deeper meaning this act has for him. Try to move carefully, see how he reacts to how you treat the fish (especially the whole seed-planting thing). Just remember it's not worth food poisoning to preserve his feelings.

You should also try to get that whole 'exchange of words and concepts' going. Point at thing, get him to say what thing is, repeat your word for thing in return. You may get some errors of context to begin with, but it'd be a start.
No. 942605 ID: a9af05

>No, we don't do that anymore. Wait, who's we?
You mean your Neumono hive? Too bad none of them are around to help you.

>Language barrier
Too bad they don't have empathy, like you. Then you'd probably have an easier time understanding them by feeling the emotions connected to their words.

Maybe some familiar neumono terminology can help Rakkani remember something?
No. 942627 ID: e7848c

Well he's cute. Lament the communication barrier. He's helpful at least. Try and prepare the fish nearby. He might offer to show you how to prepare it. Free lesson, yeah?
No. 942661 ID: 8d4593

Is no one going to bring attention to the fact that this man is tagged like a goddamn animal.
No. 942662 ID: cde189

it could just be an earring
No. 942751 ID: 1ed92d

You are a carnivore. You have big sharp teeth.
Chomp that fish. Chomp it hard.
No. 942754 ID: a9af05

Not yet. We need to test it by planting a bloodvine in it first, to make sure it's safe to eat.
No. 942763 ID: 5a1b0a

Cut the fish first. No sense wasting half of it.
No. 942766 ID: 91ee5f

Have sex with them to show appreciation for the fish and to assert dominance.

But seriously, before you eat that fish, make sure you cut off a piece of it and plant a bloodvine into it to make sure it’s safe to eat.

Although, if your that desperate for something to eat, you can just yank off your ears and eat them. They’ll grow back, thanks to the insane regeneration your species is known for having.
No. 942865 ID: 12323b
File 156609055588.png - (23.67KB , 800x600 , ai17.png )

>can't trust that face
I... don't know if I can trust them or not?

>tagged like an animal
I honestly have no context to know if that's something they willingly did to themselves or otherwise.

>try not to think about you both being naked
I wasn't, and now I am. Great. Well it clearly doesn't bother them. Him? I... shouldn't be looking there to check, also I have no idea what alien sexes or genders might be like, even if there's some weirdly reoccuring patterns. It does look like a him. ...to be honest he's a bit too on the weedy side to really be that attractive anyway. Looks like I could snap him like a twig without trying.

>neumono hive
I don't know what that is. Ngh. Do I?
Is it bugs? Am I bugs?

I feel my own emotions reflecting around me like they extend past me, it's all so empty and cold and nothing. I feel like I'm deaf or blind but not deaf or blind. Something is missing, I don't know what it is. Something this alien doesn't have.

No. Focus. Stop getting distracted.

>test the fish
I take the fish, bow slightly to the alien, and head back the way I came. I left the seeds in the backpack, and I left that back at the tree I slept under.

"We! Khu do khaho shliva."
"I need to see if this fish is safe to eat."
"Mi, uh, si, mi sruma duhu da krinu. Ee aho viska do bazi."

I skewer the fish on the spear and wave with my free hand.
They look back, confused, and wave a hand back at me.
"Wanai khu do rinsa."
"You too!"
No. 942866 ID: 12323b
File 156609056654.png - (14.95KB , 800x600 , ai18.png )

I walk back to my backpack, only to notice that I'm being followed very carefully by the same alien.

I pause and glance back and see blue and white fluff disappear down into the bushes.

I keep both hands on my spear and start walking more cautiously.

I get back to my backpack, scoop it up, and turn to head back to the river. I can plant the fish in the sand near my other plants and plant the bloodvine in it, and then I won't lose track of where everything is.

I wander near the planting site and pull the fish off the spear, and look around for any weird aliens following me. No sign. I don't have any clue how to prepare fish, so I take my sharp rock and crudely hack the head off first. This'll probably be fine for the bloodvine at least.

I dig a hole in the ground, throw the fish head into it, and toss a bloodvine seed onto it. The seed feels very, very sharp to the touch. I carefully try to pierce it into the fish head, feeling like this is something I need to do.

The tubers still haven't grown. I wonder what I meant by "decent conditions" if past-me was expecting a couple days. It's already been about a day, I've seen nothing. It'll take a day to see if the fish is edible.
...A whole day. This won't be any good to eat if I just leave it lying around for a day.

I bury the rest of the fish too.

Ngh. I'm so hungry though. I'm not dying of starvation, I think, I can't see my bones yet anyway, but I'm feeling faint and light headed.
No. 942867 ID: 12323b
File 156609057510.png - (17.18KB , 800x600 , ai19.png )

>eat your ears

Is that... is that a thing I can do??

I tug at my right ear. It doesn't feel like it's going to just come off, but I can feel a structural weakness.

Actually no I vaguely recall something about eating ears in an emergency. This is an emergency. Where's my sharp rock.
Okay, let's just, okay, deep breaths, one, two, THREE--
No. 942868 ID: 12323b
File 156609058630.png - (32.63KB , 800x600 , ai20.png )

Okay that was like getting a papercut inside my ear. Yeah it hurt, but I was expecting that to hurt way more than it did.

Okay I've come this far, no use stopping, let's keep going. The worst is over. Rock, cut off the skin and fur. Okay. Now I have a lump of meat and fat and cartilage and--

Y'know what fuck it this will do I don't care anymore I'm starving into my mouth it goesp

...Huh. Looks like I was followed.

"We khu do vimshu le do kerlo, ee zhe do sheetka ta! Ee ihenai khu do fenki!!"

I don't know this guy's language still but they definitely seem to be shouting it this time.

They're walking over to me now, but just walking, and they don't look armed. They do look annoyed, though.
No. 942869 ID: 0fae41

I see he has three ears to a side. Surely he can spare one or two?
No. 942870 ID: e7c7d3

Offer your other ear in exchange for the fish.

Honestly, he's probably pissed cause you just sort of buried his fish rather than eat it.
No. 942887 ID: b1b4f3

Do you know how long it takes for the bloodvine to grow?

He's annoyed that you took the fish but didn't eat it. Honestly, to an outside perspective your behavior is VERY strange. Begging for fish when you could just spear some, then burying it instead of eating it? And he probably just saw you eating your own ear.

I have no idea how you'd explain this with drawings... Maybe it's time to go over the language and piece together enough to explain.
At the very least gesture to the buried fish and pantomime dying.

"finpe" is very likely the word for fish, and fipkalte is the word for fishing or the river. "sheetka" means eat, I think-- it was used when you were pantomiming eating, and when he saw you eating your ear. I think "do na" is at least similar to "do not" since he began a sentence with that after you surprised him, something like "don't surprise me", which means "zhutlei" and "zhutsi" are probably forms of surprise or fear. "khrani" seems to have something to do with threatening behavior. "wa" seems to be some sort of questioning term, not sure if it's what or why. "wanai" seems similar. "khu" is probably "you". "rinsa" might have to do with going somewhere or leaving since it was used to question you while you were walking away. "jisha" has been used very frequently as well, but it's so frequent I'm having trouble figuring out what it refers to. Either spears or the act of spearing, probably.
There are some other words that are only used once, that's difficult to figure out.
I suspect he's going to try to take the fish back, so, "do na finpe sheetka" could mean don't eat the fish. Adding a "khrani finpe", or "finpe khrani" could indicate that the fish is dangerous.

Since you just need to wait for the seed to grow, you can gesture back towards the river and suggest you go fishing for more-- "fipkalte". Gesture to him with "khu" and yourself with "mi" in a questioning way to confirm those mean what they should.

Overall word order *looks* similar to your language. Lots of the short words appear to be... I think "conjunctions" is the correct term?
No. 942891 ID: e7848c

Prostrate. We can't rely on verbal communication here. How far can we get with body language? Let's find out how he reacts to you bowing your head and lowering your guard, so to say.
No. 942904 ID: 5bc683

Get your spear, or at least make sure you're close to it. The alien is in what appears to be an aggressive pose, so while hoping for the best, be ready for the worst. If it gets close to the crops, deter it or drive it off.
No. 942906 ID: 094652

Maybe pray to the buried fish? He might understand rituals.
No. 942907 ID: 9246e9

This poster seems to know what they’re doing
No. 942910 ID: 91ee5f

Don’t worry, your ear will grow back once you provide your body with enough energy for your regeneration to kick in and start healing it.

Make sure he doesn’t take your seeds! Especially the dangerous bloodvine seeds!
No. 942925 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, and at some point we need to look under that eyepatch. Both to see how far along the regeneration is, and if there was anything stashed in the eyesocket.
Use a reflection on water or something.
No. 942949 ID: 12323b
File 156615214422.png - (26.10KB , 800x600 , ai21.png )

>bloodvine growth
A day for there to be enough progress to know the meat's suitable and isn't, like, made of toxins or completely useless nutritionally.
I remember enough about my body that eating something nutritionally useless might as well be poisonous, for the amount of energy it'll take to process.

>language guesses
Hm. Yeah. Yeah I think I have an idea what they're trying to say.

>check under eyepatch
Later, when I'm actually alone.

No. I'm willing to get along with this alien but I'm not going to declare myself inferior to it in any way. That's not me. That's not how I do.
...although "how I do" has ended up with me naked and eating my own ear on a remote island where the sky is wrong, so maybe it's time to reevaluate that.
Not right now, though.

>behaviour is strange to outside observer
Yeah I can't deny this looking incredibly weird. I guess I'll try to explain.

>grab spear
Grabbed. They stop walking and pause, and then I make a show of holding it dangling down, but they stay where they are. They raise their hands up towards me, open, palms facing me.
"Uh, uh, ehu do tolfehu. Ee mi na fengu. Ee mi na zanru. Ee mi naljisha le nu ri khrani do."

I hold up a hand and point to my mouth with my other one, chewing.
They flick their ears and dip their head down and up, eyes closed, and fold their arms and sigh.
I realise it's going to take a long time to finish chewing this ear, or maybe I'm just looking for excuses to savor the first food I've had in a long time, it feels like.
I roll my hand towards them to try and let them know to continue.

They just stare at my rolled hand and lower their ears, tilting their head. "Uhu... Ee mi na tersmu le do khanshe poi slilu."
I shrug helplessly.
They keep their head tilted and flick their ears again.
I shrug again, chewing faster and swallowing.

"Okay. Okay, let me put this down. I'll just put it down." I gradually lower the spear, and look for any body language reactions, watching for tension or sudden movement.
They look to relax, more than anything. Their ears raise up slightly while they unfold their arms and rub their hands together nervously.

As the spear goes down onto the ground they sigh again, close their eyes and flick their head down.

I'm going to try and talk to them.
"Do na finpe sheetka," I say.

They stare at me. "Mi na finpe sheetka," they repeat, slowly, as if digesting the words I just gave them. "Do pu shusku shohe jetnu. Ee mi na finpe sheetka. Pehi do skuji lu do na sheetka lo finpe lihu mi."
They scratch at their forehead. "Mi gleki le nu do troshi," and they smile.

They point to themselves. "Mi." They point to me. "Do." They point back and forth. "Mi. Ee do. Ee mi. Ee do."
I point to myself. "Do."
They flick their ears and their head upwards. "Yenai," they say. They point to themselves. "Mi." They point to me again. "Do."
I point to myself again, thinking I might be understanding what they're trying to get across. "Mi?"
"Ye!" They smile again and flick their ears out. They point to themselves. "Do shusku mo sumkahi mi."
I think they're asking me if I know what word to use. "Do?"
"Ye do rapli shu drani!"
No. 942950 ID: 12323b
File 156615215590.png - (26.73KB , 800x600 , ai22.png )

The alien gets closer to me, but takes slow, deliberate steps, making sure I can see them move.

"Zo sib shmene mi. Mi. Ee la sib. Ee mi. Ee la sib. ...Sib." They pause and point at me. "Zo, uhhh... si. Zo rakani khu shmene do."
"Rakkani," I say, pointing at myself. "My name is Rakkani."
"Mai, uh, neim, uh, is, sib", they say, struggling with something. Not sure what, the sounds are basically identical to what I just said.
"Your name is Sib?"
"Khu zohoi mai se smuni zo mi. Ee zhe khu zohoi yur se smuni zo do. Ee zoi zoi, mai neim is sib, zoi."

"I can give you my other ear for the fish," I say, grabbing it and pulling it gently towards them.
They stare at me and tilt their head with the typical ear-flick. Their eyes widen as they realise something and they flick their head up and start waving both hands at me.

I let go of my ear and they once again exhale deeply.

"Ohunai mi steba! Ee mi pashna lo nu do zhimpe mi. Ee mi pashna lo nu mi zhimpe do. Ee mi krishi duhu zohe krinu lo nu do sheetka le do kerlo. Ee mi na zhimpe duhu zohe tshashi do."

They hold out a hand towards me as if waiting for something. "Ee mi jisha lo nu mi zhimpe do noi kesfange. Ee mi jisha lo nu do zhimpe mi. Ee mi jisha lo nu mi shilre duhu do nitshu mo. Khu do johu mi shadzu le zdani mi."
"I, uh, don't understand what you want me to do."

They pause, rub the underside of their chin for a few seconds, and then flick their ears. They clasp their hands together, before walking in place and pointing off into the distance, then pointing at themselves and then me, and then outstretches their hand again.
No. 942951 ID: 86eb65

Yeah sure take their hand and go with them.
No. 942953 ID: e7c7d3

Dunno about taking their hand, but head off with them. They might take you to a shelter or even a village.
No. 942954 ID: 9246e9

Do this; if he intended to harm you, he’s had ample opportunity already.
No. 942957 ID: 91ee5f

I think he wants you to come with him. But if you did that, then he might try to give you more fish to eat, which you still don’t know if it’s poisonous or not.

You could just wait here until the bloodvine tells you the fish is good or not and just hope he comes back some other time. But then again, he might not come back.

And leaving the bloodvine unattended could be bad, since something or someone might try to eat it and then the bloodvine kills them by growing in them!
No. 942959 ID: 83bf07

Make a show of taking your spear first before taking his hand. Mark this area so you remember where you planted your crops. You might want to be able to get back here.
No. 942961 ID: 0efe8e

The visual of him placing his fingers between his ears is adorable.
No. 942962 ID: 0fae41

>They clasp their hands together, before walking in place and pointing off into the distance
Did... Did they just default dance at you? How dare they.
No. 942963 ID: b1b4f3

Okay, "do" is you, but "mi" is me, like I thought. This means "khu" is something else... I think "ee" is a general term for "is", or "this". "yenai" is very clearly no, and "ye" is yes. Heh, with "na" meaning "not", that means "yenai" translated literally is "not yes". I wonder what "wanai" is then?
"shu" seems to be something that can be attached to other words, or it's just coincidence that it's part of other words. "Ye do rapli shu drani!" might mean "Yes, you learn this fast"
"Ee la sib" when introducing himself means "la" is like "name" I guess. So that translates to "is name sib"? The word order is a little different.
I think "kerlo" means ear. "Khu" is why, most likely. Notably, in his language there is NO inflection on questions. (absence of ? in the text) This means questions are either indicated via sentence structure, word alteration, or a specific word used. It's possible "khu" is that word, instead of "why" in particular.
Revisiting "Wanai khu do rinsa."... Both wanai and khu being used means wanai is uhhh okay I'm having trouble here. Also I can't be sure rinsa has to do with walking or leaving, that might be "krinu".
"zhimpe" might refer to his home.

