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1019132 No. 1019132 ID: 629f2e

A mystery/horror quest about children uncovering the horrifying mysteries surrounding their small town.

THREAD 1: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1010078.html
WIKI: https://questden.org/wiki/Perpetuity

---

Sunday, Two Days Ago

It had seemed just like any other day. There was no way of knowing what was to come...
118 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1025897 ID: 8483cf

Albert, you have the emotional intelligence of a toaster, so I’m not going to tell you to be empathetic to try and make Clive feel better. Instead, use that big brain of yours to deduce what he’s probably stressed about, and provide him with a logical reason why either (a) that stress is ill-founded, or (b) stressing is counterproductive.

(a): If Clive is concerned about his brother graduating and dying thereof, then he can rest easy on that worry. As you discussed with Roger yesterday, it’s more likely that graduation is a Prison than a place where kids might die. The adults are big on reformation and fitting in, after all. They want as many kids to grow up into obedient adults as possible who don’t go anywhere.

(b): Stressing is counterproductive. It’s basic game theory. The greater the challenge, the less helpful stressing is about it. If the ONLY way to achieve your goals and save your brother is by having complete confidence you’ll be able to do so, then you have to have as much confidence and faith as possible.
>>
No. 1025899 ID: a2493c

>>1025896
counting. you're good at counting, so you're going to help him count his breaths. one, two, three. keep a good pace, force the lungs to cooperate. in, hold, and put. four, five, six.

keep the pace steady, each step of breathing a full second. keep counting.
>>
No. 1025903 ID: e51896

well, as far as panic attacks goes, the most important thing to do is to be patient as these can last for minutes and you gotta let them ride this out. It's important to NOT be telling them to calm down impatiently or telling them stop being unreasonably terrified.
and try not to be judgemental or assume why they're panicking, like you always are.

Thankfully, Clive is already sitting, so he is somewhat grounded if tense. Next would have to help him control his breathing first and foremost. Just take loud deep breaths loud enough for him to hear so that hopefully he'll mimic you. Then once he's controlling his breathing a little more, encourage him to rest his legs and get him to focus on other things, the ol' 54321 technique as they call it. Ask them to name 5 things he can see, 4 things he can feel, 3 things he can hear, 2 things he can smell, and one thing he can taste.

tell him you're here and he's safe with you, and bring up certain topics to distract him from his panic, like what kinds of toys does he like to play with? what about outdoor activities? board games?
>>
No. 1025907 ID: afe7de

If he can move, bring him to sit down inside of your dads room, if he can't move, get him a cup of water from your dads room and sit next to him, you don't know much about how to be empathetic, but you can't just force someone out of a panic attack.

Be there to help ground him when he comes back into focus and be willing to talk even if you fuck up

>>1025899
I also second this, you could do with this too even, or just a moment of reflection and breathing. Take a moment to rest, he's freaking out, you're injured, maybe if you can, cover up the injury as it could even be traumatizing to him. His expression did widen in minor surprise when he saw your shoulder injury.

Above all else, don't force him to do anything and be patient.
>>
No. 1025910 ID: 93ba79

Find a cupboard or an empty, freshly made bed, take a clean blanket, and drape it over his back. Blankets always help.
>>
No. 1025911 ID: 094652

You could... ask him to use your father as a punching bag.

But seriously, tell him how weird the town is. Your father just tried to murder you, just because you rocked the boat. As far as you're concerned, you're willing to do almost anything to start a jailbreak. Even kill people.
He's not alone.

You think the whole town was 'moved' somewhere after the power plant went Chernobyl? For all you know, you might be in a simulation or an underground box.
>>
No. 1026167 ID: 629f2e
File 164723503287.png - (1.54MB , 1000x1000 , 97.png )
1026167

He... He needs to slow down his Breathing first and foremost. Focus on that. How do you get him to breathe?

Albert: “H-Hey. Can you try to calm down a little?”
Clive: “*huff* *huff* *huff*”
Albert: “Your breaths are too shallow, just slow down!
Albert: “Just... You should- what I mean is- It needs to be slower than that.”
Albert: “Deep breaths. Like... Oh! I’ll demonstrate, so just try to match my rhythm.”

You take a deep breath, hold it in, and then let it out. It doesn’t look or feel natural (it’s hard to match your normal breathing since your autonomic system takes care of it), but if he copies you then he’ll be getting the air he needs. You perform a few more and count the seconds as you do, hoping he’s listening.

...He peeks up slightly from his knees, and you hear a slight shift in his breathing. Progress! You keep it up.

Albert: “*Inhale* One... Two... Three... Four...”
Albert: “*Exhale* One... Two... Three... Four... Five... Six...”
Clive: “*huff*... *huff*... *huff*...”

He’s slowing down. That’s good. With the critical issue dealt with, you can attend to his other needs. For example, there’s that little detail about you both sitting in the middle of a hallway, in clear Sight of any doctors or nurses who may pass by. While he’s calmer than before, you would still rather take care of this matter privately, just to be safe. Clive would probably prefer it as well, given his general attitude towards all forms of social interaction.

Albert: “Can you walk? Just a few feet at least.”
Clive: “*huff*...... *huff*-”
Albert: “Come on.”

You reach down to grab his sleeve...

...And faceplant into the wall beside him. Ow.

You should have known better than to try. Panic had made you forget about your conditions for a brief moment, Vertigo specifically. You’re still having a difficult enough time moving yourself. Dragging Clive with you would be impossible.

As you pull yourself back up, using the wall for support, Clive rises as well. His breathing is still weird, but he actually is breathing. The look in his eyes is... Exhausted. You could relate to that.

Albert: “Just follow me in here.”

He nods. You drag yourself inside, as he trails in behind you. He shuts the door, slumping to the floor right in front of it.

Alright, you had some privacy. What next...? What makes you feel better when you’re in a poor mental state?

Curling up under a Blanket is often nice, are there any spares in this room you could offer? Hmm... Not many cabinets, and fewer that you’re tall enough to reach. Where else-

Ah! Of course.

You trudge over towards your father’s bed and rip his blanket off. He’s still very out of things, so he won’t notice. Clive doesn’t question you as you drape the sheet over him

Being well-experienced with all kinds of ailments, you feel confident in presuming his hyperventilating has left him Parched. Unfortunately, the only water bottle in the room is empty. There is a sink where you could refill it, but that can only produce Tap Water. You’d rather not kill Clive, though the temptation to refill the bottle for your father was rather high.

It seems you’ve done all you can. You sit beside Clive, watching the boy’s shivers slow down with time. Soon enough, he’s breathing normally again, staring down at the floor with a slightly better expression. Though, perhaps Facial Expressions aren’t the best judge. You don’t think you’ve ever seen Clive smile, the closest he comes is bored neutrality.

Clive: “...”
Albert: “...Are you feeling better?”
Clive: “...Yeah.”
Albert: “Good.”
Albert: “Can you tell me what happened?”

He winces, tilting slightly to get a better look at you. His eyes lock straight onto your neck. It makes you feel awkward, so you end up rubbing them to try and hide the discoloration.

Clive: “...”
Clive: “I realized that I had to step in, or else you’d get hurt.”
Clive: “...And I couldn’t do it.”
Clive: “Sorry... I can’t handle confrontation.”
Albert: “...That seems a little hard to believe, coming from Killer Cli-
Clive: “Don’t call me that.”
Clive: “That was different... I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
Clive: “...”
Albert: “Do you still need a minute?”
Clive: “...I just want to go home.”
Albert: “Yes... Well actually, going to my home sounds rather miserable. But I share your general sentiments.”
Albert: “...Why don’t we take a break?”
Clive: “...Agreed.”

You wouldn’t say it, but your motive was health related. If you keep going at your current pace, you worry that you’ll wind up back here for a far longer time.
>>
No. 1026168 ID: 629f2e
File 164723508776.png - (145.24KB , 1000x1000 , 98.png )
1026168

It was tempting to remain here, resting on the floor, but that risked a walk-in from a doctor or nurse. Beyond that, it simply isn’t very comfortable sitting on the floor, and there was absolutely no chance that you would be willing to share a bed with your father.

Both of your homes were a bit of a trek from here, but they were options. What was closer...

Well, there was the Field. Plenty of kids choose to visit and lay out on the grass, so you wouldn’t be out of place. It’s also where Rebecca is supposed to be, so you wouldn’t be going out of the way at all. The only downside is that it’s an area frequented by many. Clive wouldn’t care for that, and beyond that you risk being Disturbed by whoever is present.

...Hmm... If memory serves, the Fosters don’t live far from here. You sent Enid home for the day, but you doubt that she would mind hosting you and Clive for a short time. She could probably even lend you a Bed to sleep in, that would certainly do you well. The only issue you can see would be with her foster parents. If they turn you away at the door, you’ve wasted time and energy stopping by. Considering the fact that Clive is with you, that’s a real possibility you can’t discount. You may have to be Persuasive to get in.

You bring up the areas you were considering to Clive, and he ends up tossing in his own suggestion.

Clive: “There’s a Creek not far from here.”
Albert: “Oh, that’s true. Only middle schoolers tend to hang around there, so it would be quieter.”
Clive: “Or not. They can be annoying too.”
Albert: “It’s a bit out of the way, but they would probably be Quieter than the kids at the Field at least.”
Albert: “Although, I’m not sure if anyone there would take kindly to two elementary schoolers invading upon their territory.”

Those were your options. None were perfect, each had their own perks and drawbacks.

Where should you go?

A: Clive’s Home
-You’ll be able to rest up, but just coming here will be a rather long journey
-Both you and Clive will lose a fair amount of Fear. Albert will also lose two points of Pain, the Vertigo condition, and two other Symptoms...
-...However, Albert is guaranteed to gain at least one of Pain along the way here, due to his Sprained Leg. He may also gain a new Symptom if he is unlucky
-This option will take the most time to reach, and you will have one fewer investigation opportunity before nightfall as a result
-Since the fastest route will be cutting through the Field however, you will have a chance to speak with Rebecca along the way
-You have a feeling that you’ll learn a little more about Clive if you enter his house

B: The Field
-Has high variance in how much rest you’ll get, depending on who is present and what they’re doing
-You will both lose some amount of Fear at least, and Albert will lose either a point of Pain or the Vertigo condition at the bare minimum
-If it’s very peaceful, Albert may lose as much as two points of Pain, and two Symptoms aside from Vertigo
-When you’re finished resting, you’ll be in the perfect position to talk to Rebecca

C: The Foster’s Home
-Guaranteed to get good rest if you can get inside
-If allowed in, both you and Clive will lose a fair amount of Fear. Albert will also lose two points of Pain, the Vertigo condition, and two other Symptoms
-If barred entry, you will be in a worse state than when you arrived
-Whether you get in or not will come down to how Persuasive you can be
-You will get to talk to Enid if you are let in

D: The Creek
-Hard to predict, since you have never visited yourself
-Complete roll of the dice what visiting the Creek will lead to
-You have a feeling something VERY GOOD will happen if you visit. Then again... it could also wind up being something VERY BAD

E: Maybe there’s somewhere else you can visit?
-Suggest an alternative location
-If it’s a terrible idea, Albert may ignore it

F: Actually, forget taking a break
-Put off rest to continue exploring for now
-Clive will be fine with this, as long as you promise to take a rest EVENTUALLY
-Describe what you want to look into, and/or where you visit next
-This option only wins if it outweighs the collective votes of A through E

>>
No. 1026184 ID: 8483cf

B. Let's plan ahead and talk to Rebecca right after.

C isn't great, since Albert and Clive aren't very persuasive. This would come down to pure luck weighted against us, and I don't want to test it.

D is also a crapshoot. Let's avoid it since it isn't going to put us, on average, in a better place than we started at.
>>
No. 1026189 ID: e51896

I think seeing Enid will just make her more stressed than she needs to be. She needs a break, and B will just make Clive feel stressed around other people, especially after his panic attack.

I'm going for A, or D,

leaning towards A. yeah we'll lose time for investigation, but I think we've learned a bombshell of info already, we can afford to lose some time for investigation. Plus Clive did want to go home after all.

But consider this: E. we were going to visit Franklin's place for a sleepover, so we could ask his Dad about visiting early.
>>
No. 1026210 ID: 0838d6

A! I want to lean more about Clive, and maybe when you get to the field you'll see that it's empty and you can just rest there!

Plus there might be a chance you run into Franklin and Lillian while you're there!
>>
No. 1026233 ID: a2493c

>>1026168
C. I'm wondering what's at the creek.
>>
No. 1026777 ID: 629f2e
File 164781272972.png - (950.35KB , 1000x1000 , 99.png )
1026777

Frankly, you didn’t have too strong a preference towards any one option. Perhaps it’s because you’re still rattled from the attack, but you couldn’t identify an optimal choice among the lot presented, nor did any alternative of greater value strike you.

With mixed opinions, you let Clive make the final call. His decision is predictable.

Clive: “We can go to My House.
Albert: “As long as you don’t mind sharing. My home is nearby, but I won’t be getting much rest if I have to go there.”
Clive: “...You can use Rodney’s bed. He wouldn’t mind.”
Albert: “Ugh, it’s going to be a lengthy trek though. We’re on the Opposite end of town.”
Clive: “...We’ll take a break at the field then.”
Albert: “I would hope so. I doubt I could make the journey otherwise.”
Clive: “...”
Clive: “Can you even walk right now?”
Albert: “Well, let’s see…”

You brace yourself against the wall, and slowly drag yourself onto your feet. You let go of it for a second, and have to hastily shove your hand right back on to stop yourself from toppling over.

Albert: “Hngh… I may need a few minutes just to get past this Vertigo.
Clive: “...They probably have wheelchairs here. It is a hospital.”
Albert: “I don’t think we could get away with pilfering something that large.”
Albert: “And asking is out of the question, as we’d be forced to explain why I’ve become incapable of walking in the past half-hour.”
Clive: “...Right. How about this?”

He gets a firm grip on the arm you’re using for support, and slings it over his shoulder. It brings you uncomfortably close to him, and the side-hug he was giving to support you only made it worse.

Clive: “Better?”
Albert: “...Well, my Pride is taking critical damage at the moment. Does that count for anything?”
Clive: “No.”
Albert: “Then this is fine. Let’s save this until we’re out of the hospital and there’s hopefully nobody else around though. I’d rather not be seen getting hugged by another boy, lest people start having ideas about me.”
Clive: “...Seriously?”
Albert: “What?”
Clive: “...Forget it. Fine, we’ll only hug in secret, when nobody is watching. Just the two of us…”

You get ready to tap him with your cane in retaliation for that wisecrack, but he suddenly lets go and messes up your balance. You catch yourself with the wall just in time to prevent another spill, and shoot him a glare. You follow the walls as you both make your way out of the room.

You keep your head down as you pass the front desk. Mrs. Fitzsimmons doesn’t give any indication of having heard anything or seeing your bruises, sending you both off with a friendly farewell. It was kind of amazing that nobody had heard any of that. Then again, you couldn’t be Certain that that was the case. Perhaps they were merely pretending, and you’d be taken away by men in suits later this evening.