Mercifully, he's learning some of your language too. I'm guessing he's going to bring you somewhere civilized now, but honestly that's not super useful. He'll offer you food but you can't trust it yet; for all we know his species can digest a lot of things that are toxic to you. He'll offer you shelter, which would be better than sleeping under a tree, but you need to come back here later to check on the bloodvine. The best thing he can give you is clean water. Unless his village (or whatever) is very close by, you'll be spending calories walking for little benefit.
Indicate you need to watch the buried fish. Like point to your eyes and point to the fish. You could also try drawing in the sand to indicate that you need to be here tomorrow to see if the bloodvine is growing.

...alternatively, you could just trust your nose and taste buds to identify toxins and eat whatever prepared food he offers that seems appetizing. That's how your ancient ancestors did it. On the other hand you also evolved to detect toxins present in your home planet's ecosystem, so foreign toxins might not be detected at all...
No. 942965 ID: 0efe8e

I think "ee" might be "I" and "la" possibly "am" the sentence structure is quite similar to many Latin based languages.
No. 942970 ID: b1b4f3

Can't be:
>They point to themselves. "Mi." They point to me. "Do." They point back and forth. "Mi. Ee do. Ee mi. Ee do."
No. 942972 ID: 0efe8e

you right
No. 942975 ID: b1b4f3

Maybe "wanai" is like "I don't know"- "wa" could be some information-related word, so wanai is information negated.
No. 943064 ID: 12323b
File 156625905467.png - (37.74KB , 800x600 , ai23.png )

>tell him you need to come back
I pick up my spear and my backpack, and hold up my hand to try and tell the alien to wait.

I point to my eyes, then to the planted fish, then try to figure out how to demonstrate the passage of time. I point to the sun, trace an arc across the sky, then point to the other end of the sky and trace back, pointing back up to the sun. Then I point to my eyes again, and back to the planted fish.

They rub their face and look contemplative. "Wa..." They point to the place I buried the fish, and pantomime looking at it, bending over and scrutinising it. Then they stand up and look expectantly at me.
I nod.
They pause.

I remember that they only moved their head one direction last time when saying I got something right. Downward, I think. I bow my head. They flick their ears and say "wa" again. Then they rub their face again and scratch their head. They look around and motion for me to put my spear into the ground. That or to start digging with my spear.

I stick the spear into the sand. They crouch down and draw a line where its shadow falls, and then they draw a line elsewhere.

I think I get it.

I crouch down myself, point at the line in the shadow, and draw a circle all around the outside until it comes back.

They stare at my circle, and flick their ears a few times excitedly. "Wa! Ee wa wi! Ee zo bavlamdei! Ee do jisha lo nu do ba muvdu buhu ti le zdani be mi sha le bavlamdei!"
They start drawing in the sand with their digits. A long wiggly line, a dot, and then another dot.
They point at the dot near the wiggly line. "Buhu ti."
They point at the dot and then to themselves. "Le zdani be mi."

Then they go back to the impromptu sundial and draw a small arc, and then draw a small line between the two dots. "Ee me zhohu do ba klama tu. Ee ra shu shashra li zhihi re."
Then they draw another small arc, then they point back to the small line. They point back and forth a bit to cement the relationship.

About an eighth. Hm. I guess they're trying to tell me it's not a long time from here to there.

>mark the crop site
I take one of the rocks in my backpack out, draw a circle in the sand around it, and wedge it into the sand in the middle of the circle. If the other drawings hold, I'll just need to look for the drawing with a bunch of sand sketches around it.

>follow them
Alright. Let's go.
Even if all they can offer is shelter, I'll take over sleeping in the rain again.
No. 943066 ID: 12323b
File 156625917795.png - (26.57KB , 800x600 , ai24.png )

The alien can hardly contain their excitement at me joining them. I'm not sure what they're so happy about but they start singing as we walk. Nothing with any real words, just melody and repeated sounds. Unless they do have a meaning, but the trills make it hard to believe that. They're very different sounds to what they were saying before. I'm pretty sure "uu we uu we uuweuuwe uu we" can't really have much of a meaning.

As we walk the singing gets quieter and slower, more melodic. It stops being slightly grating and starts turning into something oddly enchanting. I find myself humming along to repeated sections, provoking the alien to turn slightly back to me and flash me a dumb but earnest grin as they keep going.
No. 943067 ID: 12323b
File 156625919553.png - (49.30KB , 800x600 , ai25.png )

The singing gets quieter and more nervous, though. I stop joining in.

We walk through another part of the forest I've not been in, and I hear a rustle in the bushes. The alien hears it too, as they immediately stop singing completely and look nervous.

"Ee ko do klama ti," they say, in a hushed whisper. "Ee zohe zvati va."
"Is something wrong?" I answer back, whispering, and they tap their mouth a couple times, pointing in the direction we've been walking.

I nearly jump out of my skin as I hear a horrific warbling screeching, rising in pitch and volume, somewhere in the distance.
Similar sounds blare out and get closer and closer to where we are.

The alien grabs my hand and tugs. Given the circumstances I decide not to smack them with the spear for touching me uninvited.

We make our way through the forest, fast but trying not to make too much noise. The awful noises keep going and blaring.
It might be my imagination but I catch glimpses of lights in the edges of my vision. Nothing else.

We start running in a different direction to the way we were going.
The alien makes several course changes and I lose track of where we're going as the screeching gets closer and closer.
No. 943068 ID: 12323b
File 156625922899.png - (67.01KB , 800x600 , ai26.png )

We get to what I can only consider some sort of crater. In the crater is some sort of dark metal pod, seamless and solid.
I can't hear any screeching for now.

The alien motions for me to stand and wait, and I keep my spear gripped.

"Toltelgau," says the alien.
"ZHAPUHVLA," says a cold mechanical voice from the pod.
"Ee lu lo prami zhihapro khebni, ee zhe panpi zhihapro zhamna li'u."
"EHANDE," says the mechanical voice, and...

The pod opens up an entrance despite looking completely solid. I've... well, I've seen things like it, sure, but not in front of me. Mostly on video channels.

The alien walks up to the pod, turns back, and must see me looking stunned.

"...Ti snura," they say, after some pause. They bang on the metal and then outstretch their hand to me again.

I, uh, might have been wrong in assuming this guy was a native.

I ponder whether or not to head inside before I hear more of the blaring from before. The alien's ears prick up and they frantically gesture for me to get in.

I decide that I'd rather take my chances with this guy than whatever else is out there.
No. 943069 ID: 12323b
File 156625924552.png - (76.66KB , 800x600 , ai27.png )

Inside the pod, the construction is oddly radial. A circular cushioned surface, a central... something, and a lot of panels on the walls.

"Telgau! TELGAU!" screams the alien at the pod, and the doorway I just came through seals itself away, turning into a wall.

They pant, shaking nervously, before falling backwards onto the cushioned surface. "Eenaaaii..."

They shakily point to the surface opposite them, nervously smiling, as they close their eyes, shaking.
Seeing them this terrified is freaking me out. Just what the fuck did we narrowly avoid?

I sit down and decide to focus on something else. This pod, for example. It seems way too small to be a spaceship. More like an escape pod, but better furnished. Kind of makes me wonder where whatever I used to end up here went. I definitely remember being on a spaceship, that's for sure. The events between that and the beach are so foggy it's impossible to figure out what happened.

It's... slightly colder than I'd like in this pod. I shiver a little. It's colder than it was outside.
The alien looks at me, and pulls a sheet of teal fabric out from a wall panel, offering it to me.

I take it. It's soft, fluffy and warm. Around me it goes, as I become increasingly and embarassingly aware of the intimacy of this situation.

"Lo nu do shliva buhu ti kei shu dukse shkape sha le shabdei," says the alien, ears nervously twitching. They look at me, and awkwardly look away. "Ee oha, mi sha se vitke pa zdabartu khabzhu noi lunbe." They look back to me, making sure to look at my eyes and only my eyes (which frankly is more uncomfortable than anywhere else they could choose to look), and point to what looks like a panel with a handle.

They rub their hands over their ears and upper chest and upper arms-- they're mimicking cleaning. I can't tell if my new host is telling me where the facilities are or if they're telling me I need to clean up.
I take the fluffy fabric, stand up, and try the handle on the panel.

It opens, revealing a cavity that lights itself up as I step inside.
No. 943070 ID: 12323b
File 156625927310.png - (11.37KB , 800x600 , ai28.png )

I close the panel. It's opaque, but, hey, at this point, we've both seen far too much of each other's naked bodies. It's not like this could get any more awkward.

Why is an entire wall mirrored?! Well, at least I can take off the eyepatch and check to see if there's anything underneath it...

...yeah okay I'm completely blind in this eye. I can see light or dark like on or off but that's it. I guess if it's growing back it's not quite done yet. Also exposing it to light is like tiny daggers so I'll just keep that eye closed. Now I know why I was wearing that eyepatch.

Missing an ear on the right and an eye on the left. I guess that's almost a symmetry.
No. 943071 ID: 12323b
File 156625932391.png - (47.28KB , 800x600 , ai29.png )

Speaking of being awkward, while I recognise things like a shower handle and drain, I... can't figure out how to make it go.

...oh fuck, it better not be voice activated.

"Uh... start."
"Aw, fuck."

Well. There also seem to be some... unmarked buttons. Great. Either I blunder my way through this, or I ask my alien host how to turn on the fucking shower like I'm a complete dimwit.
No. 943072 ID: e7c7d3

Go ask the alien how to operate the shower. It's his species fault for not marking the buttons with anything.
No. 943073 ID: 0fae41

Tolzhimpe to you too, showerhead.
You should probably say that to the alien until he starts making sense.
No. 943074 ID: 82e5f2

Ask him for help, there's no shame in it. Besides, perhaps you can use this opportunity to learn more about how their tech works.
No. 943076 ID: e7848c

Oh no, the ancient dilemma. You've already come this far, might as well go the full nine yards. Ask for assistance for your host. Sib, was it? Try not to come off as you wanting to take a shower with him. Unless you want too, of course.

No. 943082 ID: b1b4f3

Oh well that's a revelation.
...I think this guy might be from that weird thing in the sky. ...the thing showed up once more when you were cutting off your ear.

I'm guessing you need to figure out the right word to turn on the shower.

"wa" is definitely knowledge-related, but it might have a secondary use as an exclamation like 'oh' or 'hmm'. "Toltelgau" seems to mean open, and "telgau" is close. That means the "tol" prefix reverses a motion, or just reverses in general. I wonder what "tolfehu" means. "TOLZHIMPE" is 'not understood', as "zhimpe" meant 'understand'. ...that's not reversing, that's a negation like I thought "-nai" and "nal-" was for. Maybe you just use them in different situations. That wouldn't be too unusual in a language. Or maybe "tol" is something like 'cannot' or 'unable to', like a failed attempt rather than a negation.
"ti" might mean 'this'. "wi" seems to be used similarly to "mi", but less often. 'I' instead of 'me' I suppose. Also, yeah, word order might be reversed-- subject last, object first.
I think "jisha" is 'want'. "naljisha" is to not want.
"buhu" is always paired with "ti", and "buhu ti" just seems to indicate the current location, so let's call that 'here'.
I'm going over previous conversations and translating them... Sib introduced himself very quickly, it turns out. Or did he? ...there seems to be some reluctance about it later when you decided that was his name. There might be a misunderstanding, like that's his job or something. "shmene" seems related to this issue, whatever it is. I don't think "shmene" means name, or he thinks 'name' means something else. "zohoi" seems related too.
"lo nu" is something important and frequently used. It seems to join two concepts together, for instance "Ee mi pashna lo nu mi zhimpe do" partially translated is 'IS ME WANT lo nu YOU UNDERSTAND ME'. "le nu" might be a different form of it.
"rinsa" refers to waving your hand.
"zdani" might mean 'home'?

Anyway, we're looking for a word that will make the water go. "shliva" might work, or "khaho", both might relate to movement. "rirkhe" might mean river, you can try that.
Where did the towel go?

If you need to ask your host for help, try saying "TOLZHIMPE".
No. 943092 ID: a9af05

Ask for help. Repeat the word the computerized voice is saying to the guy outside, so that he understands the problem.
No. 943097 ID: caf1de

just call him in if you end up fucking then you end up fucking
No. 943098 ID: b1b4f3

Here's my translation progress so far:
Translated words are in allcaps, words I'm not sure about are in parenthesis, or are like that sometimes just for clarity. There's slight overlap with the latest update since the pod speaks in allcaps but it should still be clear. I left a lot of update text in for context.
No. 943107 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, "lunbe", "khabzhu" or "zdabartu" might refer to cleaning, too. "khabzhu" was previously used while speaking of the fish, which would of course need to be cleaned before eating. The other two words are new, and are somehow related to you going into the shower.

Hmm I hope the alien soap doesn't irritate your skin too much.
No. 943121 ID: 91ee5f

Once you figure out how to turn the water on and off, make sure you remember to get down on all fours and oscillate so that you can dry yourself off!
No. 943208 ID: 12323b
File 156641164504.png - (64.53KB , 800x600 , ai30.png )

>name's Sib
Yeah, I'm pretty sure his name is Sib, now that I think about it.

>ask Sib for help
Yeah, there's... let's do this. Deep breath.

I open the door, point inside the shower and say "Sib? Tolzhimpe."

The alien, who definitely responds to me saying Sib, looks up at me, and looks away, flicking their ears.
Then they stand and awkwardly shuffle over the cushioned circle, walking over and just outside the shower room.

I'm just going to have to accept the fact this alien is male because, while that's not how male neumono look down there, they don't look female to me. I feel a blush coming on.

"Shfari," says Sib.
Water starts coming down from ceiling spouts and I yelp as the water hits me without warning.
"Ohanai!! Fauhu!! Sisti!"
The water shuts off.

I get down on all fours and shake the water off and then feel kind of embarassed for shaking like an animal.
I get back up and Sib is covering his mouth. "Khehehe..." He looks like he's trying to stop himself from laughing, and failing. "Fauhu," he says quietly, before looking away awkwardly.

I look up at the ceiling spouts, and try the word Sib just used. "Shfari."
The spouts come on and I get drenched again. The water is nice and warm.

Sib starts gently closing the door, before I look to him and hold up a hand. "Wait. What about soap?"
I mime cleaning and then try and fail to mime the concept of a bar of soap.
"Ee ma noi dashti?" It sounds like he mimics my intonation. Maybe he's figured out how I ask questions, or he doesn't know why I'm rising in intonation. Hm.
Sib repeats the motion I just made.
"Soap?" I say helplessly.
"Sop," repeats Sib.
I mime rubbing the bar on myself and I'm sure this makes no sense.

Sib flicks his ears, and wanders off, and returns with... some sort of rough looking bar-shaped sponge. "Sop," says Sib, and hands it to me.
I don't know what this is but it's not soap.

I mime trying to lather something on my head and tilt my head. Sib sighs, flicks his head down and gets into the shower with me and points to the panel on the wall, pressing the left button on the second row. Directly above the drain, where neither of us are quite standing, a jet of goopy transclucent green liquid drops down and drains away.

I nod, then correct myself and do a slight head bow with my eyes closed, trying to move my ear. It doesn't work very well. Sib returns my gesture and then gives me a weird jerking head nodding motion, and then steps back out, closing the panel.

Okay. I guess I can just get clean now without issue.
No. 943209 ID: 12323b
File 156641166021.png - (50.68KB , 800x600 , ai31.png )

It isn't until I start trying to lather up that I almost start crying at how good this feels. I feel like a person again. I'm going to have to end up leaving this weird pod to go examine my crops and I'm entirely reliant on an alien's goodwill who I can't fully understand and who can't fully understand me.

This is such a fragile situation. I want to take my time here.

I don't understand how I feel so vulnerable and alone in the one situation I've had since waking up on a beach where I've been safest and in the company of at least another thinking being.
No. 943210 ID: 12323b
File 156641167393.png - (129.60KB , 800x600 , ai32.png )

I hear shuffling outside the panel, and I quietly sneak over and put my functioning ear next to it.