Mrs. Fitzsimmons is probably unaware, as the part of the hallways where you were previously is a bit too far from her desk for all but the loudest sounds to reach her. And with how the walls are arranged you weren’t in her line of sight. If anybody had caught parts of your conversation, the likeliest suspects would be the doctors or nurses. Their whereabouts and activities are complete mysteries to you at the moment, as you haven’t seen them today. It’s impossible to state definitively that they weren’t nearby as a result.

Hopefully you’re both safe.

[The Suspicion surrounding members of your party has changed. Updates will be shown at a later time.]

Clive’s hesitance at a critical moment has shaken him deeply, As a result he has gained 15 Fear

Party Fear Levels:
[Albert: 38/100]
[Clive: 36/100]


As previously agreed, Clive lets you lean on him as soon as you’re out of the building. The streets are thankfully clear for the moment, so you have an uneventful walk towards the treeline.

Albert: “...”
Clive: “...”

…Annnnnnd right back to not having anything to talk about. Alright then. Since Clive broke the silence last time, you suppose it’s your turn.

Albert: “It’s fortunate we’ll be stopping at the field. There’s somebody there I was hoping to speak with.”
Clive: “...Who is it?”
Albert: “Rebecca. I was hoping she-”
Clive: “‘Bec.
Albert: “What?”
Clive: “She prefers ‘Bec.”
Albert: “Oh. I don’t normally use nicknames.”
Clive: “...You’re going to get turned away immediately if you don’t, cash or not.”
Albert: “Hm. Very well then. I was hoping that ‘Bec might have some gossip relevant to our investigation.”
Clive: “I think that’s likely.”
Albert: “I must confess, I’m surprised you know about her business. Are you a frequent customer?”
Clive: “...We have an Understanding. She’s reliable, if you can Afford her services.”
Albert: “Right. Unfortunately, I don’t have a wallet on me. I hope you don’t mind covering her fee.”
Clive: “...Hm…”
Clive: “We’ll see.”

As the field comes into view, you pull away from Clive. You slowly follow him into the opening…

…And crash to the floor the very moment you run out of trees.

Clive: “...”
Albert: “Be quiet.”
Clive: “I didn’t say anything.”
Albert: “And it was the loudest silence I’ve ever heard.”
>>
No. 1026779 ID: 629f2e
File 164781277995.png - (1.14MB , 1000x1000 , 100.png )
1026779

He sits down beside you and begins shuffling through his stolen wallet, counting bills and coins.

Clive: “...$11.09
Albert: “That much!?”

He flinches, pushing your head into the dirt suddenly.

Clive: “Hush.

He releases, quickly stuffing the wallet back in his pocket and looking all around. There were plenty of other kids around, none of whom seemed to be watching you at the moment thankfully. You aren’t normally so loud, but the amount had genuinely caught you off guard. Eleven dollars was more money than you have ever personally held at once.

Clive unfolds a small sheet of notebook paper from his other pocket, not letting you see what it is.

Clive: “...Hmm…”
Albert: “What?”
Clive: “Calculating how much I’m spending. Comes out to Eight Dollars.
Albert: “Hold on a minute. I thought you told me you only steal to afford groceries, what do you need from Rebecca?”
Clive: “‘Bec.”
Albert: “Not the part of my question that required a response.”
Clive: “...Look, you wanted to come here. What do you want?”
Clive: “You can use whatever I don’t.”
Albert: “...To be clear, does that offer only apply to trades with ‘Bec?”

He levels you a flat look.

Clive: “Yes. Spend what you need, but I’m keeping the rest.”

Unfortunate. You were considering spending lightly so that you could use the rest to purchase food. Oh well, no point dwelling on that. Consider Rebecca’s wares and how much you have to spend…

Clive is planning to spend $8.00 on something for himself, leaving just $3.09 to spend on the investigation

What will you spend it on? (You can buy multiples of the same option) (Select less than $2.85 worth of goods/services)

A: Gossip ($0.10 - $0.50)
-What do you ask about?
-The price is variable depending on how juicy the gossip is, but won’t go above $0.50
-’Bec will tell you what she knows about whatever topic you present, but if you jump to a different topic then that will be a new charge. If you spend all of your cash, you may not be able to ask follow-up questions
-’Bec will still take a dime from you if you ask about something she doesn’t know jack about

B: Bottle of Painkillers ($4.00)
-You can’t afford this
-If selected, specify if you want to haggle with ‘Bec for l
ess than a full bottle, or convince Clive to give you more to spend
C: Misc. Favors (Variable Price)
-Specify a job you would like ‘Bec to perform for you
-The price is variable depending on the task being requested
-Clive lets you know that ‘Bec can generally perform most reasonable tasks, and charges based on how much time and effort a job will take
-There is a “pain in the butt” tax she may choose to add at her discretion

D: Babysitting ($1.00 Per Night)
-’Bec will stay the night at your house, ostensibly chaperoning you
-‘Bec is bigger than you and your friends, effectively making her a night guard
-Requires parental approval/negligence

E: Keys (Variable Price)
-Allows illegal entry into a building of your choice
-House keys tend to cost $0.50
-Keys to businesses tend to cost $2.00 and a Favor
-’Bec’s sheet didn’t specify anything about keys to either school building

F: Illicit Goods (Variable Prices)
-Adult Magazine ($2.00)
-Carton of Cigarettes ($0.75)
-Can of Beer ($0.30)
-Cheatsheet ($2.00)
-You have no use for these, but you may be able to trade them
-If you’re caught by an adult with any of these you will get in trouble

G: Other
-Full list: >>1021607
-If you have anything other than listing what you want to buy, put it here

>>
No. 1026781 ID: afe7de

Okay, I have an alternate suggestion. Get Clive to ask about the situation with your dad since she knows about it. Specifically if you're also in danger or if she knows who might've done it or was around that was suspicious.

And then find a log and sit the heck down. Take a breather. Maybe lose a pain point or status debuff so the walk to his place isn't entirely hell.
>>
No. 1026821 ID: 8483cf

I recommend saving a dollar for babysitting. If worst comes to worst, Albert may need to nominate himself to be baby-sat if the home situation gets too difficult. Parental negligence might be something that we can anticipate in advance.

Buy gossip about Franklin seriously that kid is weird!

Also buy some food holy shit. Potatoes are the best food ever, buy them all. Make some stew with meat that's about to go bad from the store at a discount.
>>
No. 1026827 ID: afe7de

>>1026821
If you dont take a breather, then get a FAVOR in addition to my previous suggestion. Have her take some money and bring you and Clive food, potatoes, cheap stuff, etc. You need a meal, he won't let you save it for food, so use a logical loophole to have her get the food for you, or have Clive commit to getting you both food on the way to his place. Either way you get food!
>>
No. 1026856 ID: a70a13

I think spending $.50 on gossip is a REALLY good idea, especially if you can grab some info on one of the kids that went missing, either the Early Graduates or Lemmy.

Besides that, spend some cash on a key to the recycling plant. You might not be able to use it yet, but that place DESERVES investigation for certain. See if there's any records of the Nuclear Plant your father talked about, or just see what the hell people are doing in there.
>>
No. 1027809 ID: 629f2e
File 164878567475.png - (2.59MB , 1250x1250 , 101.png )
1027809

Your scattered thoughts eventually weave together into a list of items you could afford. Unfortunately, while each fell within your $3.09 cap, you couldn’t say for sure that they all added up. The variably priced goods would be the deciding point on how much you would be getting. Still, it will still do you well to lock down prices on everything you had an interest in for future reference.

Alright, time to go make some purchases. You just have to... stand up and walk over... Ugggghhhhhhhhh.

Honestly, making it this far on a Sprained Leg and while suffering from severe Vertigo should have earned you a break, but there just kept being more and more to do. Yes, it’s more efficient to get this done now than it would be to go to Clive’s house, rest up, and then come back. It certainly isn’t enjoyable however.

Adding onto that: Your Voice still hurts, and you haven’t given it a significant break to recover yet. Even on your mostly silent walk over, you struck up conversation to ward off the awkwardness. You’re going to do permanent damage to your vocal cords if you don’t give them a rest.

Still, your only partner at the moment is Clive, The Antisocialite. Could you really leave the conversation to him? This was somebody he seemed to know. In fact, he clearly knows more about Rebecca than you do. Perhaps you could let him take the lead, going off a simple list prepared by you.

Albert: “Do you have a pencil and notepad?”
Clive: “Yes.”

He digs around his pockets, before handing you the requested implements. You take them, and hand them back shortly after filling a page out with your requests.

Albert: “My throat hurts. Talk for me?”
Clive: “...Yeah. I’ll handle it.”

As he reads through the list, he squints at something.

Clive: “Why are you trying to buy Food from her?”
Albert: “...Is there a problem with that?”
Clive: “...No. Guess not.”

He pulls out the piece of paper he was glancing at earlier, and starts writing something down on it. You don’t know what, and you’re too tired to ask. As the sun’s warm rays blanket you, you decide to flip onto your back and enjoy however long this break would be.

Slowly... You begin to drift……

‘Bec: “D@%#, you’re hanging out with this dweeb now? My opinion of you is dropping Clive.”
Clive: “...I still have money.”
‘Bec: “Yeah, that puts you at the top of the list still, but man. You’re really trying to let John outrank you.”

...No, it’s really your fault for actually thinking you’d get to rest.

It’s clear even before you’ve opened your eyes that Clive decided to drag Rebecca over, likely to spare him from having to relay all of her answers to you later. Normally, this would be appreciated. At the moment however, it left you groggy and irritated.

Oh well, there would be time for rejuvenation soon enough. Plus, as long as you kept your interjections limited, your voice would have a chance to recover at least.

‘Bec: “What the h3!$ happened to him? He get hit by a truck or something?”
Clive: “...Here.”

Ignoring the question completely, he pulls out his own list from before and hands it to her, a few bills hidden below it. She takes them, quickly stuffing the cash in her pocket as she reads over the page.

‘Bec: “Yeah yeah, same as usual- wait, hold up.”
‘Bec: “What’s up with these? Razzles, 100 Grand Bars, Cherry Sours… What’s with the Sweets? You never buy candy.”
Clive: “...It isn’t for me.”
‘Bec: “Ohhhh, so egghead’s got a sweet tooth. I hear ya.”

You absolutely did not request any candy. And what even is that list, what is he ordering? Thankfully, Clive seems to pick up on your curiosity when he glances back at you.

Clive: “...’Bec handles my grocery shopping. It’s less suspicious than if I do it.”
‘Bec: “Oh, so he knows about... y’know…”
Clive: “Yeah.”
‘Bec: “Huh. Whatever, if it’s not his, then that doesn’t answer my question. What’s with the candy?”
Clive: “...It’s... for Rodney. If he comes back.”
‘Bec: “...Dude…”

For the first time since you’ve met her earlier today, the aggression surrounding her drops, being replaced by a more sad expression.

‘Bec: “Your brother graduated, Clive. Kids don’t come back from that.”
‘Bec: “It won’t be forever, you’re almost thirteen, right? You’ll see him again soon. But y’know... don’t kid yourself.”
Clive: “...”
‘Bec: “...Yeah, whatever. Doesn’t f@$#ing matter what I say. You’re just gonna keep hoping for the impossible no matter what, won’t you?”

...Even now, does he still doubt that Rodney actually graduated? Or is he just not ready to accept the truth?

She frustratedly mutters something to herself, and then tells her to go on. Perhaps too quickly, as if trying to escape the topic of Rodney’s graduation, he jumps into one of the bigger questions.

Clive: “Do you have any gossip about Nicolas Neddy’s recent Assault?
‘Bec: “Maybe. You got Fifty Cents?

He hands over the requisite amount.

‘Bec: “Then yeah, I do. Keep your ears open, I’m only gonna tell you once.”

You scoot closer, not wanting to miss a word from your Tinnitus acting up. This is the moment of truth. What can she tell you about your father?

‘Bec: “I don’t know $!#@ about the attack itself, since I wasn’t there when it happened. But I do got a pretty good idea about who might’a done it.”
Albert: “Who!? Who is it?”
‘Bec: “Who are they. I’ve got more than one suspect. Not sure how many people were involved with the attack, like I said I don’t know $!#@ about it,, but I’d bet a pretty penny that one of those three were involved.”
‘Bec: “Min Leoi, Gazlene Horvitz, and Lana Foster.
‘Bec: “It could be someone totally different, maybe someone with a quiet grudge that finally snapped. If you’re asking me though, those three chicks are the most likely.”

That’s... interesting.

Ms. Leoi is Louie’s Mom, Mrs. Horvitz was Jhonen’s Mom, and Mrs. Foster is Enid’s Foster Mother. Was there some reason all of the suspects were women? And why highlight those three specifically?

Clive: “...Why?”
‘Bec: “Now that will cost ya fifty cents per suspect. You really wanna hear all my reasoning that badly?”

Clive looks back at you. You certainly did want a more thorough explanation, but unfortunately you couldn’t justify the cost. This was gonna take some more thorough digging.

Clive: “...If it’s fifty per suspect, does that mean the reasoning for each one is Different? Not one shared reason, but three different ones?”
‘Bec: “That sure is a question I ain’t answering without some more coins in my hand.”
Clive: “...Hmph.”
Clive: “Moving on then. Do you have anything on Franklin?
‘Bec: “Mortician or The Alien?
Clive: “What?”
‘Bec: “They’re both named Franklin. So which is it, Junior or Senior?

Before he even turns back to ask, you confirm that you’re asking about your classmate.

‘Bec: “Hmm... Thirty Cents.

Clive pays her. The fee is lower, so you aren’t expecting as much from this one. Still, you’re just hoping it’s something worth the cents you’re spending on it.

‘Bec: “Meh. A lot of kids talk about Franklin, so most of the gossip I hear is total bunk.”
‘Bec: “When it comes to that kid, you can really only trust what you see. He definitely has a tail, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have a third hand growing out of his back.”
‘Bec: “Then again, who knows? Maybe the kid’s even weirder than we thought.”
Albert: “...He doesn’t, to be clear.”
‘Bec: “Hey, dumba$@, I know he doesn’t. It’s hyperbole, okay?”
‘Bec: “You can’t trust word of mouth when it comes to that kid. So I can only tell you what I’ve seen.
‘Bec: “You ever wonder why he’s always wearing that stupid green Turtleneck? I caught a lucky peek, so I know the answer.”
‘Bec: “You didn’t hear it from me (unless kids with pockets full of change ask, in which case you totally did), but Franklin’s got a huge Scar on his neck.”

A scar? That was...

...Actually, you don’t know what to make of that. It could be important, or it could just be another odd random detail about Franklin that has no relevance to the overall mystery encompassing him. A scar really seems trivial compared to the more pressing questions about his appearance; such as why he seems to lack any form of body hair, why his nose looks the way it does, or The Tail.

What does a scar on his neck really tell you? It’s certainly interesting that he’s had one all this time and you never knew, but what do you do with this knowledge?

Clive: “...Huh. I didn’t notice it.”
‘Bec: “Yeah, that’s what I just said. He hides it under that turtleneck.”
Albert: “...Are you sure?”
‘Bec: “I just told you I saw it for myself, didn’t I? Of course I’m sure-”
Albert: “No. That he’s Hiding it.”
‘Bec: “Believe me, I asked him about it when I noticed, and the first thing he did was play dumb. Then he regurgitated the dumbest lie I’ve ever heard and acted like that answered everything.”
‘Bec: “So yeah, I’m pretty d@$! sure.”
Clive: “Hmm...”
Albert: “...”

It all sounds sensible, you don’t see any problem with her reasoning...

...But it’s Franklin. Whatever ‘lame excuse’ he made could honestly be something he wholeheartedly believes.

You would have to ask him about it yourself later. The answer you get will probably end up being nonsense, but it’s worth at least trying.
>>
No. 1027810 ID: 629f2e
File 164878572336.png - (2.66MB , 1250x1250 , 102.png )
1027810

Clive makes a general inquiry into the prices for gossip relating to the kids who graduated and Lemmy. ‘Bec has to take a minute to think about it before answering.

‘Bec: “Twenty Cents for Rodney, but since I like you I’ll just tell you I don’t have anything you probably don’t already know on him.”
‘Bec: “Thirty Cents for Phillip, Forty for Lemmy, and Fifty for Jhonen.”

He looks back at you, awaiting an answer. Phillip and Rodney’s obviously didn’t seem important, the latter especially since Clive would know whatever it was. It was really a choice between Lemmy and Jhonen. Given the higher price, The Freak’s gossip should be juicier, but would it be still relevant with him having graduated? Should Lemmy be your choice, given that he’s simply missing and may reappear?

...It’s a difficult choice, but you decide to go with the juicier gossip in the end. It had to be something if its price stayed at $0.50 even with the boy no longer being here.

Albert: “Jhonen.
‘Bec: “Nice choice.”
‘Bec “Could have used this one for Franklin too I guess, but like I said, there’s a lot of hearsay to parse out there.”
‘Bec: “Plus, this kid was like the king of Franklin BS. No shock there, he’s the one who started the whole Alien rumor.”
‘Bec: “Anyways, you know how Jhonen graduated on Sunday?”
Clive: “...Yeah.”
‘Bec: “Well, I saw him then. He was chasing Franklin around like always.”
‘Bec: “I’m not sure if something went down between them, but it sounded like Jhonen had something he wanted to talk about.”
‘Bec: “Like, normally he’s shouting crazy accusations or threatening him with a bunch of painful tests, but back then he was just asserting that he’d figured something out.”
‘Bec: “Like: I know the Truth! You need to see what I uncovered, it finally all makes sense! All the pieces fit, blah blah blah, stuff like that.”
Clive: “...What did he figure out?”
‘Bec: “I don’t really care, so I didn’t listen. All his ‘discoveries’ are total BS, everyone knows it.”

You couldn’t really disagree with her. Your mind drifts back to his attempts to convince you that within the woods surrounding the city was a Big-Footmoth-Woman some years back. He certainly had a career in acrobatics awaiting him in his future, given the bountiful leaps of logic he made to justify his ‘theory’.

Though you might suggest he pursue writing instead, as there was certainly a great deal of creativity in his description of this mythical creature.

‘Bec: “Weirdest thing though, somebody actually stopped and listened. An Adult even! So I decided, what the f!@#, and tried to hear what the deal was.”
‘Bec: “Didn’t catch it all, and most of it just ended up being nonsense…”
‘Bec: “What stood out was that he claimed to know Franklin’s True Nature, and demanded his Immediate Arrest.
Clive: “...And somebody listened to that?”
‘Bec: “Yeah, somebody actually listened to that junk with a straight face! Weirdest f@$#ing thing, I don’t even think his parents tolerate that c@#$ enough to pay attention.”

That definitely is hard to believe, but what was Jhonen talking about?

What manner of crime was he accusing Franklin of? Something so unforgivable that the boy needed to go straight to prison.

‘Bec: “I got bored and left after that though. You couldn’t pay me enough to listen to more of his ramblings.”
‘Bec: “...Well, you could, but nobody did.”
Albert: “...Who listened to Jhonen?”

She wags her finger and holds out her palm.

‘Bec: “Fifty more cents.”

Blast it! You don’t have enough with the remaining purchases you were planning. You had a definitive answer right at your fingertips, but you were just two quarters short of actually receiving it.

You give Clive a slightly pleading expression, but he just shakes his head. He wasn’t holding out anything, what you had is what you get. You would have to send one of your other friends out to get the rest of the story later.

Presuming that your groceries were on his shopping list, that left a little over a dollar left to spend. You were hoping to save a dollar in the event that you needed her Babysitting services in the future. Clive said he would keep the change of course, but he seems like one of the more likely people to need protection, so that isn’t an issue.

You did ask for him to inquire about one last item, but given the standard prices he’d given you for keys, you shouldn’t be able to afford it right now. Still, good to lock down the fee for later.

Clive: “How much would a key to the Recycling Center cost?”
‘Bec: “Ha!”
‘Bec: “...Are you joking?”
Clive: “...No.”
‘Bec: “...Man, you really are lucky I like you.
‘Bec: “Just give me a Quarter, and I’ll make you feel like an idiot.”

That cheap!? And what does that comment mean?

Clive doesn’t get it either, so he hands over the coin. She pockets it, and then sticks her hand back out.

‘Bec: “Give me the wallet.”
Clive: “...Okay.”

She takes it, flips it open, and pulls a small card out.

‘Bec: “Congratulations! You already f@#$ing had one.”

Clive examines it, and then passes it over to you.

...It’s the Recycling Center ID Card of Stephen Bannister.

Albert: “How will that get us inside?”
‘Bec: “You guys ever actually been to the Recycling Center?”
‘Bec: “The door’s a passcode lock, genius. The code is printed on every single ID card.”
‘Bec: “Look, the idiot even underlined it in pen so that he couldn’t miss it. What a clown!”
Clive: “Huh.”
Albert: “...That’s not very secure at all.”
‘Bec: “If a card goes missing, they all have to be replaced at the expense of whoever lost theirs. I’d write this number down if you actually want to use it.”
‘Bec: “Don’t worry about the card. I’ll make sure it’s still there when I Return this.”

Return? You didn’t expect her to bother giving the wallet back, she doesn’t seem so kind. She sees the look on her face and picks up on your suspicion.

‘Bec: “Call it a side-venture. I let people know when I ‘find’ their stuff, and return it for a small fee.”
Albert: “...That seems very obvious.”
‘Bec: “Maybe, but all the adults know that I’m not the one stealing from them. I’m never around when they get robbed, and everyone has their guards up when I am thanks to my rep.”
‘Bec: “Take me out of the picture, and they still get robbed. Now they just don’t get their nice wallets and IDs back.”
‘Bec: “So even if they don’t like it at all, they have no choice but to deal with me!”

Clever... Seemingly foolish given recent discoveries about the town, but it was hard to argue with the results given that she made it up to middle-school without graduating early. Although if the thefts die down, you could see her quickly being carted off to high school.

‘Bec: “Anyways, is that it?”
Clive: “Yeah.”
‘Bec: “Then I’m gonna split. Try not to get into any trouble. It’d be bad for business if my best customer bit the dust.”
Clive: “...”

She walks away, leaving you both to ponder all of the information you’d been given.
>>
No. 1027811 ID: 629f2e
File 164878577505.png - (2.53MB , 1250x1250 , 103.png )
1027811

Your rest lasts for but a few minutes more, before you agree to start walking again. Although the trip didn’t fill you with much enthusiasm, the prospect of sleeping in a nice bed did. There wouldn’t be any more distractions once you lie down on that mattress, the walk would definitely be worth it.

With that in mind, the two of you trudge through the woods in total silence. It was less awkward this time, since you had something to chew on in your mind. Quite a few things in fact.

It’s honestly a shock when you finally arrive, the walk hadn’t seemed too bad this time around. In fact, you were actually starting to feel the slightest bit Better.

Albert has given his throat a decent break. His [Bruised Throat] will be merged with [Mild Head Trauma], and penalties on speaking have been dropped

Current Symptoms:
-Headache Lvl 4: You have a full-fledged migraine. Your head feels like it’s about to explode [3 Pain]
-Sprained Leg: Forces Albert to walk with a cane. Going without one risks injuring the leg further. [1 Pain]
-Mild Head Trauma: Bruises on your face and neck. By some miracle, nothing broken. You are visibly injured [1 Pain]
-Tinnitus: Your ears are ringing. Decreased auditory perception, increased irritability
-Vertigo: It feels like everything is spinning, it’s hard to stay balanced. If you don’t have a wall or person to lean against, you won’t be able to walk without falling

Current Pain: 5/10


Clive: “...We’re here.”
Albert: “Yes, the building stood in front of us did not escape my faculties. Would you care to let us in?”
Clive: “...”

He pulls out a key, and unlocks the door. You can’t deny finding yourself at a loss when he pushes it open though. You’d been expecting a normal entrance hallway with no surprises of any sort.

What actually stands in front of you is a bizarre spectacle. A Dining Room Chair stands about 6 feet away from the door, facing right towards it. Littering the ground between the entryway and the seat is a scattered mess of Candy. It wasn’t just messy, an untidy home wouldn’t bring you any pause. However, aside from this inexplicable opening, the rest of the home seemed more or less clean. It wasn’t perfect, but there was clear effort to keep things in their proper places, and not leave behind obvious messes. It’s the Contrast between these details that leaves you staring in bewilderment at the scene.

Albert: “What... Why? Clive, what am I looking at?”
Clive: “...Oh... Sorry, I forgot to clean that up.”
Albert: “Yeah, I see that! Why is it here though?”
Clive: “...It’s nothing... I waited by the door on Sunday for Rodney, because he was out past curfew.”
Albert: “Okay, that’s... understandable I suppose. What about the candy?”
Clive: “...It’s Rodney’s. Don’t touch it.”

You mentally curse yourself for not silently grabbing a piece or two before asking.

That’s not what’s important though. He didn’t actually answer your question. You asked why the candy was here, not who did it belong to. On top of that, there’s that small detail you just picked up from Rebecca a short time ago. Clive never purchases sweets, so it’s strange that the first thing you’ve seen upon stepping inside is candy.

This may be something he doesn’t feel comfortable talking about. His brother is clearly still a sensitive subject, you should tread lightly here. You really can’t afford to be hit again today.

How should you proceed with this conversation?

A: Albert: “I think I know what happened.”
-Present your best explanation for the scene in front of you
-If you’re close enough to the truth, Clive will talk
-Get it wrong though, and you doubt you’ll get an answer
B: Albert: “Can you tell me what happened?”
-Ask Clive directly
-Unpredictable result, you aren’t sure how he’ll respond
-You can suggest a tone to take, and Albert will try. He is still Albert though
C: Albert: “...Can I have the peanut butter cup at least?”
-Drop it
-You know it’s what Clive wants
-40% chance you lose one fewer symptom as you rest, due to Albert overthinking instead of sleeping

>>
No. 1027930 ID: 851aa0

C. We dont have enough info, and even if we did, we need Albert to rest up. And eat.

Mention the 100 grand bar, you think Temmie was looking for some if we want to give it to her.

Initial thoughts, I cant help but feel the candy is there to lure something small into the building. Something small that cant reach or open doors or cabinets or drawers, but can open candy wrappers. The door was also left open in the first thread's intro pictures too. Maybe Rodney left them there to wait for something to come in and take some? Which is why the chair is there too, for Rodney or Clive to wait for whoever they are trying to lure? (Tho Clive could be sitting there to wait for Rodney)

Though in this case, I cant figure out who or what Rodney is using the candy to lure or take...

Maybe one of Jhonen's conspiracies poisoned Rodney's mind to have him leave candy there or something...
>>
No. 1028007 ID: a70a13

>>1027930
In my opinion, I'm pretty sure the chair and candy is Clive's way of dealing with Rodney's absence. You gotta remember that these are kids we're dealing with, Clive is probably going through an intense period of isolation and loss.

I personally suggest B. In the most gentle tone you can muster, if you even have to. Maybe it's better to just let sleeping dogs lie and just let Clive know you're emotionally there for him.

He needs a friend, not someone trying to take things from him and try to guess his grief.
>>
No. 1028039 ID: 2afc98

I'm voting C. I tried my best to piece together something, but right now, Albert is Albert with a splitting headache and I don't trust him to ask any questions delicately.

The candy definitely isn't Rodney's.
>>
No. 1028116 ID: ce39da

We could try a partial answer for A, even if we lack too much info for the full picture - we know Clive's motive for buying the candy, at least, given he doesn't seem completely delusional: "... Are you continuing a project of Rodney's? Beats the hell out of me what it is, though."
>>
No. 1028120 ID: afe7de

I'm on team B because I feel like if we dont even *attempt* to answer/find out the question we'll just get penalized with the *bad resting penalty* indicated on C. Oh, and I think maybe Albert tries to be gentle, but then gives a firmer inquiry into what happened since he seemed pretty shook earlier, saying that you dont want to dig at trauma since you're about to rest, but you'd at least rest a little easier with some info, you do want to help his brother and all the other graduated kids after all. (so its a slight guilt trip)

Regardless of what gets picked, here's my crackpot theories, do with them what you will:

-Rodney liked candy and had some kind of project that needed more candy so Clive is keeping it up even if he's not there.
-Rodney got recycled into candy and he hopes to bring his brother back by collecting candy
-Rodney got turned into an animal like that one lobster movie and now Clive is gathering candy in the hopes it attracts his brother home since his bro always said he wanted to be a dog

I honestly am grasping for straws here, I thought I had big brain but this just proves that my brain is a peanut.
>>
No. 1028130 ID: 96c896

>>1027811
A.
It's simple. Rodney is missing. The candy is there, in front of the door, in a neat pile, with every piece visible, so Rodney will see it from outside and come in to grab it. He's still buying more, because he thinks if there's enough candy there Rodney will come home.

Basically, it's positioned like bait, and he's able to sit and watch the candy along with the door.
>>
No. 1028573 ID: 629f2e
File 164939028719.png - (1.35MB , 1000x1000 , 104.png )
1028573

You’re Conflicted.

Countless theories flood your mind, each explaining the scene before you in a different way. Some are ridiculous, easily brushed aside; while others seem Plausible, but you lack the evidence to assert the truth of any of them.

You want to say something, you just... aren’t fully sure what.

In the end, you decide to press on the points you know, hoping that he’ll fill in whatever holes in your knowledge remain once you’re through.