I keep everything running but open the panel a slight amount to peek through to see what might be going on.

I see Sib at the thing I didn't recognise, but it looks raised, and he's staring up at... an image of his species, and... well, it looks like the females of his species share some traits with-- oh fuck they share traits with me.

And Sib is staring up at it, leaning forward, looking focused, both hands near the central thing in the room, and then he does something with his hand and brings up what looks like an image of... me? What took the image??

He looks... confused and determined, leaning over and resting his head on top of his hands. I was worried I was about to catch him in the middle of something he probably ought not to be doing with company over, but instead it looks like he's trying to puzzle out a mystery. He's flicking his ears like he did when he was having trouble understanding me. "Wunai... wunai..."

I should probably get back in the shower. Or I guess I could grab my towel and get out now at this time.
No. 943211 ID: e7c7d3

Shower a bit more. Showers are nice.

Perhaps you both come from the same ship and your escape pod landed in the ocean? And the crash scramble your language skills, I guess...
No. 943214 ID: 83bf07

He's just trying to figure out what you are. Enjoy your shower. Clear your head as best as you can. Reality can wait until the water gets cold.
No. 943216 ID: b1b4f3

Okay, "fauhu" is definitely 'sorry'.

You said this is a fragile situation, so take your time in the shower.
I wonder what the other buttons do? Why not just try them out.
No. 943217 ID: b1b4f3

Also it occurs to me he's trying to learn your language too, so you might want to talk more.
No. 943222 ID: 0cbbb1

Wasn't there a note written in a language you can't read?
Show it to Sib
No. 943228 ID: ad51b8

finish shower, you don't know when you might get a chance to do something like this again so enjoy it while you can.
No. 943229 ID: a9af05

>Vulnerable and alone
That's because you're not with your hive. Feeling the empathy of other neumono helps with communication.

>Who took this picture of me?
You know what's weird about that picture? You've still got your right ear! So whatever took that picture was outside of this tiny capsule looking place you guys are in.

Perhaps those eyes you keep seeing in the sky are surveillance drones that belong to Sib? That would explain what took your picture and how Sib got your picture.
No. 943282 ID: 58b4f3

He's probably trying to decide if it's safe to fuck you, knowing that there's a possibility that your bodily fluids could be acidic to him and melt his dick off as soon as he sticks it in you.
No. 943309 ID: caf1de

hes trying to see if he can give you the D
No. 943314 ID: 8d4593

Shower more.
When you eventually get out mimic this action of his. "Wunai, Wunai"
Teasing is a universal language.
Since you're both gonna be in here a while. Might as well spend some time trying to learn haw to talk to him.
No. 943325 ID: b1b4f3

>who took this picture
The eye in the sky, probably. Looks like it was taken very early on, when you were lamenting the fact that your backpack had only one working strap.
No. 943461 ID: 3a3c64

Does the pod look like it's only for one? If not, he may have lost someone in his likely crash.

Agreed. He seemed to (at least somewhat) respect our privacy in the shower, so leave him to his thoughts and prevent the "fragile situation" as you called it from falling into an unfortunate scenario. Also, pushing random buttons has never hurt anyone; hit them all at the same time.

Learning each other's languages is the best course of action we directly need to account for; making your farming intentions known and understood directly relates to your ability to maybe acquire a it of help/alien tech to sped things up. Nothing brings civilizations together like food.
No. 943509 ID: e51896

Keep showering.
No. 943641 ID: 12323b
File 156685532211.png - (167.47KB , 800x600 , ai33.png )

>fauhu means sorry
Sounds right. Definitely sounded apologetic.

>shower more
Yes. Yes, absolutely.

I'm already clean at this point so I guess now I'll just soak until my fur somehow ties itself into knots like it always does. All this technology since the uplift and yet nothing seems to solve that. I tried this anti-knot body shampoo once and it--

Wait. Uplift. Huh. Huh. That sure came unbidden to my memory. Uplift, what is that? Event in history. Not my personal history, before I was born. Something my... group... community... hive talked about. Hive. Neumono hive. Tribe? Family? Something like that but tighter, unified in a way that I can't... I can't think of words for. Ideals, ideas, feelings, oh no, oh no, no, no, I remember and now I wish I hadn't, no, no no no...

No, it's all coming back, oh fuck I can't stop it! Think about something else, think about...
No. 943642 ID: 12323b
File 156685534586.png - (480.74KB , 800x600 , ai34.png )

"Why?! I don't understand!"
"No one does, that's... that's just how this happens, now get out, please, please just go."
"Are you sending someone else on that contract then?!"
"We decided it was best you go. Just... don't come back."
"You couldn't have at least given me like a warning if this was all planned?!"
"It hurts to talk to you, Rakkani!! Just go!! LEAVE!!"
"What about my stuff?!"
"It's hive stuff! It's not yours!!"
"Fuck you, you can't just steal my shit! I'll see you in court!"
"Yeah, someone suing their hive, that'll stick, just... just fuck off already!!"

No. 943643 ID: 12323b
File 156685537123.png - (249.97KB , 800x600 , ai35.png )

"Rakkani rozu Rootcrusher."
"Ah, yes. You'll be the hydroponics specialist, then. You came highly recommended by your hive, you must mean a lot to them."
"Yeah. Sure. Something like that." Empathy a morass of self-loathing and anger for the universe.
"...oof, I sure trod into that without thinking. That tracks. Trust me. Everything you're feeling? I've been there. Why do you think I'm on this ship? Things'll get better. It doesn't feel like it now but it'll be fine."
"Do you feel fine?" His empathy is forced. There's still pain there he's blind to or pretending not to notice.
"Way more than I used to. Although... uh... I'm not gonna lie, you're kind of souring my mood, but I'll suck it up, you need the time to process."
Tears fall from my eyes, but without sadness. Just numbness.
"Hey, cry all you want, alright, but please, not on the documents."
"Here's a tissue. Come talk to me at lunch if you want. Name's Litoko, by the way."
No. 943644 ID: 12323b
File 156685538877.png - (555.85KB , 800x600 , ai36.png )

"What the fuck is happening?!"
"I don't know, some mystery asshole is trying to take down the ship!"
"What do we do?! I just look after plants!!"
"Get in the escape pod! I'll take the other one!"
"That one says it's busted, you can't take that one!"
"I'm an engineer, I can fix it! Less talk! More move! Go go go GO!"
No. 943645 ID: 12323b
File 156685541815.png - (746.90KB , 800x600 , ai37.png )



Everyone who knew me or cared about me as more than an acquaintance is gone.
I should have taken that faulty pod. Why the fuck did he do that?! Stupid fucking moron idiot fucker fuck fuck fuck my best friend in the fucking universe is dead because he's a fucking idiot FUCK YOU LITOKO
No. 943646 ID: 12323b
File 156685543256.png - (345.09KB , 800x600 , ai38.png )

Well fuck it! I'm not starving to death on a stupid fucking alien planet no one knows about! Or... well... Rakkani isn't. I guess this can be that second chance that creepy weirdo talked about. I guess now's the time for those reset pills.

Here's hoping I turn out to be a better person if I make it. Someone who isn't such terrible garbage their own hive turfs them out. I'll write a quick letter to myself so future me doesn't completely run out of options. If these stupid things even work.

"Adjusting landing trajectory for minimal probability of fatal injury to occupant. Pod integrity projection: 0.3%."

Let me draw a stupid smile face on it too just to try and pluck up future me's spirit I guess. Maybe I'll be a drooling idiot and it'll actually work.

Oh wow I don't have a lot of time before impact. Better write fast. Uhh... and done. Ugh, I feel so light headed. Now what should I--

No. 943647 ID: 12323b
File 156685546182.png - (211.93KB , 800x600 , ai39.png )


I was hoping I had something to go back to.

Dear fuck I was hoping I had something to go back to.

Oh, fuck, there's nothing. There's nothing! There's NOTHING!! THIS IS ALL I AM!! Oh fuck I wish I had those reset pills I want to unlearn everything I just remembered!


"Yishuhi, khu do kanro?!"
No. 943648 ID: 83bf07

Cry. You're going to need it. Give yourself a moment to catch your breath before here hop out of the shower. You're going to be feeling pretty raw and vulnerable. That's okay.
No. 943649 ID: 8d4593

Hey. Breath a little.
At least you got a alien friend here.

You're not alone, for what it's worth.
No. 943650 ID: 0fae41

Why would you want more reset pills? They clearly didn't work, all they did was leave you unprepared - well, less prepared - to survive on an alien planet.
Now you have the greatest motivator of all to survive: spite.
No. 943651 ID: 094652

Hey, concentrate on that giant tech tower at the top of the island. You are not stuck on the ass-end of an obscure backwater planet forever. You just need to stockpile your supplies and technology, activate the obviously-precursor beacon, and with your claim to this island and a few book deals, the only remaining hurdles in your life will include stuff like 'which of my suitors do I want to eat the ears off this hour' or 'do I buy the most expensive item on the menu or the whole restaurant'. In the meantime, you've got food, shelter, and a fanclub of at least one alien.

First priority, focus on what you do best and farm. You'll feel better once you get a sandwich in your gut.

You can worry about the funeral after you find someone smart enough to know what a funeral is.
No. 943652 ID: ad51b8

catch your breath kid. While you may have remembered where you came from it still doesn't do much to change where you're at now and what you need to do. You're stuck on an alien planet you know nothing about, on an alien vessel with a seemingly friendly unknown alien, and right now your main priority should be survival. Just focus on that till you feel ready to deal with everything else you just uncovered.

Also do you think the people who shoot you down are likely to come down here and look for you?
No. 943654 ID: b1b4f3

Oh hey, you saw the island. Those waterfalls look unnatural. Also, the eye in the sky was above the island specifically with a bunch of fuckin' tendrils, lovely.
Nice spire. Somewhere to head later probably.

Reset pills wouldn't exactly help, considering the reset is apparently temporary.
...why did your escape pod and clothes disintegrate during the crash?

Cry on your new friend's shoulder. Lament his lack of empathy, now that you know what that is.
No. 943659 ID: a9af05

>More reset pills
You do realize those things would actually make it harder for you to survive, right?

Now that the reset pills have worn off, you should be able to actually remember what all of the seeds in your backpack are supposed to do now.
No. 943671 ID: caf1de

the eye in the sky has tentacles and there's some kind of tower on this island
Litoko may have survived and those reset pills don't really work
No. 943674 ID: cab831

Reset pills? Bad idea. You just had to live through all that a second time because they were useless. You really have a desire to make it three times?

Either way, it's gonna be some time until you're over this. When you are, well, your situation is precarious, but once you figure out food it becomes almost as stable as you were on the ship minus some fancy tech. So you have to ask yourself, if you have nothing either way, do you wish to stay or leave?
No. 943694 ID: 12323b
File 156694471150.png - (38.54KB , 800x600 , ai40.png )

>reset pills are a terrible idea
I know, I know, I just, I just--
I don't know what that was about, I don't--
>Litoko may have survived
I saw him die, I saw him die--
>You're not alone

I curl up on the floor of the shower and sob violently, all pride and all strength sapped from me.

The panel door opens as I hear "sisti" being said. The water shuts off, and I'm met with the naked alien from before looking at my sobbing form.
I don't care. I don't care anymore. Turf me out like my hive did. Leave me to die on a beach. Do whatever.

The alien doesn't even say anything, just grabs the towel from before and cautiously approaches me. He bends down and tries to wrap the towel around me.

I don't put up much of a fight.

He pulls me up and I stand, still sobbing, as he leads me out of the shower, into the central pod room, and guides me to sit down on the ring of seating around the central... projector thing.

"Ee shafne fa le nu ti khamgu mi sha shladu fa roda."

He hands me some sort of stuffed creature toy thing like I'm a child and sings a wordless calming tune at me.
Does he think I'm a child?

I put the toy down and try to stop sobbing, but I might as well try to stop breathing, it's just continuing to happen. The alien looks at me with all his ears drooped, and mumbles something at me. "Ee mi nitshu lo nu mi shu lumshi. Ee mi sepli ohi do."

He walks over to the shower, looks back at me, and says "Ee fau le nu do jisha mi vau ko do vrodarkhi." He slides the panel shut and I hear a muted "shfari" as the water starts up again.


I grab the toy after his line of sight is blocked. Having something soft is more comfort than nothing.
No. 943695 ID: 12323b
File 156694472390.png - (38.16KB , 800x600 , ai41.png )

I spend what feels like an eternity just hugging this thing and sobbing into it.

I'm at least calmer and less at risk of pulling a muscle with violent sobbing. I've regained my composure a little.

Suddenly, I hear a knock.

It's subtle, and it's not from the shower.

It's a very deliberate knock. Three short taps, firm.

"Siligubi. Guli biliglagu ka kagolbigu ligla bigolkali kagusi bigugugol? Glagu guka sigolgolka... Toltelgau. Ee lu lo prami zhihapro khebni, ee zhe panpi zhihapro zhamna lihu."
"EHANDE," says the pod.

The pod abruptly opens, and a masked figure of some sort quickly leaps through the opening.
I stand, alarmed.
They swivel back towards the opening and shout "BISILIGU!", followed by a less loud "Telgau."
The pod shuts closed.

I'm face to face with something that looks about half my height.

"How droll," says the figure, looking up to me. "I expected the haruspices to find you before the first night was over."
"Wh-- who are you?!"
"A representative of the Monopoly of Masked Merchants. It's within our interests to inform our potential clientele about our services and products, after all, and you definitely fit the bill."

I blink my good eye as I try to take in whatever was just said.

"My trading operations name is Fair Exchange, and my actual name is not available at your current trust category. This, however, will not be our first transaction--"
"Who the fuck are you and why do you speak English?!"
"In a multicultural consumer environment it is imperative that a trading representative of Three M be capable of fruitful commercial dialogue with any and all customers, especially existing customers."
"Slow-- slow down," I groan, dropping the toy and clutching my head. "I'm not-- I'm not sure what's going on but I didn't ask for anything or order anything-- why are you on a deserted island? Who are you trading with?!"

"It's very simple," says the masked merchant, adjusting its-- her??-- tendrils. "Demand is great here. Supplies are adequate."
"I don't-- I don't have anything to sell!"
"Au contraire, mon ami. As sapient beings our every action creates ripples in the noosphere, our every move the realisation of an intent. You are an untapped resource, Rakkani. A wealth of plenty. There is so little information we have on neumono. I am here to propose a contract, before I let further valuable time slip through my tendrils like the grains of sand on the beach you awoke upon. Wear a small and unobtrusive device, and it will log a plethora of biometric and behavioural data as well as your responses to various stimuli. This device, which, need I mention, is free, will start earning you credits, and through credits, you may purchase additional services and products to make your stay in the wilderness, however long it be, a more comfortable one. With enough trading loyalty, you will gain further options, such as the rental of a spaceship good to bring you back to greater galactic civilisation. What say you, Rakkani?"

I never told them my name.

I think I should probably yell for Sib to get out of the shower. Right now.
No. 943696 ID: 0fae41

I say showers and electronics don't mix. Shfari!
No. 943697 ID: 465a14

Ah, creepy noxan merchants. Refuse its offer.
No. 943698 ID: 83bf07

Sounds like selling your body. Rude. Terms and conditions, where is it? EULA? Fine print? what's the rate of revenue? "Stimuli"? They're gonna make you horny, watch.

Stall, basically.
No. 943699 ID: 86eb65

Nope that deal is not good enough.

You want valuable info on my species then I want a guarantee that what you give in exchange is equally valuable.

Also my name. How did you get that?
No. 943700 ID: e7c7d3

I mean, it can already track you to your precise location. So a bio-monitor isn't going to give them any more info that would put you at more risk from them then you already are.