Albert: “...Is this related to why you were Buying Candy from Rebecca earlier?”
Clive: “...”
Albert: “Well?”
Clive: “...I Guess?
Albert: “Okay... You said that you were buying it for your brother. Then is this pile here for him too?”
Clive: “Yes... No... I- Maybe? I don’t- I haven’t thought about it like that.”
Clive: “...He brought it here. I’m not going to touch it Again.
Albert: “Ah, if you’re saying ‘again’, then that means you already did touch it once. Why was that?”

There’s a subtle flinch, as his expression turns dour in response.

Clive: “Stop it. I know what you’re doing.”
Albert: “Was I too unsubtle?”
Clive: “Leave me alone...”

He turns his back to you. Although normally, you would feel a bit indignant about him refusing to share potentially relevant information, you instead felt sorry for the boy. It’s become painfully obvious over the hour or two you’ve spent with Clive just how badly he’s handling his brother’s absence. It was no surprise to you that he’s upset, you had already concluded that as early as your conversation with him before class. No, what you failed to appreciate was the scale of his misery. You wonder how much of that is the separation from his sibling, and how much is concern regarding Rodney’s true fate as you uncover more and more about graduation.

Something to consider later. What matters now is that in his current state, Clive may not be willing to tell you anything significant. For now then, all you can do is offer a general query to see what he’ll tell you.

Albert: “...You don’t have to tell me everything, but could you just give me some idea of why this candy is strewn about here at least?”
Clive: “...”
Clive: “It’s a reminder.”
Albert: “Of... Rodney?”
Clive: “Of how I drove him away. It’s to remind me that I was a Worthless brother to him.”
Clive: “...Is that enough for you?”
Albert: “...Y-Yeah.”

Drove him away... Rodney didn’t run away from home though, he was taken by the school. Why does he think that, and how does the candy relate?

Regardless, you aren’t touching this topic again any time soon. It seems very Touchy, and given your recent track record with delicacy... Well, the less said about the bruises on your face the better.

Albert: “Well, I suppose we should be heading to bed then?”
Clive: “Upstairs and to the right. Rodney’s bunk is on top. Can you make it up there on your own?”
Albert: “I can handle myself just fine.”
Clive: “Alright. I’ll follow you up soon.”

In truth, you were saying words you aren’t allowed to utter in your mind Clive for failing to mention he and his brother shared a bunk bed, but you wisely elect to hold your tongue for the moment.

As you leave for the staircase, you pause at the base. Beside a wall clock, a Photo of two boys hangs.

...You hadn’t seen Rodney since school on Friday. He wasn’t a kid you interacted with as consistently as Roger or Phillip, but he was impossible to avoid. He... wasn’t a bad kid. You never had any issues with him, nor did anyone you knew.

So why did this have to happen to him?

...And would it really be asking too much for Clive to Smile for the camera?
>>
No. 1028574 ID: 629f2e
File 164939032467.png - (573.84KB , 1000x1000 , 105.png )
1028574

When you make it upstairs, your legs are wobbling. If not for the handrail, you may have honestly fallen backwards and killed yourself in the dumbest way possible. Thank goodness for it.

You drag yourself down the hall. To the left is a shut door, presumably the Master Bedroom. Interesting as it might be to dig around and see what secrets hide within, you’re too exhausted to entertain the idea for long. You turn right, letting yourself into Clive and Rodney’s bedroom.

And there inside lies the furniture of which you were dreading. The bunk bed. And Rodney’s bunk was on top...

...If Clive asks, you gave the climb significant effort before flopping onto Clive’s mattress gracelessly.

You crawl into it, tucking yourself in. The feeling of a mattress and decent quality pillow beneath you sends you off to Heaven. You’d set the alarm clock over on the drawers for 1.5 Hours from now. Soon, all of the worries that filled your mind start to fade away, as a peaceful slumber overtakes you...

What type of dreams will Albert have?

(NOTE: His recovery will not be impeded by bad dreams)

1: A Nightmare
-Let your mind spiral with fear
-You will gain some Fear
-You will wake up before the alarm, and may encounter a hidden event as a result
-Your recovery will not be impeded by bad dreams

2: A Pleasant Fantasy
-A pleasant yet simple dream of happy experiences
-You will recover some Fear
-The dream will be peaceful, but utterly boring to reflect upon

3: A ??r?????? ?e????
-???e??e? ??a??
-You will ???? ? ??? ?? Fear

4: A Strange Gathering
-Wake up in a strange place, with familiar and strange characters alike
-No Fear change
-You may receive a clue

5: Utter Nonsense
-You dream of many disconnected things at once. Much of it will be stupid and nonsensical
-You will recover some Fear
-You may receive some personal advice

6: Other
-Describe what Albert dreams about

>>
No. 1028575 ID: afe7de

Spams the 4 button.
>>
No. 1028583 ID: a70a13

If we can have two types of dreams at once, I wanna see three and four at the same time my guy.

I want some weird gatherings and some GLITCHY SHIT, C'MON BABY.
>>
No. 1028589 ID: e51896

5: Utter Nonsense

I think one of the people the pic representing utter nonsense is Temmie

I want to talk to Temmie again
>>
No. 1028600 ID: 8483cf

4head
>>
No. 1028608 ID: 1c6255

4. Let's go crossover!
>>
No. 1028616 ID: e5709d

3
>>
No. 1028626 ID: ce39da

3
>>
No. 1028668 ID: e51896

Changing my vote to 3 so we can have a 3 and 4 combo.
>>
No. 1028825 ID: 629f2e
File 164965392690.png - (815.42KB , 1000x1000 , 106.png )
1028825

You open your eyes, and you’re no longer in Clive’s room. You almost immediately stumble and fall back, losing your balance as the ground beneath you trembles.

Albert: “Wh- An Earthquake!?
???: “Seriously? Haven’t you ever ridden in an Elevator before?”
Albert: “A what- No. I can’t say that I have.”

You look up from the ground, seeing two young girls standing above you. One looked particularly strange, having purple skin and pointy ears hiding behind a mask of Eyes. As the knowledge that this is a dream enters your mind, it strikes you that she resembles what you imagine elves to look like, based on your character figurine from Phillip’s tabletop game.

The other girl is Temmie in a Bunny mask, which fails to hide the obvious fact that it’s Temmie. Your brain needed a break all you’ve been through, you’ll forgive it this time for lacking creativity.

Temmie: “Are you okay?”
Albert: “Just fine. This is a dream anyways, I doubt it would matter even if I’d attained a bruise from that fall.”
Eye: “If you don’t help him up, he’s just going to fall over again.”

You want to object, but she’s right. Your injuries decided to follow you into your dreams tonight, and you could barely feel your legs below you. Temmie takes the advice and helps you onto your feet, holding you upright.

Albert: “Hmm... For a dream, this feels rather lucid compared to the usual fare.”
Temmie: “Has The Genius never experienced lucid dreams in the past?”
Albert: “Perhaps once or twice, but they’re rather uncommon for me.”
Eye: “I have dreams like this all the time.”

...You weren’t going to give much weight to words spoken by a figment of your mind. It’s your understanding that dreams such as this are uncommon.

*DING*

The elevator comes to a halt, and a set of doors in front of you slide open automatically. You all step into a pure white room, where the walls and floor blend together. As you turn on your heel, to examine all sides of the room, you’re taken aback to see the elevator behind you no longer present. Strange how the form of this dream seemed rather solid, and yet discrepancies like That still managed to slip in. What you’d give to understand the workings of your mind.

Eye: “It’s starting.”
Temmie: “This will be silly. The spirits from below aren’t taking this seriously.”
Eye: “That’s something we can agree on.”
Albert: “...What are you talking about?”

As if on queue, a projection appears in front of you all. On it appears a man with red skin, a pointed tail, and the apparel of a circus Clown. The expression on his face portrays a deep exhaustion, and a distaste for reality itself. It’s clear to you that this man is questioning every decision that led him to this point in his existence.

Demon Clown: “...”
(Offscreen Voice): “Randal, come on man-”
Randal: “Right. Right... Just give me a moment to weigh the pros and cons of suicide one more time.”
Randal: “...Alright, fine, let’s get this over with.”

He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. His face breaks into a wide smile, and he puts heavy enthusiasm into his voice.

Randal: “HEEEEEEEYYYY KIDS!”
Albert: “Ugh.”
Eye: “Oh dear god, how is it worse than I could have ever imagined?”
Randal: “My name’s Randy the Clown, and we’re all gonna play a fun little game! Now, whooooo likes toys!”
Temmie: “...Excuse me, Mr. Randal, sir?”
Randal: “Yeeeeeees?”
Temmie: “I believe that my peers’ hatred of this character nearly matches your own.”
Albert: “Please end it now.”
Eye: “Cease.”
Temmie: “...So I don’t think anyone would mind if you dropped this act.”
Randal: “Holy $!@#! Thank you! F@#$ you Carson, they hated it!”
(Offscreen Voice): “That’s because you didn’t even try!”
Randal: “I put my soul into that performance, don’t you put that $@!# on me-”
Temmie: “Pardon again, Mr. Randal?”
Randal: “Yes?”
Temmie: “...We’re still children. My daddy says that language isn’t very appropriate.”
Randal: “Ah- Sorry, my mistake.”
Eye: “Speak for yourself, f!@#ing baby.”

...Is your mind being this vulgar because you talked to Rebecca earlier? You haven’t even spoken a swear, and yet you still feel tempted to wash your mouth out with soap when this is over.

Randal: “Sorry, we’re off to a bad start, just pretend none of that happened.”
Randal: “You have all been semi-randomly selected to participate in an experimental event. The Demon Auction Jr!
Randal: “All the fun of a normal demon auction, but with a younger audience in mind.”
Albert: “That explains your previous behavior I suppose. Most of my friends actually wouldn’t mind the clown persona if you hid your distaste for it better.”
Eye: “Your friends have terrible taste then.”
Albert: “I never claimed otherwise.”
Randal: “For those following these proceedings, please keep in mind that since this is an experiment, the rules are a bit looser than normal. This Auction bears no relation to the fight for the new demon king.”
Randal: “Most of you aren’t even Awakened.
Albert: “I’m literally dreaming.”
Randal: “Exactly!”

From there he explains more rules, explaining that you’ll all be spending points to bid on a variety of special trinkets and toys. Many of them were ludicrous or simply unbelievable, but you make an effort to strategically spend your points to maximize your haul.

...Unfortunately...

Randal: “Wow. It’s not often we get someone literally walk away with nothing.”
Albert: “...”
Temmie: “...This outcome was predictable. When two out of three can see the future, the third has little opportunity to fight back.”
Eye: “You would have had to spend all of your points on a single item to guarantee you wouldn’t be outbid.”

...You didn’t even care that deeply, seeing as you wouldn’t have any of your winnings when you awoke, and yet you’re still annoyed at this outcome.

Randal: “Sorry kid, looks like you got unlucky with the match-up.”
Randal: “...Hey Carson, put in a suggestion for a rule moving forward: Whenever we have pre-cogs in the Auction, maybe we should let everyone else see their bids.”
(Offscreen Voice): “I’ll mention it to management.”
Randal: “You can bring it up while you’re telling them that this clown $@#! is a no-go.”
(Offscreen Voice): “Oh my god, Randal we aren’t abandoning the idea without giving it a real attempt. You know this didn’t count.”
>>
No. 1028826 ID: 629f2e
File 164965396373.png - (1.20MB , 1000x1000 , 107.png )
1028826

As the adults bicker, Temmie moves closer to you to talk.

Temmie: “It does seem a little unfair that Albert gained nothing from this game. Perhaps Temmie could share something with you?”
Albert: “It’s not as though we’ll really be getting anything from this. I’ll wake up soon enough and forget all about it.”
Temmie: “This is what is likely. But if Albert is to Remember, then perhaps there should be something worth remembering. A Fortune perhaps?”
Albert: “...I suppose it may be interesting to see what my subconscious believes lies in my future. Very well, I accept-”
Eye: “What point is there in getting a fortune from her?”

You both turn to the other girl, who apparently takes issue with Temmie’s offer.

Eye: “She Can’t see the future.”
Albert: “Obviously. It’s impossible.”
Temmie: “...My fortunes are very appreciated by those who have purchased them. Does the girl with true future sight not find this sufficient?”
Eye: “I’m sure what you do is good enough for most kids in a boring predictable small town, but it’s not precognition. You’re just taking in more information than anyone else and making educated Guesses.
Eye: “If you really want to know what your future holds, you should ask Me.
Temmie: “Temmie wonders what the point of knowing a future one cannot change is. Why know the Inevitable when you could receive the tools to Choose your fate?”
Eye: “The future has many possibilities, but some are far more likely than others based on how people are to act. Giving them information that will Change those actions lets me Lead them to the future of my choice.”
Temmie: “Of course you can. And Temmie would not wish to imply that you would misuse that knowledge to Mislead others for your own amusement. That would be a very unfortunate accusation.”
Eye: “It certainly would be a spurious allegation. It would be like if I claimed that you were using your classmates as guinea pigs to test your abilities on.”

You’re wondering if you should feel left out as the only person not arguing. No complaints here though, this is significantly more fun than the auction itself was. Fingers crossed one of them throws a punch.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the progression. After a few more verbal jabs from both of them, they turn to face you.

Temmie: “Who would you prefer to hear a fortune from.”
Eye: “I’m only offering if you turn her down. You can only choose one.”

This has taken a rather complicated turn. Still, you’re rather sure that you gleaned enough from their argument to make an informed decision between their two brands of fortune telling. Although you know on a deeper level why this choice is irrelevant and meaningless, you can put that aside and play pretend for long enough to make an honest assessment.

From which girl do you wish to hear your future?

1: Temmie Fortune
-Temmie will share her interpretation of your future
-Temmie’s prediction will tell you what CAN be, but not what WILL.
-She will speak cryptically, her prediction requiring interpretation. But instead of answers, she will offer advice

2: Eye’s Precognition
-Eye will tell you of things that WILL happen in your future
-Eye’s prediction is inescapable. Whatever she says will happen is guaranteed to take place
-Her prediction will be straightforward and easy to understand. Some portion of the fortune will be intended to mess with you, but she will not lie

>>
No. 1028828 ID: e51896

A, Temmie.

It is best to handle what we CAN control over what we can't control in our future to give us a possible better outcome and better future, despite her predictions not being as accurate as eyes... plus Temmie is someone we know, and after what Albert went through, I think he needs advice more than anything to better himself as a person.

plus, knowing a bad outcome that we cannot stop would only serve to gain FEAR. knowing what we CAN control in our future might make the inevitable not as bad.

Lastly, it's because Temmie is cool, and she felt bad for us to give us a free fortune. Listen to her as thanks.
>>
No. 1028834 ID: 8483cf

I was about to suggest 2 in order to be certain of what we needed to do, but frankly, Polt's convinced me. Hope is important to conquering fear, and since Temmie's offering advice unlike SOME people, we're in a good position to take it.