But yeah, get Sib's opinion. Hes a better ally than credits are.
No. 943701 ID: b1b4f3

This thing is from the spire. Look at those things on its head- they have the same technological style.
Tell it you don't know enough to trust it just yet. Ask if the other alien made the same deal, get him to come out of the shower to confirm or deny. I'm guessing that's what the tag is on his ear! This also might be a good chance to have an interpreter so that you can learn more words and confirm the words you think you know already.
Did you leave your eyepatch in there?

Anyway, the deal it's offering sounds fine on the surface. It's an invasion of privacy in exchange for things you can't get any other way, as far as you know. It might be possible to approach the spire directly and get some kind of job there though. Ask if that is another option to acquire credits or technology. Heck, ask if there are other options in general. Also what are the "haruspices", those red lights in the forest? How dangerous are they?

If he doesn't leave you time to make an informed decision and won't agree to meet you again soon, you should probably just accept. Can't possibly be worse than your current situation.
No. 943702 ID: a9af05

>Unobtrusive device
Would that happen to look anything like the thing that's currently pinned to Sib's ear flaps? That might explain how he was able to get this shelter you're currently in.

>We've traded before
>Knows your name
I think I know what happened to your clothes and the escape pod you were in. He took advantage of you while you were still in the middle of being reset by those reset pills you took. Which means you traded away your clothes and escape pod.

In fact, remember that note you had? The one written in a language you can't read >>941862 that might actually be a receipt from your previous transaction.
No. 943704 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, I didn't catch that it traded with Rakkani before. That's definitely something to ask about, and she should definitely show it the note to ask what it says.
No. 943705 ID: 8d4593

So begins the game.
You know I wouldn't put it past this guy to have been the one to have put you into this situation in the first place.
The eye in sky. Heh. For all we know this is some twisted reality TV show.

...But unfortunately, you're in too deep.
If this guy wanted too, he could probably just capture and study you.
...or at the very least just make your life more difficult to the point where you are forced to cooperate.

They are clearly taking advantage of you.
They clearly have an ulterior motive.
But they are currently in an extreme position of power over you.
So you should play along.

Do ask questions before accepting though. Like, you can take the thing off if you need too, right?
There's no binding contract here?
No. 943706 ID: 015bf2

>Au contraire.
English, and now French. These guys must've had contacts with humans, or an alien polyglot.

Like... dissectors? Perhaps those things you were fleeing from? The merchant itself sounded wary, given the haste with which they tried getting in here, so the haruspices might be a danger to them as well.

Anyway, he's a cocky sort and he's trying to sell you 'comforts' (food/water/showers) and a way off this rock, probably by having you be some sort of contractor and selling your body('s data). It almost begs the question of why he doesn't just try to take it, if he's got you at such a disadvantage.

... it's funny, though. You've got nowhere to go that matters.

Tell them that you are exhausted, depressed, have just had one of the worst realizations of your life, again, because you tried, and failed, to kill your past by murdering your memories, except the ones that hurt the most, of course, survived. You don't give a rotten fig about their proposition, because everything currently happens to be terrible and full of suck.

They should work on their timing and their sales pitch, because survival and creature comforts are currently poor comforts and you seriously doubt they could sell what you truly need, which is probably a fucking time machine. So, they can leave now, losing little of their valuable time on your sorry ass, or they can think about why you would be disinclined to accept their current offer and give you a better one.

Smile grimly, darkly, and ask if they've ever sold someone a reason to live before.

(Keep 'em off balance; drag out time until your new friend gets out of the shower, or get them to simply leave. Them wanting you for your body is creepy as all get out.)
No. 943707 ID: 91ee5f

>earn credits
I mean, if you can buy a translator so that you can understand Sib, that would really help right about now!

>device is the thing currently pinned to Sib's ear flaps
That sounds about right.
No. 943710 ID: b1b4f3

...oh wait the note is back with Rakkani's backpack, which she keeps leaving behind for some reason.
No. 943711 ID: 91ee5f

She didn’t leave it behind. She brought her bag with her, as seen here: >>943066 , and here: >>943067 .

The only things she left behind were the seeds she planted and the fish she buried.
No. 943712 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, whoops. The trident did get left behind though.
No. 943718 ID: 422cea

>Smile grimly, darkly, and ask if they've ever sold someone a reason to live before.

I like this. You should be honest and tell them how just existentially obliterated you are.
No. 943719 ID: 91ee5f

True, but that’s on Sib. He should be responsible for keeping track of his own trident.
No. 943720 ID: b2b36c

On one hand, agreeing will make you like some domesticated animal, or tagged wild animal. However, what they've done makes me suspect they'll get what they wish here either way, and this is merely a courtesy to smooth the process. So, much as I disdain it, you may as well get something out of this.
But do ask all the questions. All of them.
No. 943913 ID: 12323b
File 156720966001.png - (90.06KB , 800x600 , ai42.png )

>selling your body
>traded before
I don't recall...
>they're in a position of power over you
I don't know what they're capable of.
>reason to live

"I don't care."
"I don't care, there's no point to any of it. I'm exhausted, miserable, and I've just remembered no one cares if I live or die! There's no difference whether I do! I'm not interested in your credits unless you can sell me a reason to live." I find myself grinning in a macabre manner.

The trader rubs their tendrils together and I can't tell if it's in contemplation or something else.

"So your memory has returned, I take it."
"What of it?" I spit.
"What is the best time of year to plant a falgio tuber in marshy soil given typical weather conditions for said time of year?"

I wasn't expecting that as a question.

"When is the best time of year," says the trader, slower and more deliberate, "to plant a falgio tuber, in marshy soil, given typical weather conditions."
"You can't grow falgio in overly wet soil, it rots the roots," I say, annoyed. "It needs sandy soil, but not so sandy it provokes perennation. For decorative purposes. If you're trying to grow it as a food crop, though, sandiest soil you can find. Best time of year would be rainy--"
"Ahh, good, good, there's the prodigy Rakkani, the bright star of Rootcrusher! Exciting. You may have more vital information to offer than the way a neumono experiences base emotions in scenarios."
"Whatever. Leave me alone."

"Rakkani, I have two reasons to live I can sell you."
"Oh yeah?"
"I do not know which one you prefer, because I can only predict the actions of others up to a certain point. If I could predict that well, I'd be fabricating the data instead of recording it, after all! Hagahagaha. Anyway, I digress. Let me cut to the tape."
"Cut to the chase."
"No. The tape."

The merchant holds out a small device, which displays an image of a neumono hooked up to tubes in a life support pod-- no... impossible... what...?

"3M has within their possession a male neumono. One option, you can start anew here. The ship you were on. It was a colony ship, correct? A fresh start. A chance to begin anew. Yes?"
My empathy screams recognition while I do everything I can to pretend I don't recognise the fucking face of Litoko being held in storage like a fucking shipment.
"I-- That's absurd, two neumono can't start a colony or a hive, that's not how it works!" Thoughts of trying to somehow make a hive myself, absurd, irrational thoughts I'd long since managed to suppress, start to bubble up.
No. It's impossible, it's impossible, it's impossible. Stop it. Stop it. Likoto always kept that little bit of distance, I think he knew too. I think he was scared too.
"Hm. You are correct. But you can start an outpost. And more of your kind may arrive."
"May? May?! Where the hell are we?! Answer me!!"

The merchant takes a few... shuffles back, and holds up all its tendrils. "You may be more interested in option number two," it adds hastily.
Option number two better goddamn still involve freeing my fucking friend.
"Realignment with the empathy of your hive. They were very open to the idea when it was discussed. We have a lot of recordings of their empathetic signatures to work from. Just think, Rakkani. You could go back to a home you thought you'd lost forever."
The trader pulls out another imaging device, displaying the symbol of the Rootcrushers, a custom we adopted when other hives did similar.

My blood runs cold.

"That's impossible."
"You know it isn't impossible, Rakkani. It's impossible for neumono. For your kind's technology. How much of the technology you've learned was truly your species' own?"
"They don't want me back," I say, fists shaking and teeth gritted.
"Have you tried speaking to them? Do they not want you back, or do you simply think it's not worth the pain of finding out for sure? You were a prodigy, Rakkani, the best of Rootcrusher. Do you know what happens to a hive when one of their best and finest suddenly drops out of alignment? Do you know what that does to the self-image of a hive? They bleed without you, Rakkani."
"I can't have gone rogue for just no reason," I say, finding myself feeling weirdly faint.
"Not every illness has a direct cause," says the trader.

Illness? Illness. Illness. That's it. That's it. I'm kicking this thing at the wall.

"I would advise," says the trader, as if they can pick up my violent intent through my empathy, "not doing anything you'd regret later. Few are those who could offer you either of these choices."
"What, set up an outpost on a mostly uninhabited wilderness or go back to a 'home' that threw me out? How is that a choice?! How are either of these options?!"
"If you make a choice between them, right now, I'll give you a sandwich."

The trader pulls out a sandwich from the bag on their back with another tendril.

It's a flathopper chunk sandwich, redstalk flour bread, with ogolboko and falgio tuber slices, and firegourd sauce. Just the sight of it makes my mouth water and the smell is like torture to my starving belly.
It's one of my favourite fucking sandwiches when I first learned sandwiches were a thing. The ingredients to make it don't even exist on this island and nothing I could do could get flathoppers here.

This is so so creepy and wrong and the sandwich is making me cry again for a different reason.

"Can I pay for the sandwich alone?"
"It comes as part of either package, I'm afraid."
No. 943914 ID: 12323b
File 156720967882.png - (134.29KB , 800x600 , ai43.png )

"What if I just want to leave?" I say, mouth still watering.
"Then what, Rakkani? You just told me yourself you have nothing to live for. Is that what you want? Freedom at the cost of meaning and purpose? Is that what you... really want?" says the trader, tracing an arc in the air with the sandwich. My eyes don't lose sight of it.

Eyes. ...My eye's working again. That's sooner than I expected. It's blurry, but there's sight.

"This sandwich might be slightly too heavy for my poor, weak little tendrils. I might drop it any moment. That would be a shame, wouldn't it?"
"I'll eat it off the floor." Give me the sandwich. Give me the fucking sandwich!
"If you want it that badly, I am legitimately surprised you have not tried to snatch it from my feeble grasp. You know better, I presume. All you have to do is decide your future, how can it be this difficult? Honestly, I had thought your kind were known for impulsive, emotionally driven behaviour. Neither option appeals, even with this incentive?" More sandwich wiggling. "If you just want freedom to mope and want off this island, I can arrange that. And then it will all be over. Off you go. Just come with me back to the hub and I can send you on your way, without any trouble. You can have the sandwich too."

"I just want the sandwich! I don't want to sign any contracts on an empty stomach!!"
"I don't need a signature, I'm not looking to formalise any agreements, I just need to know how best I can respond to your needs and drives in future. Have I somehow missed a reasonable option? Colonisation, reunion, or a complete departure back to known space?"
"I just! Want! The! Sandwich!! I'll pay for the sandwich! Name a price, I'll pay for the sandwich!!"
"I have named my price, repeatedly. Decision, sandwich. Make a choice or I'm throwing the sandwich outside the pod and charging you 200 credits for wasting my time. I've dealt with voklit less stubborn than this, for market's sakes."

No. 943916 ID: 422cea

You're literally losing your integrity over a sandwich...

You want Litoko, no. You want both options.

You'll save Litoko and then you'll work to acquire the worth for the cure to your empathy.
No. 943917 ID: b1b4f3

Option two and three do NOT involve being reunited with your best friend. The merchant made no mention of him in those choices.
Pick option one, FOR NOW. Option two can still be performed, at some point in the future after the colony is set up. Heck, your hive could move to the colony.
In fact, make that clear, that your current priority is to achieve a goal you know will work in the long term- reuniting with your friend and setting up a business. You do want to realign with your hive but you have only the merchant's word to go on, AND who knows how long the realignment will last? I imagine it would have to be an ongoing treatment, which will involve more expense. Perhaps more than you can afford, which means your hive would have to cover part of the cost, and how long until they decide it's not worth it? How long until they decide there are other neumono skilled enough to keep the hive's reputation up after losing you again? There's just a lot of risk in the long term. Worth it, perhaps, but not worth giving up option one for.

Also seriously you need to ask the merchant what your first transaction was. And what its name is. And if it's done business with the alien, and if it wouldn't mind helping with basic translation.
No. 943918 ID: e7c7d3

Go with Litoko. Start anew. Don't try to go to the past. It never works.
No. 943919 ID: 094652

He's an intel gatherer. He knows things. Enough to have saved your spaceship before it was shot down. He clearly favored it happening. So why is he even giving you the illusion of a choice?

Simple: plausible-deniability forced legitimacy. Right now, he has no legal rights to do what he wants to the Neumono species. You're vulnerable, angry, and most importantly, alone. You'd sign your species' rights away because you're a rouge who resents the laws that made your forced exile a virtue, and because you don't believe that you have the authority to enslave anyone or anything to any clause whatsoever.

But he knows you're a prodigy, and he knows your loyalty is on sale. He has enough power to promote you into his genocidal checkmate Queen. You know this will end badly if your species is tricked into being indebted to a chaotic corporate enterprise. Screw this guy and screw the sandwich he rode on.

There is only one reasonable option:
No. 943920 ID: 86eb65

Who are you and how do you know so much?

And why do you want me creating a colony here?

Who are you exactly and what do you get out of all this?
No. 943922 ID: 1ed92d

Choose to build an outpost....

THEN point out that the Memory Reset Pills didn't work at all and request Store Credit in repayment for defective product.
No. 943924 ID: 8d4593

Ok ok... Realignment... He'd need to fuck with your brain. Like hardcore.
Fuck that.
Going rogue sucks but unfortunately it's just a natural part of being a Neumono. The only requirement: Being unlucky.

There is only one fix and you know what it is. Find other, disparate Neumono. Find enough and eventually your empathy will merge into a new hive.

Option 1 is the obvious choice.

Also, tell him to shove his patronizing attitude up his tenticaled ass. He's literally waving food in your face like your a dog.

And do ask about Sib before you let him go. What role does he play in all this?

Don't confront him about this yet, but between the crash landing, the tracking monitor, the rigged "Options" he's giving you, your particular skill set, and the fact that he knew of you before hand, all this suggests that your current situation is his, or his employers, doing.
You've been set up. Sadly the time to act has not yet come.
No. 943925 ID: b1b4f3

The reset pills were not bought from this merchant.
I mean, Rakkani should recognize this merchant if so? She got them from a "creepy weirdo".
No. 943929 ID: a9af05

Just choose Litoko already! You know you want to, so stop wasting time and save him already, you doofus!
No. 943932 ID: 0fae41

You've missed the reasonable option of not slamming your dick on the table and telling us to choke on it. Somebody who's been watching us this long, knows this much about us and throws not one, but two impossible things at us as bait for doing what they want, sets off every danger sense there is, including the check engine light. Getting as far away from you as we can and having nothing further to do with you sounds like the best option now. Take some sensitivity training courses, man!
Let sleeping neumono lie. Let the hive bleed. Go ahead and tank our credit rating, we don't need ATMs on a desert island.
No. 943972 ID: 864e49

Hell yeah!
Okay maybe not to this extreme, but I think that we need to "explain" to this little turd that annoying and insulting someone that you not only want to do business with but is also standing right in front of you and is not completely mentally stable and can easily kill you is both quite stupid and also very rude.
We are not some pet that can be tempted with treats into doing tricks. We don't even know if any of this shit it's offering is real.

Take the sandwich, tell it that it's a "not getting horribly mauled by the pissed off neumono you just insulted" tax.
And as for his offers, when you went rogue your hive took everything, didn't give you any help and then acted like you never existed so they can eat shit and as for Litoko if it can give you proof , like actually speaking with Litoko face to face, then we will have a deal. Hell it might end up with a male and female neumono subject.
No. 943973 ID: 83bf07

Go for one. Ask if there's a translation device to talk to Sib. Save your credits.
No. 943988 ID: fd2d31

"it's either both options or neither, and since I apparently still have something valuable to you, then you have no option but to concede to MY demands.

And if you don't like that, then you shouldn't have been a pushy & sleazy scammer, bet you set up this whole accident too, huh?"
No. 943990 ID: c5efbb

>I've dealt with voklit less stubborn than this, for market's sakes.
Seriously, though. Testing your reactions so as to figure out the best way to haggle with you? Clever. Irritating, but clever.
>This sandwich might be slightly too heavy for my poor, weak little tendrils. I might drop it any moment. That would be a shame, wouldn't it?
Appeal to urgency? This guy really is psychologically testing you.

Waitwaitwait. Voklit. If memory serves, they live on reservations on the neumono homeworld. Yet he previously claimed,
>There is so little information we have on neumono
So, he's been to the neumono homeworld to negotiate with Voklit, yet despite this, has little data on neumono. Plus, he has Litoko for data if data is what he desires.
No. 943996 ID: 18e3d4

Embrace your new life. Let all that was crumble to dust.
No. 944001 ID: e2f5cc

Go for option C if this chucklefuck will let you take Sib with you. Option 2 is just obviously a bad idea in so many ways, not the least of which being that you'd need to let this dude/his compatriots inside your head. Option 1 is definitely more complex, and while I think there are better ways to go about this there are also many worse. My primary issue with freeing Litoko is a question: Would he rather be stranded on an island or be unconscious in a pod, where he may have a chance to be released into more favorable circumstances. If you definitively know he'd rather be here Rakkani I'll change my vote to A, but if you have even the slightest doubt, you should leave him.

Thus, to restate, I think option C is the best if you can bring Sib. Going this route is obviously the easiest, and again you'll almost certainly be able to purchase Litoko's freedom, even if for a likely exorbitant sum. The reasons to bring Sib are manifold, some of the biggest ones that come to mind are: It'd be a real dick move to leave your new buddy stranded alone on an island after having him like you enough to take you to his crib, even before your first date. Next, and a bit more pragmatically, he would be the scientific discovery of a lifetime, as a new sentient race with a (likely) unknown language, and if he's willing to give you some of the cash he's probable to get from all the people vying to be the first to research him, there's a good chance you'll have enough to buy Litoko's release. Last and most importantly, Sib will feel indebted, and thus affectionate, towards you, so there will be a qt alien bf as your reason to live on the other side.

If you can't take Sib with you and you're uncertain that Litoko will appreciate being forcibly put on an island, request a translator so you're able to speak and understand all languages, or at least the one Sib speaks.
No. 944015 ID: b1b4f3

WAIT A MINUTE. Is he gonna raise the price of whatever option you pick?
No. 944042 ID: 12323b
File 156730013043.png - (43.01KB , 800x600 , ai44.png )

>seduce merchant
Absolutely never.

>reset pills
I got them from some shady miklik dude. Not this... whatever it is.

>attitude problem
"Now listen here, you condescending squid," I spit out at the trader. "If you're going to keep being so condescending and insulting towards me I'm going to show you why pissing off your customer has some unfortunate consequences--"
"Calm yourself, Rakkani. If you were to do anything untoward in a civil discussion, surely I would be forced to defend myself. And you are entirely unaware of the potential of my defenses. Is that a risk you want to take?"
"You're half my size."
"As we all know, if something is smaller than you, it can pose no threat, and this is why illness doesn't exist, why poison doesn't work, and why the vacuum of space poses no threat. Now. Let me restate what I just said. If you wish to threaten me further, you will rapidly find out how polite I am currently being. Is this the direction you wish to continue?"

I squeeze my hands into fists and snarl a little. Then I close my eyes, breathe deeply, and relax. "I'm not happy about you treating me like an animal."
"Demonstrate otherwise, with words and reason, and I will stop."

"Fine. Litoko," I say. "I want you to free Litoko."
"Of course you recognise him," says the merchant. "Of course, of course. Of course you do."
"What did you do to him?!"
"I rescued him. Is that not sufficient for your understanding?"

The merchant sighs, returns the image projectors to its pack and holds the sandwich out towards me, no longer dangling it around like a leg for a beast. I grab it a little more forcefully than I'd have liked, and start eating it like I'll never see a sandwich in my life ever again. I almost weep with the explosion and combination of flavours familiar to me, the spice of the firegourd, the savoury juiciness of the flathopper, the sweet crispness of falgio tuber, the spongier mild flavour of the ogolboko. My first bite is barely chewed before swallowing. My second bite, I take more time.

"Extracted his broken, bleeding body from the wreckage of his escape pod. Reassembled him into working order. It was difficult. He wanted to let himself die. I believe he also thought he had lost everything. He was not conscious enough for a reasonable discussion, as with you, so I had to find ways to work around it." The merchant pauses. "I'm taking too much credit. We. We had to find ways to work around it."
I pause mid chew. "What did you do to him?"
"The exact specifics are nothing I would expect you to understand, unless you happen to be an expert in distributed cellular neuroscience. I'll summarise it as thus. We convinced him to continue living at a more fundamental level. Flooded out the self-destructive impulses and chemicals with stabilisers. At that level, reason is too abstract a concept."
"So... what did you do to him??"

The merchant sighs deeply again.

"We pumped him with happy fluid until he didn't want to die anymore. Is that reduction enough for you? Honestly, you ask for the answer to a question, and it is not my fault you ask questions beyond your ability to understand."
"A poor teacher blames the student for not understanding," I say, flashes of my life excelling in school coming back to me. I'm not very happy with the answer, but I can already tell trying to get more information out is just going to lead to more focus on the minituae and details than the actual reasons and intent. I'm not stupid. I recognise someone retreating into overly detailed specifics to lead away from the true reasons and bigger picture. I've... definitely done it before, myself, when I screwed up seed storage and had to explain to a customer why their latest batch failed. I'm not proud that I did it, but I absolutely recognise someone else doing it.
"I'm a merchant, Rakkani, not a teacher."
"When do I see Litoko?"
"Oh, this isn't confirmation of purchasing the male neumono. This is just confirmation of interest. I'll be back tomorrow with more information regarding that purchase."
"I don't want to own him! I just want him freed!"
"What you choose to do after purchasing him is none of our concern, but the fact of the matter is we have sunk a lot of resources into repairing him. Someone needs to pay the debt for that before we'll let him go."
"So you're... keeping him hostage?"
"Until either someone pays off his debt or we get enough data from him to justify the cost, yes."

I finish another bite of the sandwich, trying to let the enjoyment of the flavour block out the horrible dread I feel about dealing with a company that's willing to treat people as commodities.
I know my hive had slaves once, but that was... that was different, right? Right? It... was it different? Maybe it wasn't.
But we stopped doing that. We stopped doing that because it was wrong, and it was something modern society frowned upon, but this alien finds no problem with it, and... I don't know how to feel.
No. 944043 ID: 12323b
File 156730014286.png - (45.57KB , 800x600 , ai45.png )

"Who actually are you? How do you know so much about me?"
"I already told you. My name is Fair Exchange. I'm a trader for 3M. As to how I know so much about you, well, I'm not at liberty to discuss trade secrets with someone who has barely begun to register as a client."
"Why do you want me to make a colony here? What does that do for you?"
"You don't have the trust level required to be given this information."
"That's funny," I say. "You don't have the trust level required to know as much about me as you do either."

The trader pauses and wiggles a tentacle. "You are certainly a sharper one than Sib, that's for sure. More appropriately cautious and suspicious. Or perhaps you are simply less diplomatic."
"Sib... Sib-- What role does Sib play here? Is he supposed to make this outpost with me?"
"Our full terms of agreement with other clients are strictly confidential. His contract does not involve your outpost, however."

>translation device
"I guess our 'transaction' regarding my decision is done here."
"Yes. Unless you have any further transactions you wish to discuss, I will be leaving now."
"Wait. There is one. I want a translator for Sib's language, and also..." I fish out the note I can't read from my backpack. "I want a translator for whatever this is."
"That is... an invoice, yes. For the first transaction. There's also a partial catalogue on the other side."
"What was that first transaction?"
"It's on the invoice," says the merchant, shifting around. "I'll give you a reader for the invoice, I must have forgotten to give you one. 3M records their invoices in a proprietary encoding and provides translation devices to read out what the invoice data is in the client's own preferred language."
"And the translator?"
"A Kaurban-English translator or an English-Kaurban translator?"
"Your current balance is 200 credits. Each of those translators costs 150 credits for the lowest spec models. Either you'll have to find something worth 100 credits to me, which I can already tell you none of your material possessions would be worth, or you'll have to buy one now and the other at a later date. These are also the lowest spec models. The translations will be... there'll have to be some interpretation."

The merchant pulls out a small chip thing from their pack, and speaks "Shoi rodo."
"greetings every of you."
"Ee zoi zoi Fair Exchange zoi shmene mi."
"'Fair Exchange' is being name me."
"Ee lu sib nanip lihu shu shmene tu. Ee ri sha shmima le zhutsi poi selshme zoi zoi kriai zoi. Ee suh minde lo spisihe."
"'Sib Nanip' is being names that yonder. the latter is being member the species which being named 'crii'. 'S' is commanding any/some portionish snow."

Oh wow that's bad. "Can I make up the 100 credits now?"
"No, but, if you were willing to accept the bioinformatic recorder device, you could make up that 100 credits within a day."

So I have yet another couple choices, it seems.
I can either purchase one of the translators, or I can hold off and save up for better translators.
And I can either sell my... data, or I can not do that and remain free of whatever undoubtedly intrusive things that'd lead to.

...I've just realised that the shower's still going but no one is moving in there. Sib is very definitely listening to this conversation and trying to make it look like he's not.
No. 944044 ID: e7c7d3

We've sort of been getting by without a translator,so i say wait and by one that would actually help with nuance.

I also vote we chip. As i said before, we're not giving away any info that would put us in danger, as they already now how to find us and what our favourite food is.
No. 944046 ID: b1b4f3

Currently the language barrier is worse on Sib's side, because you haven't spoken as much to him. Also you might be aware of concepts that he isn't.
Get the English to Kaurban one.
This will also allow you to more quickly learn his language, via the translation the device gives-- you could ask him what certain words mean, or what certain objects are called, etc.

Make note of the distinctive symbol on the translation device. It's that eye in the sky.

Get the bio-reader device but make sure to negotiate a clause to have it removed at a later date. You will not submit to a lifetime of "data collection"; only as much as is needed until you can start making credits another way. Optimally you'd be able to remove it whenever you want, like for instance if you decide you need some private time with Litoko. On the other hand, that kind of data would probably get you a lot of credits.
No. 944055 ID: 91ee5f

>reader for the invoice
I’m assuming that’s supposed to be free, since he said he was supposed to give it to us and forgot. At least now we’ll be able to read what we bought/sold on that invoice.

>Terrible translation device
Oh no, no, no. You should definitely wait for a better translation device.

>get the chip or not?
As much as you hate it, you’re going to need to get that in order to start building up credits so that you’ll be able to afford the price of purchasing Litoko‘s freedom.

>Get the bio-reader device but make sure to negotiate a clause to have it removed at a later date.
Definitely do this.
No. 944058 ID: 8d4593

This guy knows what's up.
Do this.
No. 944064 ID: 67061a

Yep, these guys are definitely a monopoly. Let's just hope WE are not a resource to be monopolized. Either way...
We've at least learned something for free. Sib's language is 'Kaurban', and he may have a last name of 'Nanip'. We'll have to confirm the last name with Sib. Ask more questions. The full terms of Sib's agreement may be secret, but that implies that some of it or a summary may be public. Is this island 3M property? Are there any threats on the island to know about, since a dead customer stops buying?
Keep the credits, see what's in the catalog first. Might be something more useful.
As per selling bio data, I have one question. Are we free to remove the device at any time on our own for any reason?
No. 944067 ID: 094652

>I know my hive had slaves once, but that was... that was different, right? Right? It... was it different? Maybe it wasn't.
Your hive used to be dumb as bricks. Now they're not as dumb as bricks, per se.

These merchants are hyper-intelligent yet are resorting to semi-overt slavery. I think they believe they're still dumb as bricks compared to what they're planning to become.

So be careful. There's so much you can do and actually do when you're planning to become someone new.

Take out a well-contracted loan to work on your new bio-farm. Make sure they're the default party if anything goes FUBAR, because they clearly own this island.
No. 944073 ID: 1ed92d

Get "English to Kaurban", don't accept that so-called 'recording device'. It could be literally anything. Even Fair Exchange might not actually know what it does.

Meanwhile.... time to relax. Request the translator so you may thank Sib for the Plush Toy's aid.
No. 944081 ID: a9af05

>I almost weep
According to the tears going down your face, you're already weeping.

>"Oh, this isn't confirmation of purchasing the male neumono. This is just confirmation of interest. I'll be back tomorrow with more information regarding that purchase."
Does that mean that you're not going to learn the price you need to buy Litoko until tomorrow?

That translator is going to do more harm than good. Wait until you can get a better one.

>Chip or no chip?
The sooner you start earning credits, the sooner you can buy Litoko's freedom.

Speaking of Litoko, is it possible to pass a message to him to let him know that you're alive?
No. 944091 ID: 83bf07

Don't accept anything for now. Sib rightfully doesn't trust the sky and we don't want to be seen working with them right off the bat. Can get a better translator at a later time.
No. 944177 ID: 12323b
File 156746800458.png - (14.76KB , 800x600 , ai46.png )

"Fine, I'll take the recorder. Just as long as I can opt out again."
"Sure, whatever. Alright."

Before I can ask any clarifying questions or express my concern at the flippant tone of that reply I feel a sudden burning pain at the tip of my good ear.

I raise my hand up to it. The same tag Sib has, but on my ear.

"Does it... does it have to look like a livestock tag?"
"Cosmetic upgrades begin at 300 credits--"
"No, stop, never mind, whatever." I'm not happy. I'm very much not happy.

>no translator
"Also if that's my option for translators, I'll save up," I say, fidgeting uncomfortably at my new piercing.

"The next available translator, capable of parsing nuance, is 450 credits, from one direction to the other. The bidirectional translator, hardwired two language support and also capable of parsing nuance, is 800 credits. The expandable model, which can take up to 5 language chips, parse nuance, and translate freely between all language chips installed, comes at 750 with one free chip, and 100 per chip afterwards. But, well, such things are listed on the catalogue. And the deluxe model, which comes with two free chips, and can fit up to 20 language chips, is 1000 credits. That's a mere ten days of simply living a suitably interesting life, if you opt into the data harvest. If you truly never want to be misunderstood again, you can opt for the mega deluxe variation, 2000 credits, which comes with state-of-the-art advanced autotranslation capability, and is also capable of detecting cultural nuance and advising on possible translations based on desired impact of statement. There are, of course, even more advanced models of translation that can function on paracommunicative means alone, translating expression and gesture into complete statements, and the very latest model can perform limited neural scans to find the words you can't and make a demagogue of a shrinking violet. Not so necessary for myself, of course, as a naturally gifted polyglot, but they're there."
The merchant flashes a bunch of holographic images of products at me so quickly I barely register them.

Urgh, those are some nasty prices. Upselling like no tomorrow. And what sounds like highly artificial limitations just to price gouge. Awful.

"How much will it cost to free Likoto?"
"50,000 credits."
"With discounts available based on customer trust level, which is based on purchase frequency and total volume--"

Sib steps out of the shower, glaring at the merchant. "Ohonai! Ee ko shu shliva le mi se zdani. Ee zo sarlu morna."
A bunch of white motes suddenly flicker into being near Sib, forming a strange spinning vortex.
"Ee mi sha tavla le tervehu lo shanzha--" says the merchant.
"Ee ko nalrahu mi. Ee mi ba plezhi le shteki do. Ee panono rupnu."