We need to be in a position to act to change fate, not react to something unchangeable. One is more powerful than the other.
>>
No. 1028840 ID: e5709d

Eye's Precognition.
We need consistency. If you don't like the results, then tweak the context. If you tweak too much context out of a Fortune, you run the risk of making the situation near-impossible to occur, negating the point of the prophecy. But with precognition, you know what is going to happen and nothing you do, no matter how nonsensical or insane, is going to change it.
Take a risk. Prepare to short-sell.
>>
No. 1028845 ID: 1c6255

Hard pass on the inevitable. Go with Temmie. No rails!
>>
No. 1028977 ID: e51896

Hey Temmie, hey! Can you still hear us? It's me, one of the spirits helping Albert.

Do you still want Roger to get you a 100 grand candy bar? We found out Clive just bought one.

If you could, may you please convince Albert to convince Clive to give him the 100 Grand bar so that Albert can give it to Roger and convince him to give it to you so that Roger can convince you to help him?
>>
No. 1028992 ID: afe7de

I'm on #2 because knowing a situation and being able to prepare or manipulate the context or contents of it can be way more valuable than a chance, which, while advice is good, I think Albert would rather take a known than a potential so he can use his big brain to try to take advantage of the moment.
>>
No. 1029342 ID: 629f2e
File 165000566485.png - (1.29MB , 1000x1000 , 108.png )
1029342

Albert: “I’ll go with Temmie. Hers was the more persuasive argument.”

Somehow, despite the mask, you can just tell that Temmie is grinning at your choice. The larger girl clicks her tongue in disapproval. You certainly considered her offer, but it just wasn’t as compelling.

Albert: “Why do you sound disappointed? If you can really see the future, you should have Known from the start how I would answer.”
Eye: “Things get fuzzy when I go off-script. I was hoping that would change the outcome, but I guess you’re just committed to being boring.”
Temmie: “Temmie is thankful to have been chosen though. Please listen well. You’re going to have to remember all of this when you wake up.”
Albert: “Wait, what?”
Temmie: “Don’t worry. Just pay attention...”

“To the Genius who has failed to understand the hearts of others, I offer to you a gift. To you, I offer a chance for reflection. May you evolve, for the sake of others.”

“You shall encounter the king of fools where all journeys meet their end. When he reveals himself, an opportunity will suddenly be laid at your feet. Consider whether or not you should take it. Your decision shall carry a deep consequence.”

“This meeting is certain, but some opportunities are mere probabilities. If you are to meet with a scornful one locked out of their cell, it may be your final chance to prevent a tragedy. When clouds weep, the chill of night will overwhelm lost souls. Though your tongue often lashes out, hold thy barbs lest they pierce too deep to be removed.”

“This is the Past, the Present, and the Future as I have seen it.”


...

Despite yourself, you feel a tinge of Fear at her words. Why though? Why were you putting any stock in this inane fortune, given by a figment of your mind? Even if this somehow really was Temmie, it shouldn’t matter.

Because... It’s Impossible. There’s no way she could know what lies in your future!

Eye: “Psh. Of all the things you could have told him, that’s what you chose?”
Temmie: “Temmie believes that The Genius can handle most things. He’s very capable! But when it comes to people, he is a bit helpless.”
Albert: “H-Hey!”
Temmie: “Does the seer not think that this will lead to a happier future than if Temmie had told him something else?”
Eye: “...You won’t get any clues from me. After all, he chose you, remember?”
Eye: “But I don’t mind giving him a taste of what true Precognition looks like, just to let him know what he missed out on.”

She chuckles scornfully, as she walks forward and places a hand on your shoulder.

Eye: “How does it feel to know that I can see Everything that lies ahead for you. I already know how your story ends.”
Albert: “...I... It’s just a dream. That’s impossible.”
Eye: “Oh really? Because I think you’ll believe it when my prediction comes true, and you’ll see exactly what you missed out on.”

Behind the mask, you see a gleam in her eyes, as she suddenly speaks.

“Within 48 hours, you will scream with terror as your friend is Beheaded before your eyes.”

...

...

...What?

B...Beheaded?

Your friend will be... beheaded...

Eye: “Of course, if I’m lying then you can feel free to correct me.”
Temmie: “...”
Albert: “Beheaded...”

Somewhere deep, the word struck a chord with you. The world which had previously felt almost real fades into a numb feeling of unreality.

And when you feel yourself again...

...

...
>>
No. 1029343 ID: 629f2e
File 165000574668.gif - (22.01MB , 1000x1000 , 109.gif )
1029343

W̴̬̞̙͈͝͠D̶̨̼̩̘͈̠̦̯̜̥̱̱̑͐̎̅͌͐͝S̴̡̛̗̼̠͖̥̆̈́̌̅ ̵̧͓̱̝͚͕̱̦̞̦̦̦͈̳̼͋̆̽͛̅E̴̠̎͊̄̉͛͗͊̓̓̒̊̽̾̍͠A̸̡͎̠͙̩͈͔̹̍͠͠D̷̹̉̉ ̸̢̢͇̫̟̲̥̜̹͑̊͒̒̈́̈́̍͑̿̽̀̇̂̏͝Ḛ̷̡̧͔̜̯̺̬̰̮̙̼̣̯͈̂̏͛̎̃̒͗Ẹ̶͔̰̗̞͂̐́̅̽̍̓̑̎̿̕̕͝Ę̷͈̺͇̳̭̹͓͙͘L̷͓̼͉͙̬̱̹̐̈́͊͆̄̀̇̕T̴̨̛̼̬̦̬͒͐͆̀̈̆̂̌́̋̕͠ ̷̞̣̒̔͂̈́͑͌̅̑͌͝͝A̸̯͎̼͔̗̣̭̬̠̓̍̃L̸̨̢̙̲̫̪̫̞̺͓͙̲͗̂̀́̒͑̀̇͊̅͗͛̊ͅM̴̡̠̦͖̘͚͓͕͍̣͓̺̐̀̑͆̈́̾͐͐̾̔̀̓͘͠Ȩ̴͙̭͎̥̰̗̤̥͓͌͌̇͐͗̇̄̏̊͆̕͝ͅ ̴̡̡̧̰͈̞̗̻̤̦̤̥̻͉͒̄̒́͋̎̓̾̈̀̋͒̚͠O̵͕̫̫̗̍́N̵̨̳̜͙̻͍̲̟̊̑͝O̵̼̱͎̗͓͉͓͛̊̅̓͊͆͘͠P̶̘͕̠̙̤̺̀̎̉̓̓̍̌À̷̬̳̼̪̲̪̪̘͔͓͙͓̀̈́̀͐̊̏̕͜ ̴̞̰̟̫̮͍̲̼̐̈͛̄̎͂̔͠͠͝Ş̷͎͖͍͒̉͐̈́̉T̵̙̈͊͒͑̊̈͂̀̐̇ͅṔ̵̢̲̬̱̪̫̯͈̣̹̆̎Ë̸̛̫̃̾͐̄̈̽̀̌̋̎̍Ē̵̳̝̯̹̉͂̔̌̂͌͑́̈̎̄̕͘͜͝ ̵̬̯̦̻̟͙̻̲̅̍́̐̊́̐͊͑͛̂̿͝͝Ơ̵̛̛̮̜̫̝̯̜̺̫͇̙̰̬̳̑̃̀̽̒͂͒̊̈́̔͜͝͠Ȁ̷̰̄̒̏̅͒̓̚͘S̵̪͚̭̙̜̯̘͉̲͌̔͊Ȍ̸̡̡̧̨͎͚̻̮͈̓͂͆̚͜͜Ṱ̷̢̛̬̦̹͇̠͕̖̖͎͇̯͉͌̽́͑̓̏̄̈́͒͋̕̚̕͠ͅ ̵̢̛̫͖̖͖̯̰̏͋̈́̇Ȩ̸̢̢̖̭͚͙͚͕̱̦̲̘̎̌͌͆̊̅͛̍̃̾̉͗͘̕͝ ̶̨̼͙͔̰̅̎͂̒́͊͗͋̊̄͂L̷̡̧̧̠̲̣̣̙̜͕̤̬͆̆̃̔͆̑͆̏̅̚P̸̨͙̲͉̻͖̮͇̒͛̓͂̐͌̒̃̓͘̕ͅP̵̥͐’̶̨̹̥̲͖͓̩̝̹̤̞̮̙͕̓̀̂̎̊̃͑͋͜͝͝N̸̛͙̻̻̗͈̈́́̏͒̐̆͌̈́́͆͋̚͠ ̶̡̭̞̫̼̄̃̂̌̅̂̉̔ͅ ̷̳̙̝̮̱͕͈̦̄͊̈͜ͅM̷̛̯̘̮͛͐́́I̴͖̭͔̲͓͓̗̰̯̝̐͌̌̎͗̿̇͑͘͘͘Ă̵͉͖̳̙͔̱̼̣̹͇͍̝̩̜̓̇̊̈́̏̄́͘͝͝Ḑ̸̲̱͔̭̲̲̤̱̬͑̔̒̎͐͐̓͆͝͝ ̵̳̲͚̹̫̫̰͈̰͈̜͍͊̈́͆̀̋͜S̸̮̳̝̘̫͍̹̞̯̺͎̩̊͊̅̓̏͋́̽̑̇̓̚̚ͅĻ̶̭͈͓͖̺̺̰̰̹̫͉̫̻̍̆̾̄͐̽̒̈̎̚ͅ-̶̨̦̜̩̲̻̲͕͈̗̞̞̙͈̑̉͋̄̔͑͠ͅ
>>
No. 1029344 ID: 629f2e
File 165000586215.png - (0.98MB , 1000x1000 , 110.png )
1029344

You wake up gasping for breath. Sweat drips down your face, and your heart feels like it’s racing at a dangerous pace.

Clive: “H-Hey.”

You hear his voice, but are too distracted to register him. Your hands find their way around your neck, confirming that it’s still there. A wince of pain courses through you. Ah, right, the bruises. Your breathing starts to calm anyway, just feeling it’s still there.

Clive: “...Are you...?”
Albert: “Fine, I’m fine. Just... a bad dream is all.”
Albert: “...Just... a dream.”

Creepy fortunes and sudden nightmares plagued Albert’s sleep, causing him to gain 10 Fear
[Albert is visibly distressed]
Going off of appearances, Clive didn’t sleep well either. He has gained 4 Fear
[Clive looks exhausted]

Party Fear Levels:
[Albert: 48/100]
[Clive: 40/100]

Although your party’s Fear isn’t looking good, the rest has allowed Albert to recover from some of his ailments

Albert’s [Tinnitus] has cleared up entirely!
Albert’s [Vertigo] has cleared up entirely!
Albert’s [Headache Lvl 4] has decreased to [Headache Lvl 2]

Current Symptoms:
-Headache Lvl 2: An irritation, but one you can handle. You’ve felt worse. [1 Pain]
-Sprained Leg: Forces Albert to walk with a cane. Going without one risks injuring the leg further. [1 Pain]
-Mild Head Trauma: Bruises on your face and neck. By some miracle, nothing broken. You are visibly injured [1 Pain]
Current Pain: 3/10


You don’t want to talk about your dream, and Clive doesn’t ask. Sometimes you appreciate his quiet nature.

Albert: “Before anything else, has Rebecca dropped off-”
Clive: “‘Bec.
Albert: “She isn’t here to care!”
Clive: “...That doesn’t mean you should call her whatever you want.”
Albert: “...Has ‘Bec brought over the food we both ordered yet?”
Clive: “No. ...She usually gets to it later in the day when fewer people are out. She’ll drop it off in a bush outside, and I collect it when nobody's around.”
Albert: “That’s fine for you, but what about me?”
Clive: “...You can pick it up here tomorrow. Or I could bring it to your house.”

The thought of your mother devouring the last of your cereal this morning comes to mind.

Albert: “...Nevermind. It’s safer here I suppose. Away from the Vultures.
Clive: “...Right.”
Clive: “There’s still time before curfew. I’m going to keep looking around. ...You can come if you want.”
Albert: “I’m feeling better than I was before, so there’s no reason I would need to tap out early.”
Albert: “Come, let’s discuss our options.”
>>
No. 1029345 ID: 629f2e
File 165000590684.png - (73.93KB , 1000x1000 , 111.png )
1029345

As you rise from the bed, the difference between your current state and before the rest fully hits you. It’s refreshing, dare you even suggest that you feel Good.

...You don’t of course. Your head still ached, though less than before, and the occasional brush of fabric against the bruises on your neck came with an inconsistent flash of pain. The morphine you almost found yourself enjoying feels like a distant memory now.

Albert: “My Apartment wouldn’t be far away. If we wanted to go there to look around, now would be a very convenient time. Although, at this hour Mom might be home now...”
Albert: “Where else could we go...?”

The question really comes down to what we want to investigate most at the moment. We have a few different topics we could follow up on.

If you head home, that would give you a chance to really look over the Crime Scene. If you’re actively investigating, you might find something you wouldn’t have noticed while just living there. After all, you try to minimize your time at home as much as possible. If there was evidence, you weren’t guaranteed to find it.

Your father had brought up the Nuclear Plant during your visit, which is something you have never heard of. While it would be foolish to start questioning adults about it, you wonder if you could find something about it at the library. They do keep old newspapers there that you could look through.

There’s also the matter of Franklin and Lillian still. You will have to Meet Up with them sooner or later to swap information. It would be tough to avoid, given you plan to stay the night with Franklin. You aren’t expecting much from them, but it might at least give you the chance to ask Franklin about some of the gossip Rebecca shared with you.

...You aren’t looking forward to that. After what happened with Lillian this morning, it’s guaranteed to be awkward.

Speaking of people, there was Rebecca’s other bit of gossip. You now have a list of likely Suspects, even if you don’t know what makes each of them suspicious. You could start doing some digging into them. Mrs. Horvitz would be difficult, since she doesn’t have a child you could use to get invited into her home anymore (given that Jhonen has graduated). Mrs. Foster is doable, but interrupting Enid’s rest and recovery would likely be ill-advised. She absolutely does not need to start feeling paranoid about her new mother right now.

That just leaves Ms. Leoi. You aren’t the closest to Louie or Saihu, but his position as Class President might give you a number of possible excuses to talk to him and learn more about his mother.

You lay out your options to Clive, and decide together.