The merchant groans. "Your host is paying the dismissal fee for me to leave, and I'm bound by contract to do that as soon as I can." The merchant throws a device on the ring of seats. "There's your reader. It also can be tapped six times to request my presence. Like a phone with one number. Goodbye. Shoho rodo."

The merchant abruptly leaves as quickly as they arrived, and within moments it's like they were never here.

Except I have this weird rounded block thing now. I guess I can investigate that invoice now...
No. 944178 ID: 12323b
File 156746802033.png - (51.59KB , 800x600 , ai47.png )

"Ee ko nakrilashri lu shi muh lihu," says Sib, slowly and deliberately. The white motes disperse into nothing. "Ee tu shu gasnu le nu miho zvati vi." He taps the tag on his ear with a look of disgust.
I nod blankly. Sib sighs, flicks his head and ears down, and waves me toward one of the wall panels.

I walk up to it and open it to find a double bed in it. "Uhh... are we sharing beds--"

I hear a click and thud as Sib disappears into a different panel.

Guess not.

Why do I have the horrible feeling I just offended him somehow?

I lay on the bed, stomach slightly in pain. I groan in mild agony as I take a moment to just pause, just sit. I can hear a constant background hum of air ventilation and conditioning, plus some sort of deep thrum that reminds me of the ship, my old home now gone forever. As opposed to my old old home gone forever.

I left my backpack and the reader in the main room. I don't know if I ought to go fetch them or not.

I do feel pretty tired after all of what happened today. Is it night outside? Is it day? No idea. I feel like I can hear rain outside. It's comforting and soothing, I've always loved the sound of rain.

It takes me a few seconds to even notice I'm crying again. Not visceral sobs, just sniffing. I'm not even sure what the reason is this time. Just everything, I guess.

Nothing about this situation makes sense unless someone deliberately orchestrated it. But why me? Why did this all happen to me?

Last night I passed out from physical exhaustion. Tonight, mental exhaustion drags me down into sleep.
No. 944179 ID: 12323b
File 156746803154.png - (8.68KB , 800x600 , ai48.png )

I find myself in a blank white nothing. Most nights I'd probably saunter through this empty void completely oblivious until I woke up, but apparently I'm cursed with self awareness this night.

I see a small fuzzy brown shape. I cross endless miles upon miles in a few steps to reach it.

"Arf! Arf! I'm the toya of happiness!!"
I stare bemused at this toya.

"What are you doing here?"
"Your friend wants to get out, but I have to make sure he doesn't want to get out!"
"I don't know! I'm a good boy!" The toya wags his tail proudly.
I look past the toya and see a vague blue shape drowning in white and desaturation. I walk towards it.
No. 944180 ID: 12323b
File 156746805056.png - (12.92KB , 800x600 , ai49.png )

"Hi! I don't think you should do this please!" barks the toya.
I ignore it.
"Something bad might happen if you get too close!" pleads the toya.
I see him. It's Likoto, but in pieces. Not broken like a dropped plate but more like a stuffed animal torn open. Effervescent thoughts and memories drift through and away from him. His empathy fades in and out like a broken music player. I'm horrified. I'm watching him die and I can't do anything.

"I tried my best!" wails the toya. "I tried my best I really did!!"

"Rakkani," says what sounds half like Likoto and half like members of my hive, whose names screech through me like jaws tearing through flesh.
"Likoto," I say, staggering to my knees.

"Rakkani," says the full voice of Likoto, panicked. In the distance, unseen stars explode with deafening loudness.
"I'm here," I say, the force of the explosions forcing me onto my stomach.

"Rakkani," says the crystal clear voice of Likoto, staring directly at me. "Rakkani?!" The shape loses its fuzziness, starts to become distinctly Likoto, but... Missing pieces. Missing lots of pieces. Holes where bone, flesh and organ should be. He looks at himself in terror.

The toya starts barking at me. "No! Look what you did! You made it worse!!"

"Rakkani, where am I?! Where is this?! What's going on?!"
"I don't know, it's just a dream!" I shout into the void to convince myself more than anything else.

"Rakkani, don't go! I can't move! I can't breathe! There's something in my throat! Don't go!"
"Go away! Go away!" barks the toya. "You're making everything worse! He's supposed to be happy! This isn't happy! I'm not happy!"
"What's going on?!" Everything is wrong, everything is wrong...
No. 944181 ID: 12323b
File 156746806326.png - (13.87KB , 800x600 , ai50.png )

I look behind me, only to see Likoto behind me, holding a gun, hand shaking.

"I'm sorry," he says, as behind me the partial Likoto looks ahead at himself holding a gun and screams.

"There's no other way," says the gun-wielding Likoto, tears silently streaming down his face. "You're already gone. I love you, Kikaro."
A voice echoes around me. Neumono, female, older than me. Traces of empathy, strong, directed. A hive queen. Put the gun down, Likoto. Let's talk about this. Let's talk about us. We all still love you. Calm down and don't do anything you'll regret. Alright? Just put the gun down--

The gun-wielding Likoto shunts me out of the way and fires at--
No. 944182 ID: 12323b
File 156746808292.png - (15.01KB , 800x600 , ai51.png )

--the same masked miklik I've seen before who sold me the reset pills. Yet the scream is that of a neumono. More screams, of other neumono, before quickly falling into nothingness.

A gunshot straight through the mask. Green blood seeps through it. The merchant falls to the ground onto his knees. His masked head turns towards Likoto.
You weren't the first, says the miklik, and you definitely won't be the last. Your queen dies at your hand. Are you proud of your rebellion?
"I stopped you," says Likoto, the true Likoto. The incomplete Likoto.
You stopped nothing. You delayed something you can never understand. NOMON continues.
They fall through the floor into infinity.

The white void is silent. The only sound I hear is the clatter of the gun falling onto a non-existent ground, with Likoto dissolving into white nothingness.
One of the Likotos, anyway. I turn back, not sure what to make of any of this.

Likoto is writhing in midair, gurgling, choking on sobs. "You shouldn't have seen this, no one should have seen this, no one had to see this, no one had to know this, I hope this is a dream, I hope this is a dream, fucking hell I hope this is a dream and you aren't really there. You aren't really there. I'm asleep, none of this happened, nothing is out there. I'm dying in an escape pod. I'm dying in an escape pod and my guilt is here to plunge the knife in and twist."

The toya barks. "Happy thoughts!! Happy thoughts!! Forget about it! Forget about the memories, forget about the nightmares! I'm here to help you! Forget everything! Live and be happy!!"
"Shut up!" Likoto screams at the toya. "Shut up, shut up, you can't force me to be happy! I'm supposed to be dead! I'm owed death after everything I've done! I took my second chance and it ended in an entire colony ship burning! More deaths than even my hive! All I cause is destruction! Let me end!!"
"Happy thoughts!! I'm not leaving you until you're happy again! I can't fix you, I can't advise you, all I'm here to do is make you happy! Happy!!"
"Is this-- is this my punishment?!" Likoto coughs and gurgles. "Is this not a dream? Am I dead? Is this-- is this my afterlife?!"

I... I'm dreaming, yes, but I suddenly have a rare impulse to maybe act in a dream instead of reacting. Should I? Should... should I ask something? Do something?
No. 944184 ID: e7c7d3

I don't think Sib is offended but more of frustrated that you ended up in the same trap as him.

Seems like you're dream sharing with Likoto. I'm not sure an actual hug would be wise, given his physical state, but words of encouragement is definitely needed. Something like: "You've picked yourself up once before. You can do it again, but you don't need to do it alone."
No. 944187 ID: 094652

"Toya, will you die if you're hugged?"
"Likoto, hug the stress Toya. Really really hard."
No. 944193 ID: 8d4593

Hug Litoko.
Tell him your here for him, and soon he'll have a second chance.
No. 944198 ID: b1b4f3

First, tell him the second chance pills are faulty, they might be screwing with his head. He didn't blow up the damn colony ship. He was not responsible for that.
Then ask Likoto what NOMON is, why it was important enough to do what he did. If it's that bad then you will support him in continuing to fight it. There is still life in him, and there is life in you. Your escape pod worked fine; you're both on this island but he's in a stasis pod. He just needs to stop killing himself with his own empathy, and heal enough to get out and work with you to clear his debt. Even if that debt is to the bastards responsible for his suffering(which we don't know for sure yet, the miklik might have been a rogue merchant), we need to play along until we can get away from them and call the ultrahive or something.

It REALLY SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE for you to dream share at this distance, so I'm guessing the Monopoly of Masked Merchants are responsible. That tag does more than they claim.
No. 944211 ID: c35acc

>Urgh, those are some nasty prices. Upselling like no tomorrow. And what sounds like highly artificial limitations just to price gouge. Awful.
That's a monopoly for ya.
>"With discounts available based on customer trust level, which is based on purchase frequency and total volume--"
Oh, that can be cheesed. Find the cheapest item, ideally 1 credit, and buy a lot of that. It gets better in the unlikely circumstance that there's a refund policy that does not damage the trust level.
>Should I? Should... should I ask something? Do something?
Litoko. The memories will hurt you IF you let them. You're dreaming because you have to heal. If you truly wish to die, you first have to live. I have to leave later, but please. Live.
A hug will say the rest.
No. 944233 ID: 1ed92d

You're dream-sharing with Likoto. He's hallucinating bad memories. Someone out there is manipulating Neumono and presumably killed your ship to kill Likoto. Get close and let him know you're here.

Oh, and for the love of god don't sell any more biological data or buy anything sketchy to jam in your body.
No. 944234 ID: b1b4f3

>don't sell any more biological data
What is the alternative, exactly?
No. 944237 ID: a9af05

>don't sell any more biological data
I'm pretty sure once Rakkani got that chip, any biological data is automatically sold and she's given credits. She pretty much doesn't have a choice in whether or not she sells biological data.
No. 944441 ID: 1ed92d

Dangit. This is unfortunate.
No. 944473 ID: 8d4593

I mean, she can always just rip it out. It's in her ear. Hell if she changes her mind she can probably jam it back in.

A little self mutilation never stopped a neumono before.
No. 946286 ID: 08a7bd
File 157006001375.png - (10.16KB , 800x600 , ai52.png )

>that's a monopoly for ya
Tell me about it.

>dream sharing
Given the distance involved--
>is absolutely impossible given the distance
--yeah, that.

But it's happening. This isn't all mine. These memories aren't mine, these responses are mine, Likoto is too... too present to be a figment of my imagination.

I swear to any supernatural force out there, and I'll take ancestor spirits at this point, if I just willingly signed up for some kind of mind control device I am going to tear that little shit's mask off and beat them with it.

No. Don't get angry now, Rakkani. Help Likoto.

I gently approach him, as the toya whines at me. "I don't know what to do anymore! Telling him to be happy isn't working!!"
"What are you, toya?"
"I'm the toya of happiness!!"
"What are you really?"

The toya whines some more. "I don't know! I think I might be Likoto's subconscious interpretation of some kind of external factor, but I'm just a toya, and I'm not even really a toya, it's too complicated to think about!" It whines more.

I'm not sure what giving a dream projection an existential and/or identity crisis means in dream symbolism, but there we are.

"I mean, you could just be some part of Likoto that wants him to be happy."
"I... yeah! Yeah that's it! Likoto you need to be happy so I can be happy so we can be happy!!"

While Likoto stares in confusion at the toya, I get closer and try to gently hug him, but I'm scared to touch him. Even as I get closer his flesh seems to warp and bend away slightly where mine approaches.

I just hold my hand up and look him in the eyes. "I'm here for you, Likoto."
"Rakkani... I'm a monster, Rakkani. I killed her. I killed my hive."
He didn't kill his hive. This close to him I can feel the slight friction of a lie from someone who almost believes it.
He's not a hivemate, but I know his empathy well enough.

"What is NOMON?"
"I don't even know," whimpers Likoto. "But... They were addicts, Rakkani, it was killing them, they all but tried to force it into me and Kikaro, she kept changing, she kept changing who she was and not even realising, the others followed, I don't know what the end goal was but I knew it was bad. They kept buying more and selling more and more of themselves. I tried to convince them, I tried so hard, but I couldn't argue with the drug. The only way to stop it was to kill my hive. The only way to do that was to kill my queen." Another wrenching sob. "And it didn't even work. They were too far gone. And the ones that weren't wanted me dead. Blood for blood. I don't even know why I thought it was a good idea, but the empathy of my hivemates just... so self-destructive..."

Flickers of a desire for annhilation bloom around us, and recede into the background.

"I thought I survived, I thought I was somehow immune, but I was just poisoned differently," he says, sobs less of sorrow and more of impotent fury. "That's what it was. Our hive was poisoned, and the poison took years to act. And I never even found out why."

I slowly reach out at the globes around him, and slot them into the places they should go. Likoto stares at me in confusion, growing into more sobbing. "I don't deserve your attention, Rakkani! I'm broken garbage from a dead hive!!"
"Yeah, well, I'm flotsam cast off from a hive for no reason. We can be broken garbage together. Remember when you told me that?"
"I had hope, I had a future then."
"You still have hope. You've survived worse than this."

This is making me feel better about myself too, but I don't want to say anything about that. This isn't about me.

"I'm coming for you, Likoto," I say, tearing up. "I don't know where you are, I barely know where I am, but I'm alive, and you just need to hold on until I can find you."
"Please don't leave me," says Likoto.
"I can't help it. I can't be asleep forever."

Likoto swallows another sob and sighs, trying to put some of his pieces together. The bubbles of his body drift a little out of reach whenever he comes close to them.

"Please come back again," mumbles Likoto, desperate, loathing his present state.

But he keeps trying, and he grabs one, and, as though fighting a repelling magnetic force, pushes it into himself. More blobs join him. He feels more and more like he used to.

"I will. I promise. And I will find you," I say, resolute.

This time, he looks solid enough to hug--
No. 946287 ID: 08a7bd
File 157006003348.png - (116.16KB , 800x600 , ai53.png )

Everything abruptly changes.

I'm in a different place. A strange sunset black void, with white patterns tracing themselves all around me. I'm clearly still dreaming, but I suddenly feel, despite my lucidity, a profound loss of control.

Rakkani rozu Rootcrusher. Neumono. 26. Female. Direct ancestors unknown. Descendants unconfirmed. Rogue. Redgrass phenotype. No severe medical conditions. Mild malnutrition. Temporary loss of right ear. Regeneration of trauma to left eye in progress. Interface located in left ear. Profile constructed.

I turn around and stare into a floating icosahedron. Each gleaming facet carries with it an eye like the one in the sky.

[I am Oneiromancer, administrator partition for the Dream Nexus. You have not been authorised use of the Dream Nexus. This is a paid service. Please speak to a 3M representative in the waking world to discuss subscription.]

"Wait! Wait that doesn't make any sense! Neumono can dream share--"

[Neumono can dream share with members of their hive at close proximity. The individual Likoto is neither a hive member nor within close proximity. As this is your first transgression, you are being warned. Further dream transgressions will be punished more directly.]

"...What are you going to do, make my dreams bad? Give me spooky nightmares for not stepping in line?"

[That is a potential consequence for further infraction, yes.]

"Well, okay, can I just wake up now?"

[For safety and security reasons, the neurochip does not allow such drastic alteration to physiological state. Instead, would you like to experience a sponsored 3M dream or remain here until waking?]

The tag was a mistake. Oh wow was it ever a mistake.

"I didn't agree to this! I didn't sell my dreams!!"
[Your dreams are neurological data.]
"I agreed to recording, not interference!!"

The icosahedron pauses its lazy rotation.

[This is correct. There has been an error. 3M recognises fault. 1000 credits have been debited into your account.]
"You can't just pay me off for invading my fucking dreams!"
[Also, we are giving you a free 5-night trial of the Dream Nexus and connecting you to the dreams of another registered user. Registration with the service will allow non-random selection in future.]
No. 946288 ID: 08a7bd
File 157006007817.png - (239.89KB , 800x600 , ai54.png )

Everything warps and I'm suddenly... wow, it's cold. So very cold. The kind of cold that if I was awake I'd probably be feeling pain from. Sure wish I had literally anything on right now. I try to imagine myself up some clothes but it doesn't seem to work. I have no idea what the rules are in this shared hallucination, but apparently I don't get to make things appear. Not really like proper dream sharing, then.

Wow. The view is breathtaking.

A huge, frozen valley, a blue-white cliff rising above me streaked with red curving downwards. The dim outline of two moons in the sky. The sky is a pale white, clouds filled with captive sunlight.

And just in front of me is Sib, also naked in this freezing cold, staring off into the valley, ears flicking now and then, his gaze passing from the sky, the walls, to the depths below.

One of his top ears flicks towards me, and he turns his head slightly. He looks to me with a hard-to-read expression, either one of casual interest or casual dismissal, and then turns back and looks at the valley instead.

"<My people called this place the Red Scar,>" says Sib, in his native tongue, yet now and only now I understand it as if he'd been speaking English the entire time. I can't quite grasp the actual words he's using. They slip away like... well, like a dream on waking. "<They saw it like that. A wound on the world. Not blue like our blood, but red like the blood of the earth. The light catches some of the formations belowm and shines back so brightly it's as if they glow. None dared to venture to the bed of the valley.>"
No. 946289 ID: 08a7bd
File 157006009810.png - (196.09KB , 800x600 , ai55.png )

He flicks his ears a few more times and tilts his head down. "<It was, and still is, one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.>"
"I can understand you," I say, more out of shock than anything else.
"<Are you a dream, or are you real?>"
"I'm real, I think," I say, overwhelmed by the vivid imagery of the frozen valley. "I think I'm in your dream."
"<I didn't know your kind could visit the dreams of others,>" says Sib, distant, as if he's still trying to assess whether or not I'm a figment of his imagination.

"I'm sorry!" I blurt out. "I didn't mean to! It's those 3M fuckers, the tag does stuff they didn't tell me about, I didn't want to invade your dreams!"
Ever since I stopped dream sharing with neumono I've at least held tightly to dreams as one final sanctuary of peace and solitude, and the idea of forcibly dream sharing is frankly horrible to me right now.
I feel slightly ill.

"<Calm down,>" says Sib, wincing. "<Well, I don't think that panic came from me. You are actually Rakani, then?>"
He's not quite pronouncing my name right. I can't quite put my finger on it, though.
"Yes. You can understand me too? For real?!"
"<I don't understand it either, but it's like your words don't matter as much as what you're intending to say. It's... a little too good to be true, almost.>" He looks at me a little confused, but still seems a little skeptical. I almost feel like I'm picking up his empathy, but I guess it's more likely that's just how my brain's interpreting whatever weird dream science is linking us together.

"I have so many questions for you," I say, excitement building.
"<So do I, for you. Let's take turns. You're the guest here, so you can go first,>" says Sib, with a gentle earnest smile that makes me feel even worse for intruding on his privacy. Maybe he still thinks I'm part of his dream.
No. 946290 ID: e7c7d3

Okay, what was that thing that was chasing earlier? The Merchant called them haruspices?
No. 946293 ID: b1b4f3

Well. 3M is only semi-competent then.
Also they were spying on your dreams which means they heard everything Likol said, and you said. Considering your thought processes are neurological data you have a mind-reading device on you now. It will be literally impossible to conspire against them while the tag is on you, so you may as well not bother thinking up any plans to do so. I suppose it's still possible the Nomon drug was from a rogue member of 3M, or there's no central authority so the various merchants can do whatever they want and you can't really blame the other members aside from the obvious "why aren't you policing your members" complaint. We'd need more information before deciding they are the enemy. Right now they are simply profoundly irritating.

First ask how he got that image of you in his device. Secondly ask why he seemed angry that you made a deal with the merchant- was there another choice for making credits? You want to save your friend who is now indebted to 3M, and you need a lot of credits to do that. Heck, he should probably tell you everything he knows about 3M. Thirdly, ask what type of translator he'd prefer-- you decided not to buy any of the most basic ones and due to 3M admitting fault you have some credits to spend. Also explain that you planted a seed in the fish which can grow into a vine, but only if you can eat the fish safely. It's a way to test a potential source of food in a survival situation. Yeah, you ate your ear instead, but it'll grow back. They're like emergency rations.
No. 946301 ID: 094652

Explain how you're not trained to survive in situations like this. You're a plant biologist, kind of like an advanced farming expert. Corporations like 3M rule the galaxy, so you're inclined to work with them instead of fighting them with no technological advantage and no obscurity from their obsession.

Also they have your mate. So you were @#$%ed anyway.
No. 946340 ID: 1ed92d

Ask him why he helped you when you threatened him with a spear. Also tell him that 3M are incompetent jerks.
No. 946341 ID: ad51b8

So... What's your story? Why you here on this island?
No. 946351 ID: 7fb87a

Those mistakes were to make Rakkani aware of services they didn't have a chance to advertise, yet. Their 1000 credit apology is nothing but more encouragement to use their services, to make Rakkani want to sell more of herself.

Discuss teaching one another your languages. It will probably take time but immersion and need will speed that up.
No. 946352 ID: 83bf07

Apologize for your sudden involvement in his life. Then ask how you can make things right.
No. 946374 ID: ce08b1

Ask him how he got on this shitty island. How long has he been here?
How big is his dick?
No. 946375 ID: ce08b1

Ask him how he got on this shitty island. How long has he been here?
How big is his dick?
No. 946381 ID: a9af05

>You want to save your friend who is now indebted to 3M, and you need a lot of credits to do that.
It might help to tell Sib the amount we need so that he understands how much we're going to need.

>Teach each other's language
Gonna be kinda hard to do when everything is being autotranslated and the translation is the only thing we can hear.
No. 946404 ID: 18e3d4

Can we turn the translator off and on? That would make language learning easier.
No. 946417 ID: 2df440

do these!

also try not to think about his impressively proportioned testicles.
No. 946488 ID: e0257a

>For safety and security reasons, the neurochip does not allow such drastic alteration to physiological state.
At least they have SOME limits...

>experience a sponsored 3M dream
Truly, ad agencies know no bounds. Though if you get paid to watch ad dreams, you might get Litoko back faster...

>The tag was a mistake.
If you really hate the tag, summon "Fair Exchange". If they're uncooperative, you can still get rid of the tag. Just rip the ear off. It'll grow back. You might even keep getting credits, there's still some brain in the ear.

>free 5-night trial of the Dream Nexus
Four more nights of free translation. Incompetence? Clever ploy to get you using more 3M services? Whatever the cause, it's at least somewhat in your favor.

>He's not quite pronouncing my name right
Yeah, it's Rakkani, not Rakani.

Beyond what everyone else asked,
What are his goals?
What skills does he have, especially survival skills?
From what "Fair Exchange" said, your full name is Sib Nanip, and your language is Kaurban. Is that correct?
What is your species called?
Can your kind visit the dreams of others, and if so, is it similar to neumono dream sharing?
No. 946503 ID: b1b4f3

IIRC, neumono ears do not have any brain matter in them, since they are meant to be expendable.
No. 946505 ID: 8d4593

If I remember my asteroid quest correctly, they should actually have a tiny amount of brain matter in them.

Still impressive that the thing can network dream sharing with such a tenuous connection none the less.
No. 946554 ID: 6b406b

Huh, did his sack get bigger? It might just be how it's framed, and the fact that we've avoided looking there, but it really does seem a bit different. Try not to stare, I guess.

Aside from that, and what everyone else has covered, ask Sib what we can do to help. We have some temporary clear communication, so we need to establish his plans for survival and long term, and what role we might play in them. We also have a lot on our plate, so having some work ready for us will help take our mind off the crushing despair of everything.
No. 946986 ID: 864e49

Well the obvious one is "Wanna fuck?", but we're not gonna actually say that so ask him what he knows about the merchant assholes.
No. 958467 ID: 9998d3
File 158364178107.png - (74.54KB , 800x600 , ai56.png )

>sib's genitals
Yeah I don't get what the dangling pouch thing is about, it's not really doing anything for me. It'd be like, I dunno, seeing a dude with a fuzzy dick, it's just odd. A little offputting, even. Besides, I'm not so starved for attention I want to pounce on him or anything. If anything I just feel tired.
...And I'm asleep.
Well. That's an issue. Maybe I'll feel less tired when I wake up? I hope.

>turn translator on or off
I'm not certain either of us can do that, given I'm not sure whatever's making us intelligible is working at the level of language like that.

>a million questions
"So how did you end up here? How long?"
"This island."
"<Ah. Yes.>" His ears droop and he looks troubled. "<This island. About a [month]. I did not have a lot of choice. A bad situation. A very bad situation.>" He pauses, and stares into the sky. "<And now I'm here.>"
"What situation?"

Sib's ears droop. "<I'd rather not talk about it. I'm sorry.>"

"Let me tell you how I got here, then. I was on a ship." He doesn't need to know everything before that. "Something went wrong, and I ended up on an escape shuttle that flew unguided into this island. I lost a lot of my memories, and only recently regained them."
"<We came here the same way, then.>" He tilts his head a little as he looks into the sky. "<Were you being pursued?>"
"I... hm. Someone was actively trying to attack the ship. It came out of nowhere."

Sib nods quietly. "<Are you the last of your kind?>"
"...uh... no, no I'm not. No, not really. I'm just, well, it's hard to explain. Family problems, I guess."
No. 958468 ID: 9998d3
File 158364180141.png - (89.99KB , 800x600 , ai57.png )

I hear the gentle crunch of snow underfoot, and turn behind me to see what looks like another member of Sib's species.
Probably a female based on that image I saw Sib looking at before. A little pudgy I think. Maybe? I don't know what fat patterning is supposed to look like on aliens unless she's-- oh.

We make brief eye contact and her ears rise, as she freezes into place.

A cold wind blows in the tense silence that follows as she looks at and around me.

She looks between me and Sib, and walks towards Sib, keeping an eye and at least two ears on me at all times.
"<Who is this?>"
No. 958469 ID: 9998d3
File 158364182375.png - (129.32KB , 800x600 , ai58.png )

"<Kui! Kui, I am sorry, I was distracted. I met a new friend today.>" He waves a hand at me. "<This is Rakani. I don't know what her species is, but she seems very similar to us. Impressive healing capabilities, though. So impressive they seem to eat their own body parts like it means nothing.>"
"It's... it's a survival tactic, we store emergency resources in our ears, and they do grow back, yes."

The new arrival, Kui, hugs Sib in a long passionate embrace that has me awkwardly shifting around on my feet until they stop.

"<Rakani, this is my bonded-mate Kui.>"
Kui reluctantly leaves the hug and looks at me again, and I can't read alien expressions very well with their lack of empathy but some undercurrent of this dreamspace tells me she views me with suspicion. At first I wonder if it's jealousy (maybe a little egocentric, I'll admit, but I know aliens can be touchy about this sort of thing), but before I can figure it out she walks a little closer to me, hesitant, all ears raised. I get the impression this is something of a gesture of willing to hear me out but not immediately accepting me, like, uh... like... I don't know, empathy kind of clears that ambiguity up for neumono.

"<Rakani,>" she says. My name's not-- well, close enough, whatever, the long vowel might not be something in their language. "<I am Kui as has been said.>"

She pauses, and I don't know if it's because she has nothing further to say or if she can't think of anything to say.

Sib hugs her again and rubs his hands over her ears. "<We have been through a lot. This is the only place we can speak and touch.>"
"Did something happen to her?"
Sib pauses and sighs, and Kui looks taken aback, before staring angrily up at the sky. Sib tries to calm her with more massaging of her ears and shoulders.

"<She-->" starts Sib, before Kui starts talking at me forcefully.
"<I'm fine! I'm healthy!>" she shouts in frustration. "<I just can't wake up. I'm trapped here. Supposedly I can go wherever my heart desires in this electronic dream world, but I don't want cold mechanical dreamlands, I want to wake up!>"
No. 958470 ID: 9998d3
File 158364184274.png - (284.20KB , 800x600 , ai59.png )

Sib looks like he might start crying. "<There is nothing fair about this,>" he says. "<She's right next to me, I sleep next to her, I wake up and feel her fur on mine, but she's stuck here, sealed away.>"

An icy monolith emerges from the ground, one of its sides a mirror sheen. Through the surface of the monolith, I see a room inside the strange pod I'm sleeping in. A room like the bedroom I'm in, with Sib sleeping restlessly on a bed, and Kui there with... a lot of tubes extending from her. There are the sounds of mechanical ventilation and what sounds like a subdued song I can't place, a central refrain that doesn't really alter itself by a lot.

Dream Kui is shaking as she buries herself into Dream Sib. "<Sometimes, sometimes I can feel you, Sib, and that's all that keeps me going. You're all I have.>"
"<We're all we have,>" says Sib, turning around and hugging Kui some more. "<I'm doing all I can. 3M said they can fix you. This, I believe. They can. They just aren't. Maybe they won't. But I have a plan, Kui. I have a plan.>"
"<I know you do, but you can't, Sib, you can't risk yourself, please. Please.>" She rubs her stomach. "<Someone needs to be awake.>"

I reach up to my face and brush a tear away I didn't even notice shedding. I don't know how much of it is the sudden ambient emotion of this dreamscape and my sensitivity to it, and how much of it is resonating with my own feelings of frustrated loss and of those I treasure being kept away from me.

The monolith sinks back into the ice.
No. 958472 ID: 9998d3
File 158364190775.png - (140.67KB , 800x600 , ai60.png )

The two finally are able to let go of each other, put each others' arms behind their backs, and look back to me.

Kui is the first to say something as she opens her eyes and raises her ears. "<Sib, I love you with all my heart, but you can be far too trusting too soon,>" she says, looking at me with some distrust again.
"<I did not have any choice,>" says Sib. "<Either I left her to be torn apart by the blood machines or I saved her life by bringing her here.>"
Kui nods, her ears falling a slight amount. "<I am sorry. I am maybe a little paranoid.>" She looks at me. "<You would understand if you were in my situation.>"
"I think I might already." The idea of being conscious while unable to move is starting to really get under my skin the more I think about it. But no, the worse thing would be not being able to reach out empathetically.

>tell Sib about Litoko
"We might have more in common than you think," I say. "3M is holding a dear friend of mine hostage, and I'm supposed to be the one to pay to let him go free."
Sib and Kui's ears raise and their eyes widen. Sib angrily kicks the ice. "<Those [redacted]! Well, now you know why I am not on friendly terms with them, yet must remain at least somewhat cordial. If they wanted they could-->" Sib pauses, looks at Kui, and stops. "<It is very important to me that I find a way to keep Kui alive that does not involve 3M's loaned machines. All the credit I earn goes to keeping Kui going. I am living off of the land to save spending anything unnecessarily. I'm just so afraid! 3M holds my bond-mate, best friend, other half, the most important life in the entire universe to me on a string they can pull back whenever they want!>"
Kui tilts her head, and grins at Sib. "<I would not worry about that too much, Sib. I have had a lot of time here. A lot of time to look at how they conduct their operations. A lot of time to plan a counter attack. And they know this, and I know they know this. And they know I know. The battle has already been fought, and I won. They can't try to shut me down without risking severe damage themselves.>"

Sib looks a little rattled but nods. "<If you ever need help-->"
"<You're still wearing the tag, yes?>"
"<Don't worry about me. I'm not the one at greatest risk. I'm still tracking the movements of the blood machines.>"
Sib looks like he wants to object, but doesn't.