What should you investigate (You will likely only be able to visit two to three more locations before curfew)

1: The Nuclear Plant
-Head over to the Library
-Try to learn more about the Cattenom Nuclear Plant from newspaper articles and books
-It will be a bit of a walk. You’ll make it without needing a break, but you will only have time to look into one other thing afterwards
-Clive supports this choice, +1 Vote

2: The Crime Scene
-Head home
-Look around your apartment for evidence left behind
-You have a feeling something VERY BAD will happen if you come here, but also something IMPORTANT

3: One of Our Suspects, Ms. Leoi
-Head to the Leoi house
-You’re going to need to think of an excuse to be let in
-...And there’s a chance that Louir and/or Saihu won’t be home, which will increase the difficulty of that check
-You will certainly meet Ms. Leoi at least

4: Find Franklin and Lillian
-Check out a few likely spots your companions may be at
-Exchange information and learn just how badly they botched the school investigation
-There is a chance that you won’t be able to find them depending on where they are and what they’re doing
-Albert isn’t afraid to face his friends. There’s just no reason to when he expects nothing but failure, -2 Votes

5: Change Our Focus
-Look into something outside of what has been going on with your father
-Write in what you want to investigate, and Albert will calculate the best place to visit to learn more about the chosen topic




6: Investigate Your Dream
-You don’t believe in fortune telling, but hypothetically, if you decided to take the predictions from your dream seriously…
-The King of Fools is definitely Lemmy, and you would guess that the Scornful One would be JoJo
-What do you think Temmie meant by her predictions?
-If enough people want to closely investigate these fortunes, you will visit a location relating to the majority opinion on how to interpret them

>>
No. 1029346 ID: e51896

Gonna be hard to win, because of the -2 votes, but

4: Find Franklin and Lillian. Start believing in your friends more for once. I think we learned enough very important info to share with our friends right now, and need to get this info to them before something happens.

Plus, probably best not to see mom right now since we stole some of the ham, going to the library too much might start raising eyebrows since we went there yesterday
>>
No. 1029347 ID: 96c896

If you can find JoJo and prevent the tragedy, then perhaps Eye's prediction will fail. After all, she said even her predictions are only the most likely events to happen.
>>
No. 1029348 ID: e51896

My interpretations:

“You shall encounter the king of fools where all journeys meet their end. When he reveals himself, an opportunity will suddenly be laid at your feet. Consider whether or not you should take it. Your decision shall carry a deep consequence.”

Pretty straight forward, we don't have enough info what this opportunity is though, could be anything, but whatever it is, our choice will have huge ramifications

“This meeting is certain, but some opportunities are mere probabilities. If you are to meet with a scornful one locked out of their cell, it may be your final chance to prevent a tragedy. When clouds weep, the chill of night will overwhelm lost souls. Though your tongue often lashes out, hold thy barbs lest they pierce too deep to be removed.”

I get the feeling if we come across Jojo, something is going to happen that is going to really anger the spirits (or more specifically, us as suggesters) This is going to happen at night time, as Temmie said "the chill of night" and "clouds weep" could mean a rain (unless she meant something sad is going to happen which might make the suggestors angry, maybe at Jojo) so really, if this happens, it's going to be on a rainy night.

I believe Jojo is going to do something that might seem unforgivable, or do something that might make Albert and us angered or overwhelmed, but no matter what, we'll need to keep a level head and not lash out at Jojo, or whoever, there might be more at play than what we might witness.
>>
No. 1029349 ID: 96c896

Oh I forgot to mention: "where all journeys meet their end" could be a graveyard.
>>
No. 1029353 ID: afe7de

Go find your friends, yeah it has a -2 votes, but… if you can successfully find them maybe you can help them if they are in a SITUATION, and if not then maybe you can end up in the library to look up the plant since you met there yesterday, maybe they’re even there, waiting for you!!!!
>>
No. 1029355 ID: b83475

You need to meet your friends. The sooner you know the bad news, the sooner you can try to fix it before it worsens.
>>
No. 1029395 ID: 8483cf

I vote 4: Find our friends. Not because it's what Albert would do, but because everyone hates doing what they know is the right (but difficult) thing.
>>
No. 1030994 ID: 629f2e
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1030994

...You really should get this over with sooner rather than later. Seeing Lillian again will be awkward, but that won’t change just because you put it off another hour or so. Besides, it’ll be good to check and make sure they haven’t botched things too badly and implicated the rest of you.

Plus, it’ll give you a chance to ask Franklin about the Scar he’s apparently hiding.

Clive agrees with your decision, but questions where you could find them. Admittedly, you aren’t entirely sure yourself. The Elementary School seems like a good starting place at least. If they aren’t there, then the odds of finding them will drop significantly. None of this is even considering the possibility that they were caught and were taken somewhere already. Very worst case scenario: They’re inside the high school building.

The walk to school is short and, as you’ve come to expect with Clive, hushed. You go back and forth on appreciating his taciturn nature and finding it obnoxious. At the moment, it was giving you time to reflect upon your dream.

You don’t know why you’re still thinking about it, but you are. Despite all evidence pointing to the fortunes being some bizarre formation of ideas produced by your subconscious, you were trying to unpack them as though there was substance there to unravel. It was Fake, naturally. Beheading is impossible, the very idea is ludicrous. Even in the event of you being caught investigating the town’s dirty underbelly, those involved with graduation would surely prefer a more discrete punishment. Why use brutality when you can ship your problems away to a seemingly inescapable building?

That fortune was Impossible. You would spare it no further consideration

Temmie’s however... Well, you had to admire your mind’s craftsmanship. The fortunes she told were both creative and understandable to some degree. It felt like there was a form of reason to them, even if you couldn’t fully unravel their meanings.

King of Fools was a no-brainer, that can refer to nobody other than Lemmy. Where all journeys meet their end though... Could that mean the Graveyard? After all, that’s where everyone ends up at the end of their life, corpses buried in the earth. That would make sense if you consider that she seemed Certain of this one coming true. You’re already planning to stay the night with Franklin, and he lives at the morgue.

But if Lemmy was at the morgue, you have doubts about Franklin’s ability to hide that fact from the rest of you. And if he isn’t yet aware, then how did Lemmy go undetected? That’s assuming he’s been there since this morning, but if he ran away last night then he would have had hours to establish his hiding place. It seems unlikely that he was still moving about while the sun was up.

Most importantly, what about the Opportunity? The fortune claimed that an opportunity would be laid at your feet, and the implication was that you would have to make a choice. All that comes to your mind is the decision of whether to reveal Lemmy’s presence to others, which seems rather simple. Adults have no need to know where their next victim is hiding, and your companions can be kept in the loop.

That still leaves the other fortune however, the one regarding a “Scornful one”. It feels like that’s referring to Jojo, but you can’t even be sure about that. For all you know it could be Rebecca, or Clive, or perhaps even Lillian right now. Even if you lock down who it’s about, the advice isn’t very helpful either. The most you can make of it is to watch what you say around them. Whatever Tragedy you can prevent, you don’t know what it could be.

There was one part you understood about it however. When clouds weep, the chill of night will overwhelm lost souls. Clouds weeping has to refer to Rain, and it goes on to specify night. Thus, you can interpret the line to mean that “A tragedy may take place on a Drizzly Evening”. The part about overwhelming lost souls is a bit too vague for you to interpret however, but it could be literal. Rain and cold will overwhelm lost souls.

...Hmmm... When you put it that way, you feel like it almost makes sense. There’s still something missing though, a connection you’re failing to make.

Clive: “...Something on your mind?”
Albert: “Huh? Oh, nothing important. I was simply... considering something.”
Clive: “...Considering what?”

“I was just wondering whether or not the fortune I heard in my weird dream was real or not.”

No, you don’t think you will say that. How better to phrase it then...?

Albert: “How familiar are you with Temmie, The Fortune Teller?”
Clive: “...About as much as anyone else.”
Albert: “It may seem silly to ask, but since I know some of the slower kids in class believe in her talents, what do you think about her purported Gifts?
Clive: “...She can’t see the future.”
Albert: “Of course not, obviously, but-”
Clive: “But she Does have some kind of powers.”

You freeze. That... wasn’t what he was supposed to say. The fact that his claim wasn’t too far off of the conversation you’d witnessed between Temmie and the other girl in your dreams sent a wave of paranoia through your system.

Albert: “...Why do you think that?”
Clive: “...Because Rodney told me. I believe him”

A small wave of relief hits you. He’s just blindly trusting his brother, of course. That makes far more sense.

Albert: “Right...”
Clive: “...You don’t agree?”
Albert: “I’m skeptical of anybody claiming to have supernatural abilities. I’m sure that whatever reason Rodney had to believe in her seemed very compelling to him.”
Clive: “...You’re the one who brought her up. Why?”
Albert: “W-Well... Curiosity?”

It was a lame answer, and you get the feeling he wasn’t buying it. You keep your face as neutral as possible, trying to hide any doubts you may have.

Clive: “...Rodney was sure of it. My brother was never wrong about others.”
Clive: “He Understood people in a way I never could. Just by watching someone talk he could tell you what they felt about others, themselves, and seemingly anything else.”
Clive: “...So if he says Temmie has powers, then she does.”
Clive: “Never got a clear answer on what they are though...”
Albert: “Honestly, I never got that sort of impression from Rodney. I just assumed others appreciated him because he was pleasant to be around.”
Clive: “He was. He just also knew how to speak to people the way they like to be spoken to.”

That was something you’d never picked up on regarding The Socialite. You really had chalked his popularity up to simple amicability, never considering a degree of Guile under the innocent smile he always wore. Clive would know best what his brother was capable of.

Rodney believed that Temmie had supernatural abilities. He didn’t simply agree with her claims, he supported her supernatural abilities while ultimately Disagreeing with her public image.

Eye: “She can’t see the future.”
Eye: “...It’s not precognition. You’re just taking in more information than anyone else and making educated guesses.”


...You wouldn’t be able to dismiss this so easily after all.

Clive: “Look.”

As you come up on the school, who should you see but one of the two you were seeking out? The most recognizable boy in town is sitting outside the building, staring up aimlessly at the clouds.

Albert: “Franklin, my expectations were low, but please at least tell me this isn’t all you’ve been doing since we split up.”
Franklin: “Oh! Albert and Clive, I was looking for you.”
Albert: “...We can’t fly. We’ve been over this before.”
Franklin: “I know. I was just thinking about where to search.”
Albert: “Right. And how long have you wasted thinking instead of actively seeking us out?”
Franklin: “...I dunno. I don’t have a watch.”
Franklin: “I just figured that you were smarter than me, so if I stayed still you would find me before I found you.”

His strategy was successful. You’d located him at the very first location you thought to check, so it was hard to disagree.

Albert: “I suppose that wasn’t the incorrect choice.”
Clive: “...Why isn’t Lillian with you?”

It’s only for a moment, but Franklin’s mouth twitches down into a frown. You sigh, having seen this coming from back before you’d even split up.

Albert: “She was Caught, wasn’t she?”
Franklin: “Huh?”
Albert: “Wonderful. I knew this would happen, I told her this would happen, and yet she still let it happen. Why do I even bother giving her advice when she doesn’t listen?”
Franklin: “...Um, Lillian went Home.
Albert: “...Excuse me?”
Franklin: “We finished looking around, but she didn’t want to see you again, so she asked me to share what we found with you guys and then went home.”
Franklin: “There were a couple adults inside the school, but I don’t think anybody saw us.”
Albert: “...”
Clive: “...heh”

You glare back at Clive, whose face is impassive as always.

Albert: “What?”
Clive: “...You were so confident that they would fail. It was funny watching you make a mule of yourself.”
Albert: “They got Lucky. Sending them here was a terrible idea, and if you knew either of them as well as I did then you would have put exactly the same quantity of faith in them.”
Clive: “...Sure.”

...Somehow, Clive’s neutral expression felt exactly like a smirk for a moment, despite never faltering.

Albert: “Look, I’m glad that Franklin and Lillian are alright. Of course I didn’t want them to get into trouble, even if that outcome had the highest probability.”
Albert: “We are all very fortunate that they made it out okay. Let’s not take this as evidence for future reckless decisions.”
Franklin: “...Whoa.”
Albert: “What?”
Franklin: “You sounded just like Jhonen for a second!”

It felt like Franklin had punched you in the mouth. That comment dealt physical damage.

The fact that Franklin was the source made it harder to infer how to take it. If it was anybody else, you would have zero doubt in your mind that such a sentence would only be spoken as an insult.

...Hopefully it wasn’t a genuine observation, as that would be more insulting than anything else.

Franklin: “Your face is red... And black. And blue- hey wait- what happened to you?”
Albert: “Lillian did.”
Franklin: “Huh- oh, right...”
Franklin: “What about your neck? I don’t remember it being like that before.”

There is a 0% chance of you telling him the truth. Hmm, what is an excuse that Franklin would accept?

Albert: “Do you know what carpet burn is?”

He nods.

Albert: “I pulled off a scarf too quickly, and left burns on my neck.”
Franklin: “...”

For the second time today, Franklin’s expression had turned doubtful as he examined you.

Franklin: “Are you sure?”
Albert: “Why would I lie?”
Franklin: “Well... If Clive hurt you while you were alone, he could have Threatened to do it again if you told anyone.”

His gaze shifts to the other boy, concern evident in his expression. Clive’s only reaction is to narrow his eyes and furrow his brow.

Clive: “...Wasn’t me.”
Albert: “He’s telling the truth.”
Franklin: “Really? You aren’t just saying that because he’s in punching range, right?”

The concern was appreciated, but unnecessary. You take a few steps away from Clive.

Albert: “Yes Franklin, I’m being honest. Clive didn’t lay a finger on me.”
Franklin: “...That’s good, I’m happy he behaved and didn’t get violent.
Franklin: “...So... who did hurt you then?”
Albert: “It was a scarf, I just told you that.”
Franklin: “Really? But, those bruises don’t look...”

He looks closely at you again, squinting.

Franklin: “...”
Albert: “...Franklin?”
Franklin: “...Huh? Oh, nevermind. I guess I just misunderstood.”

You sigh, gently pushing him back to regain your personal space. This topic was pointless, but it did provide a natural segue into one you did plan to bring up.

Albert: “While we’re discussing neck wounds, Clive and I heard a very interesting story about you earlier.”
Franklin: “Really? What was it? I always like hearing stories about myself that I don’t remember.”
Albert: “Is it true that you have a Scar on your neck?”
Franklin: “...”
>>
No. 1030995 ID: 629f2e
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1030995

His mouth thins to a flat line, and his eyes maneuver to avoid your gaze. An uncomfortable silence fills the space between you for a few long seconds.

Clive: “...”
Albert: “...
Franklin: “...”
Franklin: “Nope! That’s definitely wrong.”

So that was a lie.

Albert: “Is that so?”
Franklin: “I think so. I see my neck every morning in the bathroom mirror, so I know I don’t have one.”
Clive: “...What if it’s on the back of your neck?”
Franklin: “...Well, I guess that would be hard to see, but I don’t have one there, so there’s nothing to not see. Not see- wait- did I say that right...?”
Franklin: “There isn’t a scar. That’s what I’m trying to say.”
Albert: “Pardon the skepticism, but could you tug the collar of your shirt down so we could see for ourselves?”
Franklin: “I could! And if I did you would see that I don’t have a scar.”

He says that with a smile, as neither hand moves to his shirt collar.

Albert: “Very well then. Please, show us.”
Franklin: “...No thank you. I would rather not.”

You and Clive share a look. He shrugs impassively, while you’re feeling a bit too stubborn to simply drop the topic.

Albert: “This is ridiculous, it’ll only take a second-”

You reach forward to grab his shirt yourself, only for him to take a big step back gripping his collar tightly. His expression shifts to one rarely seen on the easy-going boy’s face, Fear.

Franklin: “Don’t!

Instinctively, you move to protect your head. It’s taken enough of a beating today, and this was looking like the exact kind of situation that ends in you taking a punch. Fortunately, Franklin doesn’t lash out, content to simply quiver in his boots.

Franklin: “...Can we please stop talking about my neck? It’s Private.
Albert: “...Fine.”

Apparently, Franklin was capable of keeping Secrets. That’s... concerning, but not immediately relevant.
>>
No. 1030996 ID: 629f2e
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1030996

Deciding it best not to push the point (for now), you ask about what he and Lillian discovered. Franklin pulls out a notebook and starts reviewing their findings.

Franklin: “So, I ended up going through a Lot of papers, but there were about Three things that stood out as being super important to me and Lillian.”
Franklin: “Well, everything important we found came from the principal’s office. We didn’t really find much anywhere else, except for a tasty donut in the teacher’s lounge.”
Franklin: “The first were these Forms that I found a whole folder of. They had a lot of sections, like height, weight, age, sex, and uh... Well there were a lot more after that, they were really packed.”
Franklin: “Lillian told me not to spend forever writing all of them down, because it was really the Names that were important.”
Franklin: “From front to back it was... Phillip Dyad, Jhonen Vasquez, Jacob, Cassidy Castillo, Jonah Wells, Calvin Stenbeck-”
Albert: “All of the children who graduated early.”

Well, not all. You had already heard the contradiction, and judging by the glare Clive was shooting Franklin, so had he.

Clive: “There wasn’t a form for Rodney, was there?”
Franklin: “Um... No. I looked through all of them, because I thought it might have gotten shuffled in somehow, but I never saw one with the name Rodney on it. Not even in the Others.
Albert: “Others?”
Franklin: “There were other folders with the same kind of thing. Except I didn’t recognize any of the names in them. Lillian didn’t either.”

Hmm, older forms from previous generations you would guess. They likely weren’t relevant to your current investigation.

Franklin: “After that, there was this Memo to the Staff. I think the Principal wrote it.”
Franklin: “It said...”

“Frederick Anderson’s death has publicly been ruled an accident. His daughter, Enid, is now staying with the Fosters. Enid Foster will be enrolled in Jennfier’s class as she was always meant to be.

We do not believe that Frederick has told her anything at this time, he was not careless. Out of precaution though, please keep a close eye on her and report any indication that this may not be the case.

The loss of Frederick Anderson is a tragedy. Please try to remember him for the generosity and kindness he showed us all throughout the years, rather than the betrayal he dealt to us near the end of his days.”


Franklin: “...I never really thought about it before, but is Enid’s last name Foster now?”
Albert: “Franklin, that is in no way the area you should be focusing on!”
Clive: “Betrayal... What could he have done?”
Albert: “It could have something to do with Enid never attending school. She was outside of the system, which means she never would have graduated if things stayed that way.”
Albert: “They would have been aware of that for some time though. Every kid knew about Enid, it wouldn’t make sense for the adults not to.”

It wasn’t a bad guess. It was just unfortunate that it had to be a Guess at the moment. You didn’t know anything about what happened to Enid’s father. It was something you were all aware happened, but it never seemed relevant to your missing companions.

Franklin: “...Oh! Lillian pointed out something fishy too when I showed this to her.”
Franklin: “She thought it was weird that they said his death was publicly ruled an accident, because that makes it sound like it was privately something else. Like... On purpose?”
Albert: “It could have been Intentional.

Could Frederick Anderson have really been... Murdered? It’s a dark thought to consider...

It would mean that two different people in town were attacked last Sunday. Your father, assaulted in his apartment; and Mr. Anderson, put to death in a burning building. That couldn’t be a coincidence, there has to be some kind of Connection there.

Hm... Perhaps you might learn more about what happened to your father by looking into what happened to Enid’s, and vice-versa. You’ll bring it up to her tomorrow.

Clive: “...Franklin, what was the last thing?”
Franklin: “Huh? Oh, right, it was just a Note to the principal.”
Franklin: “Daniel’s been in a moody phase for some time now. I think he may have realized something. Ask that daughter of yours what he knows, and I’ll prepare the forms if required.

Ask that daughter...?

Albert: “Wait.”
Albert: “This note was given to Principal Butler?
Franklin: “...Yes? I think so at least, it was on her desk.”
Clive: “...”
Albert: “...”
Franklin: “Um... Who is the Principal’s daughter by the way?”
Clive: “...Temmie.

To the best of your knowledge, Temmie and Daniel have never spoken. Them being close friends wouldn’t make sense, as Daniel Chamberlane is a middle schooler, while Temmie is one of the younger kids in your grade. They were never even in the same class, not even for as little as a week. It’s clear that requesting Temmie’s insight into Daniel isn’t because she’s close to the boy.

Unfortunately, eliminating that leaves one obvious answer, and it isn’t a good one.

Albert: “Temmie might be a Snitch.
Franklin: “A what?”
Albert: “A tattletale.”
Franklin: “...Ohhhhhh, that’s not good.”

No, it wasn’t. Especially not if she actually had powers as Clive and his brother believed. If she could actually suss out the children aware of Cattenom’s conspiracies...

Clive: “...You don’t think that she might be telling the adults-”
Albert: “Don’t jump to the worst conclusion just yet. It’s questionable what information she’s choosing to share.”
Albert: “Consider this: The adults believe that Temmie will rat out any child who is catching onto their suspicious deeds, but in reality she’s giving False Assurances.
Albert: “It clearly isn’t proactive, or else all of us would have graduated already.

Not to mention, Clive and Rodney would have graduated a long time ago, given his situation at home.

Albert: “All she would have to do is deny that any child they ask about is aware of anything. Perhaps she could reveal one or two who are likely to get caught on their own, just to keep the illusion up that she’s actually working with them.”
Clive: “...Hm... It’s a possibility.”
Albert: “It’s the most likely one I would argue. But it isn’t guaranteed. We’ll have to watch what we say around her, just to be safe for now.”
Clive: “...Like that would make a difference.

That did still leave one question, the main inquiry of the note.

Clive: “...What about Daniel? Do either of you think he knows?”
Franklin: “...Who is Daniel again?”
Albert: “I’m not certain. He could just be gloomy, but maybe... Well, he is the child of a teacher. That would put him in a good spot to stumble upon something.”

Daniel Chamberlane was considered by most to be The Musician, due to his affinity for just about any instrument he could get his hands on. More relevantly however, he was the son of Jennifer Chamberlane, your classroom’s teacher.

Roger or Lillian have probably talked to him more than you, so they would be better sources on Daniel’s mood. Unfortunately, your paths rarely crossed, save for settings involving many other children.

Franklin: “...So yeah, that’s basically it. What did you guys find?”

You give him the quickest runthrough of facts as you can, leaving out the specifics of your altercation with your father. Clive doesn’t fill in the gaps, likely because you skip over any details relating to his home situation as well. At the end of the explanation, Franklin seems to be considering something.

Franklin: “...Cattenom Nuclear Plant... That sounds familiar I think, maybe?”
Albert: “Where did you hear that? I’ve never heard anything about a nuclear plant in this town.”
Clive: “Same.”
Franklin: “...”
Franklin: “I’m sorry. It just... isn’t there.”

He pushes his hands against his head, trying to pull something out, but eventually gives up.

Franklin: “I definitely heard Something about it at some point. It must have spilled out I guess.”
Clive: “...You can’t help what you don’t remember. It’s fine.”
Albert: “We’ll be standing here forever if we wait for you to remember something. If that’s everything, then we should carry on with our search.”
Clive: “...What next?”

Good question. And one that both your companions quickly submit different answers to. Looks like you were going to be the deciding vote.

Whose idea should you support?

(Your decision here will significantly alter the ending of this thread)

1: Franklin’s
-Franklin won’t tell you what his idea is, but he insists that it’s a good one
-If this is chosen, Clive will perform an investigation of his own elsewhere while you go off with Franklin
-Franklin wants this a lot, +2 Votes
-Clive doesn’t mind solitude, but doesn’t see any reason to support this, Neutral vote
-Following Franklin blindly has never proven to be a good idea in the past, so you’re hesitant, -1 Vote

2: Clive’s
-Clive wants to check out the library and your apartment, focusing on the investigation you started
-If this is chosen, you have a feeling that something POTENTIALLY VERY GOOD may happen
-Franklin won’t be happy, -1 Vote
-Clive thinks this is the best thing to do, +1 Vote
-You agree with the library point, but feel a bit uneasy about visiting your apartment, Neutral vote

3: Yours
-You’re still thinking about your fortunes, and may just elect to pursue them to clear your head.
-Depending on the Spirit’s majority opinion for where Lemmy can be located and how to interpret the “Scornful One” fortune, this may turn up either nothing, or something POTENTIALLY VERY GOOD
-Franklin is too confused by this development to object, Neutral vote
-The only way you’ll be able to win Clive over onto this idea will be to admit that Temmie gave you this advice in your dreams, which you are far too proud to confess, -1 Vote
-Albert wants to put this matter to bed, +1 Vote

>>
No. 1031005 ID: 1c6255

Frankly I'd go with Franklin's idea because his ideas tend to be fleeting, better follow this one while he still has it.
>>
No. 1031012 ID: 0276a0

C. I want to say the 2nd fortune relates to Lilian, even if it's the wrong answer, because i just want Albert to make ammends with Lilian. It"s no good if we make enemies with a friend at a time like this.

Friendship is most important.
>>
No. 1031015 ID: 798908

>>1030996
an unfortunate split between Franklin and the prophecy here. I'm leaning towards the prophecy, but I feel we've been pretty mean to franklin and it might be smart to throw him a bone. He's not a bad kid.
>>
No. 1031041 ID: 276183

Wow, you're not making this easy.

I vote A: Franklin. I thought about writing a nice, long reason why, but... ultimately, I just trust his intuition.
>>
No. 1031074 ID: afe7de

A because you were wrong about them before, maybe you're wrong now, and maybe, just maybe, you SHOULD work on your empathy like your dream said.
>>
No. 1031560 ID: 629f2e
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1031560

…Your instincts tell you that picking Franklin is a bad choice. “It’s Franklin,” you want to say, brushing the idea off on concept alone. However, a voice of Doubt makes itself known in your mind.

How many times has your Insight let you down today? The bruises covering your face and neck were very helpful reminders of where your assumptions about others led you. Now, that isn’t to say you hadn’t made any good calls today. Your handling of Enid at lunchtime was very much to your satisfaction, and somehow you even managed to calm Clive down from his panic attack, despite the pressure it put you under.

Sadly, that doesn’t remove the failures from your data. You have to acknowledge that when it comes to other people, there’s something about the way you’re forming your calculations that is throwing them wildly off. If your Judgment of others can’t be relied on, then it’s not fair to rule out Franklin as a result of said judgment.

As soon as you decide against ruling him out, the decision becomes obvious. Clive is the more likely option to produce results, but Franklin clearly has another motive of some sort. You may not know what his plan is, or why he’s so attached to it, but it’s clear enough to you that he would feel hurt if you turned him down. Even if you aren’t as close to him as your other companions, Franklin is still your Friend. You don’t want to upset him.

Albert: “...I think Franklin has accomplished enough today to deserve some faith. Wouldn’t you agree, Clive?”
Clive: “...Yeah.”
Franklin: “Really? You’ll come with me then?”
Albert: “As long as it isn’t too far. Even with this cane, walking is still rather Painful, you know.”
Franklin: “Oh! That’s bad. I could try to carry you if you want.”

You consider that option for a brief moment, before quickly shaking your head. You didn’t want to make a habit of being physically supported when your legs worked fine enough.

Albert: “The offer is appreciated, but I’ll pass.”
Franklin: “…I don’t think it’s very far from here, so you should be fine, right?”
Albert: “I’ll survive. What about you Clive?”
Clive: “...Do you need me for whatever you’re trying to do?”
Franklin: “Hm... Well, I guess it might be Better if you aren’t there.”

Better without Clive? Must be a Social encounter then. But who will Franklin want to meet with…?

Clive: “Then if you two are fine, I’m going to leave.”
Clive: “I’ll see if I can find out anything about the Nuclear Plant at the library.”
Albert: “They’ll be closing soon. You won’t have too much time to search if you don’t hurry.”
Albert: “Unless you find something urgent, we can meet to discuss whatever you uncover at lunch tomorrow.”
Clive: “Alright…”
Clive: “...If you find out anything at all about Rodney, consider it urgent and tell me as soon as possible. Please.”
Albert: “Yes yes, I’ll have Franklin sprint to your house if we learn anything.”

Clive nods at you both, and heads off into the woods, taking the most direct route to the library instead of the sidewalk.

Albert: “So then, where will we be going?”
Franklin: “It’s this way…”

He starts walking towards the nearby townhouses, being considerate of his pace so that you can keep up with him easily.

As you trudge along, you begin trying to piece together his intentions. Who would he want to talk to? Why does he want to talk to them? Has he picked up on something that you haven’t? If something in your own investigation report had triggered this, then a few ideas did come to mind. Jhonen’s mom was one of the suspects in your father’s attack, so perhaps he wished to interrogate his friend’s mother?

Franklin: “Hmm…”

It’s obvious that the boy is mulling something over as you walk. He’s totally focused, a rare sight for one whose mind often wanders. You can’t help but probe.

Albert: “What’s on your mind?”
Franklin: “...Huh? Oh, um... Hmmm…”
Albert: “Franklin?”
Franklin: “I was just thinking... There was definitely a girl named Judy in town, wasn’t there?”

Didn’t you do this already? You could have sworn you’d been over this already back during lunch, and had definitively reached the conclusion that no such person existed.

Albert: “Franklin, we went over this already, it’s not possible.”
Franklin: “You said that. Lillian didn’t know her either, but I’m Sure she was here. It just feels right.”
Albert: “Once again Franklin, not ever you were here when she allegedly was, given the time table you provided.”
Albert: “Unless of course she used to stay in the morgue with you.”
Franklin: “Hm... No, I don’t think so. I think the morgue has always just been me, mom, dad, and all the corpses buried out back.”
Franklin: “...Oh, and whatever bodies dad is working on in his lab, but they usually end up out back sooner or later.”

So to review, this Judy girl was someone he was aware of three years ago, before he had ever left his home. But she was also somebody who had never visited his home...

Albert: “You understand the irrefutable contradiction in your statements, right?”
Franklin: “...Um... You mean that it’s impossible for me to have known her without me being wrong about something?”
Albert: “Precisely.”
Franklin: “I wonder what I’m wrong about then…”
Franklin: “Maybe I got the dates wrong?”
Albert: “That wouldn’t resolve the contradiction of nobody else knowing her though.”
Franklin: “Right... Then that means I’m wrong about her not being in the lab? Maybe she was there all along, and I just forgot?”
Albert: “Franklin, there’s a limit to what you can conceivably forget.”
Franklin: “...That’s not a problem. Jhonen tells me that I’m Inconceivable all the time.”
Albert: “I suppose that much is difficult to deny.”