>ask about goals, skills, species, dreamsharing
"Now that we've opened up to each other a little more, I still have some questions about who you two are and what your skills are. It's time for an exchange of information, while we can speak."
"<She doesn't speak Kaurban,>" says Sib to Kui.
"<She's speaking it fine?>"
"<That's something 3M are providing, apparently.>"
"<Ah. Those mental translators they hold in such high esteem, then.>"

"What are your goals?"
"<See Kui healed and awake. After that, design and construct a ship to leave this island. After that, find a safe place to raise a family.>"
Kui flicks her ears up. "<Sib said what I was going to say. Also, all of that, without losing Sib. What about you, Rakani?>"
"Get my--" I hesitate a little longer than I should. "Friend out of 3M's weird medical jail. His name is Litoko. After that, I... don't really know. 3M said something about building an outpost and maybe I'll do that. For my own reasons." I don't know what the hell I want. Off this island? I don't even know where I'd go anymore.

"I'm a very skilled botanist with a lot of knowledge of the plants of my homeworld, lots of alien flora, and some solid principles helping me in figure out how to make use of the local plantlife here. What sort of skills do you have?"
Kui looks around at the glaciers confusedly before realising what I mean.
"<Well when I was a kit I was fascinated by survival in the wilderness, which has now turned out to be the most useful fleeting phase of my young life so far, but my actual trade is [untranslated]. Hm. Making and designing and orchestrating swarms. Particles. Small tiny things. For different purposes, and it's turning out to be incredibly helpful as long as the [untranslated] keeps working. The power source is [untranslated] so it should last a while. I'm worried about what happens when I run out of materials, because there's not exactly a [untranslated] on this world, and it would take a lot of time to just try to invent one from first principles. I don't even think I could, it's very very complicated>"

I blink and stare.

"<That... your species has [untranslated], right?>"
"That's not even translating."
Kui interjects. "<The mind translators 3M make don't handle concepts that the receiving party doesn't understand due to lack of context. They have automatic tutors that they charge extra for for that.>"
Kui tilts her head up in agreement, looking a little disgusted.
"Probably a good thing I'm not talking about neumono empathy then," I say.
Sib looks at me confused. "<Talking about what?>"
"<I didn't catch that, I just heard some machine voice tell me something didn't translate. I didn't think [untranslated] was that alien a concept. Huh.>"
"Empathy," I say, thinking about the concept of just understanding and feeling someone else's emotions. It's... I can't think about it like aliens can without thinking about it in neumono terms as hard as I try. It's the same concept again. Sib just flicks his ears in confusion.

"<I designed and trained machine intelligences,>" says Kui.
"I have no idea how that translated because I know absolutely nothing about AI."
"<I guess you know what it is! I also used to... uh...>" She shifts around and laughs nervously. "<I used to be something of a hacker in my adolescent years. I never really gave up poking at systems I wasn't supposed to look into, and to start with, the idea of all my life functions being taken care of for me and letting me focus on nothing but pure virtual existence was thrilling, but now it's [untranslatable], nightmarish [untranslatable], but at least I can help Sib in a few ways.>"
"I'm not very good with computers."
"<I'm plugged into one now, so I guess I am a computer now. Just a computer.>"
"<A very lovely computer,>" says Sib, hugging her again. "<A warm fluffy computer that I love very much. And only for now.>"
Kui smiles. "<...thanks.>"

"What's your species name anyway? I'm a neumono."
"<Criai. Crii. There's a few variations of pronunciation-->"
"<Extinct. Don't worry about the name,>" says Kui. "<I just hope our kit finds a nice alien that loves them because they're never going to find another crii to love.>"
"<Kui we don't know that. We don't know how many other survivors there were.>"
"Survivors?" Holy fuck that's a hell of a thing to just drop in conversation. I thought we got past the heavy stuff. "What happened--"


Wait what no no
No. 958473 ID: 9998d3
File 158364194259.png - (10.28KB , 800x600 , ai61.png )

I awake with a gasp.

No. No no argh argh I had SO MANY MORE QUESTIONS! FUCK!


I learned a great deal and also feel no more rested than I did when going to sleep. I have no idea what the time outside is.

I get up, head out of the room, and realise everything is still dark.

I head back into the bedroom, fall back onto the bed, and stare up at the ceiling.

Probably a good idea I didn't try to ask if Sib was down to fuck in the dream. I get the impression aliens can be pretty easily upset by that if they're already in a relationship. Probably would have just been unpleasant and uncomfortable anyway, probably one of those aliens whose males don't just lay back and take it. Eurgh why am I even thinking about this, there's a thousand other things to think about. I think I got brain poisoned from all that sickening lovey-dovey bullshit they kept projecting at each other.

I consider trying to take the tag out of my ear before trying to sleep again just so I don't get weird intrusions in my dreams again. Not that I'm sure I'd know how to put it back on. It might just explode or something. Fuck. Why the hell did I sign up to this. ...and why am I asking myself questions I know the answer to.

I guess either I try to sleep again or I just get up and... I don't know. There's not much else in this room, just the bed, and in the central room there's just that machine in the middle of the room I don't know how to operate. And the shower. But I already had a shower. Hrm.
No. 958476 ID: b1b4f3

Try to get back to sleep. You probably won't connect to the dreamshare thing again?
No. 958488 ID: fa2754

Try rubbing one out
No. 958491 ID: 2aa5f0

well it sounds like you'll at least be able to sleep normally now for the rest of the night so might as well rest.
No. 958494 ID: b4bdd8

Tired? Sleep. Otherwise,
Get Fair Exchange? Ask what's what? Fix up the deal? Rip off ear if you dislike what they say?
No. 958502 ID: 015bf2

Get sleep. You’ll consume less calories and you need actual rest.
No. 958593 ID: 6e6f32

Go check on that blood-vine thing so maybe you can finally eat something. If it sprouts you can eat ze fish.
No. 958627 ID: 78b29b

Go get some actual sleep, dream a real dream.
No. 958630 ID: 227827

You are getting veeeeerrrryyyy sleeeepyyyy...

Go to bed
No. 964100 ID: 21ac91
File 158809634315.png - (36.97KB , 800x600 , ai62.png )

>rub one out
Yeeeaaah no. I'm feeling pretty empty in more than one way, but there's nothing I can do about that. It'll just make me feel the nothing there even more.

Yeah. I'm just... gonna close my eyes for a bit. I'm hungry and tired and grumpily miserable, or miserably grumpy. Back to sleep.

Tired, hungry, horny, no clue what's going on, at least I'm relatively safe here. That's one need down, everything else to go.

No. 964101 ID: 21ac91
File 158809637125.png - (24.10KB , 800x600 , ai63.png )

Well, I'm awake again now, and the hunger's numb for the moment. Better go check on that bloodvine. I'm sure Sib won't mind if I see myself out quick. I can't find anything to leave a note and he can't read anything I could write so I'll just have to be quick.

I leave the pod and head to where I saw the bloodvine, and it has sprouted magnificently. So magnificently that I can't even find where the remnants of the fish are. I wouldn't want to risk getting snared up in it and becoming its next meal. I'm surprised it grew this much in a day. Chest height. Impressive. Better let it go before it starts trying to aggressively grow into my hand.

So, I guess that means I can eat other fish here. Woo. An empty consolation at present to my very empty stomach. Let's get another one right away.

I look around the river for Sib's dropped trident, and find it. Well, I'm no trident expert, but it's got to be more or less like using a spear, so I reach to pick it up--
No. 964102 ID: 21ac91
File 158809639293.png - (22.39KB , 800x600 , ai64.png )


An imperious voice commands me to stand and before I even fully process what's being asked of me, I stand with my arms by my sides and chest puffed out, surprised by my sudden movements, hands empty. Dropped the trident.

Wait, what?
No. 964104 ID: 21ac91
File 158809649966.png - (55.37KB , 800x600 , ai65.png )

An unnaturally blue neumono with a disturbing complete lack of any empathy I can feel approaches me dressed in some torn up finery that looks like it came out of an alien history book.

Also he has head thingies. Why does he have head thingies. What the fuck is going on.

"Halt, savage tribal woman." He looks a little disgusted at me. "I see whatever backward feral infestation you come from has yet to discover shame. Look at you, wandering around with nothing like the disgraceful beast you are. Well. As of four hours ago this land falls within my fiefdom, so as a foreign invader your fate is mine to decide. You are now my property. And I've been looking for some good hands to build me a suitable fortress in this savage land. Kneel before your new liege, savage!"

Is this actually really happening. What the fuck. I'm speechless. But he looks like he has something strapped to his back. A weapon? And a floating ball with a nauseatingly familiar colour scheme.

"Excuse me?" I manage to spit out, after being completely dumbstruck.
"Did I confuse your primitive brain? [[Kneel,]] slave!"

I fall to one knee.
No. 964105 ID: 21ac91
File 158809651281.png - (24.03KB , 800x600 , ai66.png )

I should have tripped on my way to the escape pods. Perished in a fiery explosion. It would have been a little bit more dignified than this.

I try to shout at him but whatever the hell is compelling me to listen to his stupid commands is making it hard to do anything but stare furiously at him. It's like my body wants to be a specific position, like muscle cramps, and moving away from it is... uncomfortable. Painful if I strain too hard.

I just try to shout at him instead and--


Okay, that was not words, that was an angry inarticulate shout. He definitely flinched, though. I feel a little looser.

"You will obey, animal, or I will make you obey," he says, regaining his composure, now furious. For a fleeting moment I catch it, like a speck of dust in a sunbeam -- empathy, a projection of fierce anger and shame at his momentary... cowardice? Lapse in concentration? Too vague and blurry to parse, and now it's gone.
"If you refuse to submit to your rightful betters, I will be forced to take your good ear, and whatever crude decoration you have attached to it! Be warned, if you have not felt the agony of a psionic resonance whip, you soon will if you do not submit to your better!"
No. 964108 ID: e7c7d3

Great, a psionic and also an idiot. How are you suppose to build a fortress all by yourself? You'll have to play along for now, can't afford to give away your chip. Maybe try to get across that you're trying to grow food? Food that he'll definitely need
No. 964112 ID: 86eb65

Tackle his blue imperial ass and start biting and scratching.
No. 964113 ID: fa2754

He wants you to submit but not actually giving you the chance to do anything other than kneel. He's an idiot.
No. 964115 ID: 0cd962

Rip and Tear!
No. 964117 ID: a9af05

If you can make him flinch again, then grab the trident and impale him with it.

Or if you don't want to do that, then grab his head thingies and rip them out of his head! If that doesn't kill him, then ripping those things out of his head will prevent him from controlling you.
No. 964119 ID: 695467

Subdue them with the power of BAK!

aka keep barking, put your entire will behind it, and hope that them flinching gives you enough of a window to attack them.
No. 964147 ID: b1b4f3

Hold on, don't underestimate him. You *could* fight back, but if he actually has a weapon things might not go in your favor.
Continue kneeling, and do your best to tell him you're not a primitive or an invader, your escape pod crashed here yesterday. Judging from the tear in his clothes, he's in a similar situation. Tell him the civilized thing to do would be to talk, and stop waving around his psionic dick like a Predator.
As for your clothes, you sold them to the actual owners of the island. You have come to regret that.
No. 964173 ID: 094652

Keep yelling at him, warn him about the corporate presence on this island and how they bled you dry.
No. 964182 ID: 2aa5f0

if the trident is nearby do you think you can haul the thing at him quick... or anything really. If you can brake his concentration it might give you enough time to attack him or to run away. If running away jump into the river so even if he tells you to stop the current will still carry you away from him.
No. 964195 ID: 58614c

Guy seems biomodded. Odd bot behind him.

Also a fool. He has to sleep sometime. It's why the first bit of >>942549 was facetious.

I see 3 ways to deal with this.

1) Defy. Seems to reduce his power over you.
2) Fake obey. "Apologize" with bloodvine.
3) Fake obey. Kill him while he sleeps.
No. 964198 ID: 015bf2

Oof. Okay. Strange as all of this is, they’re clearly not your regular type of Neumono but similar enough for the purposes of empathy. Different culture and different biology, though. Probably also kidnapped and out of their depth. Maybe from an experiment? Speaks your language, too, so indicates common ancestry and origin.

This will not end well. Two things to do. Submit - kinda - and figure out what his fucking deal is over time and escape when he goes to fucking sleep or whatnot.

Or keep him off his balance so you can negotiate his dropping of what is effectively body control through empathy. You can probably flip him further off balance by convincing him he’s made a goof by acting less like a tribal and more like a civilian.

“Of course I’m mad! I’m an educated botanist and a refugee, not a tribal nudist to dominate, you pervert! If you take issue, get me clothes! Do you even know what this place is? You’re just as lost as I am, are you not?! Or do you mean to tell me you actually live in this ridiculous place?!”
No. 964200 ID: 015bf2

Drop the “live” part, didn’t parse how blatantly obvious it was he’s new and not just to the area.

If you’re incapable of speaking, submission may be best. Getting mentally tortured and losing your reserve ration - I mean ear - and your main means of getting paid isn’t going to make your day any better.

Thinking about it, if this guy does keep you prisoner and slave, you can probably just buy a way to negate his mind control from the corp. Something with a jammer effect should be enough.
No. 964210 ID: 7d6150

Hold your violent impulses back before you fuck yourself sideways, dammit! You're up against a person of unknown capability who you can be pretty sure will use 'em all to subdue you if you make a hostile move on him. For all you know, he could make your head explode or pull some even more predator shit and blast your mind away. That could be a gun on his back and he's a quick-draw expert who could get a snap shot off on you before you get within reach. And that 'bot hovering over his shoulder might attack you if you try to attack him. So cool your damn jets for a minute and use your wits! 'Cause that's your strength, not your physical strength.

Oh, and while his empathy is hidden from you, you don't know if he can sense yours. It's unlikely, but you have to consider it a possibility, and if so then any action you'd try to take against him would be telegraphed right to him. Better pay attention to whether he behaves like he can read your empathy or not while his is blocked so you can say one way or another.

Submit to him, for now. If you get a chance to speak, ask him how you two are speaking the same language when you're some "feral." The answer is you're not. You're a botanist. You crash landed and washed up on shore, destroying your clothes in the process. Also point out that this island is already claimed by the 3M Corporation and you got in debt to 'em after you crashed. So if he tries to take you as a slave they're gonna have some sharp words for him.

Oh, and warn him to not make any deals with 3M 'cause he'll end up deeply indebted and at their will. He's undoubtedly a arrogant, raging asshole noble, but if he's not under 3M's thumb then he might be able to fight back against 'em.
No. 964338 ID: cba965

Screw this, better not give in. He has shown weakness in his confidence. Exploit it.

Try pain. Claw your palms or something like that. That might clear his control. And then focus your empathy on that pain and direct it at him. Then rush him and break his toys. Those antennae or his floating device.

After your in control you can tell him that he is just another pet in this freaky zoo.
No. 964345 ID: b1b4f3

Absolutely do not break his stuff. It has value. Value which you could use for yourself, if it comes to it.
No. 964365 ID: a9af05

Pretty sure we can't use those antenna.
No. 964369 ID: b1b4f3

We could SELL them. Because they have VALUE.
No. 964371 ID: 91ee5f

He’s not going to willingly give them to us, so in order to sell them, we’d have to rip them out of his head, which might end up damaging them and giving them less value. And I’m ok with that if it means it’ll prevent him from controlling us.
No. 964426 ID: 1ed92d

Launch an empathic assault of hostility, contempt and outrage at this foreigner.

Use it to disguise the fact that you're going to pick up a rock and brain him with it.
[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]

Delete post []
Report post