He doesn’t bring it up again, but you can tell that he’s thinking about it for the rest of the journey. As you’ve come to expect from Franklin, the conversation ends with no real answers, only more enigmas to join the ranks of all the other Franklin Mysteries ™.
>>
No. 1031561 ID: 629f2e
File 165199197385.png - (1.23MB , 1000x1000 , 116.png )
1031561

As you pass by house after house, a sense of dread starts to creep into your mind. It spawns from a single thought, a guess as to our destination. That seed of dread quickly blossoms into an unfortunate revelation, as Franklin stops in front of That house.

Franklin: “So... we’re here.”

He has the decency to fidget nervously under the weight of your glare.

Albert: “So this is why you wanted to keep it a secret. I see. How very Devious of you.”
Franklin: “...I thought that if I asked you to come here, you would say no.”

You couldn’t say he was wrong. The Dyad Household was the last place he wanted to be right now, unless Phillip was about to step out the front door, alive and well, announcing that game night was back on. No, that wasn’t going to be happening of course. It goes without saying why Franklin would bring you here.

Albert: “I don’t want to talk to Lillian right now.”
Franklin: “I know. But... You Should. You know that, right?”
Franklin: “You’re really smart, so I’m sure you do.”

He’s playing to your Pride. Given his friendship with Jhonen, it’s obvious where he picked up such a strategy. You won’t be swayed by it.

Albert: “Franklin, I see what you’re trying to do. I know that I’ll have to speak with Lillian eventually, but she’s already made it clear that she doesn’t want to see me today.”
Albert: “I barely wanted to meet with her while searching for you both, but I was willing to put up with it then for external reasons. Those aren’t a factor anymore.”

It was a good thing this was happening after Franklin had given you his investigation results. Removing that from the table will make it difficult for him to coerce you.

Albert: “She’ll let me know when she’s ready to talk.”
Franklin: “...Why do you think she doesn’t want to see you?”
Albert: “Isn’t it obvious?”
Franklin: “Is it?”

You sigh. Yes, it was.

Albert: “She’s still Irritated about my previous statements regarding her. Granted, I will concede that my statements were inappropriate to-”
Franklin: “No, I don’t think that’s right. I think Lillian is mad at Herself.

You raise an eyebrow.

Albert: “While I would appreciate some acknowledgement that her reaction was disproportionate, I’m doubtful that’s true.”
Franklin: “But it is?”
Franklin: “Because... Umm... You feel bad for what you said to Lillian, right?”
Albert: “...I hold some regrets about my handling of the previous situation, yes.”
Franklin: “Right... So, you’re upset because you hurt Lillian. But for Lillian, it’s the same.”
Franklin: “Because... Lillian hurt Albert too. And now she feels really bad about it.”

You rub your bruised cheek, barely even wincing at the sting now.

Surprisingly, Franklin actually did have a point. You hadn’t really considered how Lillian might feel about your previous encounter with her. You had looked at it purely from your perspective, but failed to consider hers. Could he be right then?

Albert: “...That doesn’t change the fact that she doesn’t want to see me.”
Franklin: “...Well, I guess not…”
Albert: “Whatever her motive, she’s made herself clear. We should go somewhere else and leave her be.”
Franklin: “No!

In an uncharacteristic showing of passion, Franklin grabs you as you’re turning around to walk away, halting your flight.

Franklin: “You can’t just leave because you’re scared.”
Franklin: “You hurt her, so that means You have to make it right and Apologize.

You knock his hand away, taking a step back. Annoyance bubbles up as a defense mechanism, and the words you respond with carry accusation and scorn.

Albert: “Interesting you’ve chosen to give me this speech instead of her. You seem to agree that both of us made mistakes, so why does the responsibility fall on me to remedy things?”
Franklin: “Because... Albert is fine, and Lillian isn’t.”
Albert: “Define fine, because I have a few bruises that would like to debate with your usage of the term.”
Franklin: “But, Lillian is hurting more... Not her body, um, I mean inside.”
Franklin: “And she should apologize to you too, she even told me that she wanted to, but…”
Franklin: “...You’re... really hard to approach. Because whenever you get mad, you get like... That.
Albert: “...”
>>
No. 1031564 ID: 629f2e
File 165199234242.png - (819.10KB , 1000x1000 , 117.png )
1031564

The frustration you had been feeling fizzles out, leaving you feeling cold and empty inside suddenly. He hadn’t meant to, but Franklin’s words had revealed a truth so ugly that it made you physically ill. You grimace, unable to meet his eyes.

Albert: “Oh...”
Franklin: “...Sorry.”
Albert: “...”

...

You really were His son, weren’t you? Lashing out at others when you get frustrated, so Vitriolic that the people you’re closest to are scared to confront you...

You wonder if it was genetics or environment that made you this way. Did you learn this by being subjected to his tantrums when you were younger, or was this always going to be a part of you because He was your father? It didn’t really matter how it happened, because the end result was the same.

...You hate that he put this in you. You wish that his influence was a part of your body that you could just Rip out. You would do it in a heartbeat, even if it killed you.

But you can’t. He turned you into something vile. And you just have to live with that...

Albert: “...I’ll talk to Lillian.”
Franklin: “...Thank you.”
Albert: “Don’t. I shouldn’t have needed to be told to do this, but I did. Don’t thank me for being inadequate.”
Albert: “...Let’s just get this over with.”

You are your father’s son. His ugly tendencies are a part of you.

...Recognizing that just means you’ll have to work harder not to let them surface. You don’t want to be like him. And the first step to differentiating yourself will be doing something he’s never done in his life: Fix your own mistakes.

Franklin: “Hmm…”
Albert: “What is it?”
Franklin: “...Should I be coming with you? I could watch TV in their living room while you two talk, if you don’t want me there.”

It was a fair question, and you realize that this decision will set the tone for the difficult conversation you’re about to have. Will you bring Franklin in to help mediate, or go in alone?

Do you want Franklin to come in with you?

1: Yes
-Franklin will be there to support you both, mediating the meeting
-You think having Franklin present will ensure that you and Lillian make up. You’ll at least be “Fine”
-Neither of you may get deeper into things with Franklin in the room

2: No
-It will just be you and Lillian talking to each other, no mediator
-You don’t know how the conversation will go. You have the chance to mess up if you go in without a safety net
-If it’s just the two of you, your conversation may dig deeper than it might otherwise. Your bond might grow deeper than ever before if you’re willing to open up yourself
-You’re scared

>>
No. 1031571 ID: e5709d

No.

She's rich. You're not.
She doesn't have a 'father'. You do.

However she feels about you at the end of this, she needs to learn that not all people get the same choices in life.
She needs to know that she has been given a chance to change things
a chance that you'll never have or crave.
>>
No. 1031590 ID: 8483cf

No, don't bring Franklin.

Being afraid is good. It means we're getting outside our comfort zone. True growth only happens by pushing your limits and fighting through your internal resistance in the name of a worthy goal.

It's up to Albert whether the goal of actually forming a deeper bond with Lillian is worth it.

(But it totally js)
>>
No. 1031623 ID: afe7de

See I'm on team Yes because we've gotten our ass handed to us by a ton of decisions so far, but you know what, why not, let's go for No and just see how fucked Albert's gonna get this thread lmao.

On the flipside though if he does a good job with this maybe he'll stop being so gosh darned stubborn and just be a little stubborn and let a little bit of his pride go.

Just a smidge.
>>
No. 1031966 ID: 629f2e
File 165232860868.png - (1.05MB , 1000x1000 , 118.png )
1031966

On the one hand, Franklin would probably help moderate the room, ensuring that you didn’t get hit again even if you botch this reconciliation. It’s very tempting to say yes because of that.

However, you think it’s ultimately best to leave him out. A large portion of the choice is born from recognizing your Pride, as you expect this conversation to require you getting Vulnerable to some degree. That is going to be difficult enough with just Lillian in the room, but add in Franklin and it becomes practically impossible. Ultimately, you’re less likely to require a mediator if there are fewer people present.

Albert: “No... I can handle this myself.”
Franklin: “...Okay. I Believe you.”

That should mean nothing to you, since Franklin has already proven that he can lie, however you’ve yet to see Franklin lie convincingly. Despite everything, you feel a small boost of confidence.

As you go to rap on the door, you hesitate, pausing to consider the exact words you’ll say if you run into Lillian immediately. Once you have an answer in mind, you knock.

Mrs. Dyad calls out that the door is unlocked, so you let yourselves in and announce your presence. She steps out of the kitchen as you’re taking your shoes off at the doorway.

Mrs. Dyad: “Hello boys! Remember to leave your shoes nice and neatly by the door. Perfect orderly pairs please.”

You assist Franklin in following her rule properly, as it can be arduous to get right. Lillian’s mom is a Stickler for things being organized correctly, and each member of your game night group has been nagged about their shoes at least five times. They had to be spaced out correctly, equally close to the wall, and perfectly parallel. You have never seen her bring out a ruler to measure, but you would not be surprised if she did so when nobody was looking.

It was annoying, but your standards for parental guardians are understandably low. Being a neat freak is hardly worth complaining about. Honestly, you wish your parents would care a little more about Cleanliness, as the apartment was a mess due to their bad habits.

Mrs. Dyad: “Lillian’s just upstairs in her room. She didn’t mention any guests though. How long will you be staying?”
Albert: “Not for long. Lillian requested that I help her with something we went over in class today.”
Mrs. Dyad: “That’s very kind of you to help her! Just don’t strain yourself trying, I know she can be a bit slow to pick things up.”
Albert: “I’m well aware. Is it alright if Franklin watches TV while he waits?”
Mrs. Dyad: “Go right ahead, but don’t take too long. My soaps start in 20 minutes.”
Franklin: “...Does that mean you’ll be using the bathroom?”

You let her sort out Franklin’s confusion, as you head upstairs to Lillian’s room. Well, it was actually both Phillip and Lillian’s, but accommodations have changed recently. A repetitive Sound is coming from it, like an object smacking into something. It plays with a seemingly consistent frequency.

The door is shut tight, giving you time to reconsider. Your Fear tries to shake your confidence, reminding you of all the ways that this can go wrong. It wasn’t hard, as you had been thinking of them the whole way here.

What if you make things worse somehow?

What’s to stop you from saying the wrong thing again?

She’ll be upset with you, so what if she stokes your temper with harsh comments of her own?

By your own calculations, it feels almost certain that this conversation is meant to end badly.

...You knock, silencing the fearful voices in your head. The repetitive noise goes silent, leaving the space between you silent.

Lillian: “...Mom?”
Albert: “Not exactly... It’s just me.”
Lillian: “...”

It’s fine if she turns you down here, right? After all, you would have made an attempt, which is all anyone could ask of you. If she refuses to be bothered, then there really is nothing you can do.

Lillian: “...You can come in.”

...You want to be upset, but this is for the best and you know it. Steel yourself, Albert. This is going to be Rough.

Slowly, you push open the door...

The room is the same as usual, if a bit cleaner than before. Likely because Phillip took some of his things when he left. Though you recognize a fair bit that’s clearly his, so not everything he owned went with him.

Lillian is there, sitting at the foot of her bed and tossing a ball against the wall. That explained the noise from before, as she catches and chucks the ball over and over in an almost lazy rhythm. Her eyes meet yours for just a moment, before focusing purely on her solo game of catch.

Lillian: “...Did Franklin find you yet?”
Albert: “Yes. He filled Clive and I in on your investigation.”
Lillian: “Good...”
Albert: “...I was hoping we could talk. About earlier...”
Lillian: “...”
Lillian: “Sorry.

You blink. It wasn’t completely unexpected, Franklin told you she felt contrite, but you didn’t expect her to say it first. And without much prompting too.

Lillian: “I shouldn’t have hit you for running your mouth. Sorry that I did.”
Albert: “It’s fine. Admittedly, I shouldn’t have said most of the things I did, so I’m to blame as well.”
Lillian: “...”
Lillian: “...Just said what you Thought, right?”

...How are you supposed to answer that? The truth would just make her mad, but a lie would be even worse if she caught you in one.

How should you answer that?

1: Albert: “...Yes. I did.”
-Be completely honest, and offer no justification
2: Albert: “Yes. I didn’t think it was such a big deal at the time.”
-Tell the truth, and start to explain your mindset at the time
3: Albert: “No. I only wanted to provoke you, because you had upset me.”
-Lie, and start to explain how she upset you with her comments
4: Albert: “...”
-Say literally nothing. You can’t say the wrong thing if you don’t say anything!
5: Albert: “Well...”
-Suggest something entirely different Albert can say, or a variant to one of the presented options

>>
No. 1031967 ID: afe7de

I'm mid 1 and 5 for a being fully honest but adding an extra few words.

... yes I did, and I was wrong.

He's blunt and not the most social and while he could do 2 and blather about it he said he'd need to get vulnerable and copping to his mistake would be him showing he recognizes his pride and maybe make the conversation be on a better starting position.
>>
No. 1031968 ID: 96c896

5: 2, but make it clear that your mindset at the time was wrong.
>>
No. 1031970 ID: 8483cf

1. Any explanation or justification would doubtlessly be peppered with commentary of WHY Albert said what he said, and I don't trust Albert to do that in a polite manner.
>>
No. 1031973 ID: e51896

take to heart with what TEMMIE said earlier: "If you are to meet with a scornful one locked out of their cell, it may be your final chance to prevent a tragedy. When clouds weep, the chill of night will overwhelm lost souls. Though your tongue often lashes out, hold thy barbs lest they pierce too deep to be removed." it might not be about Lilian, but if it is, think of it as a riddle: clouds weeping could actually mean that crying will be involved, and by night overwhelming souls, it probably means we're going to be in the dark with how to proceed with this conversation.

4. if only to listen to the advice "Though your tongue often lashes out, hold thy barbs lest they pierce too deep to be removed" Sometimes, our silence says it all, she'll understand that we did say what we thought, but also from our silence see that we feel guilty about it.

if we're not doing that, then >>1031967 this Ed's idea.
I feel if we do 2, she'll just think we're just trying to come up with an excuse to save face. She'll probably get mad at us for telling the truth on how we felt starting out, but we need to make it clear down the line we were actually WRONG. The key word is we THOUGHT after all, it's not what we think NOW
>>
No. 1031978 ID: 798908

>>1031966
"yes, and I was wrong."

if pressed for elaboration:
"intelligence is broad. I'm book smart, but I'm not emotionally smart. you not having booksmarts doesn't make you stupid. Franklin was smart for pushing me to come here, and I should have been smart enough to trust my friends.'

if not pushed, just let the apology settle as is. it needs no elabotation so long as she knows you understand.
>>
No. 1031984 ID: 1c6255

5. "Thinking it was wrong in the first place."
>>
No. 1032133 ID: a70a13

>>1031967
>>1031978

I think both of these are perfect. We want to make sure that we are honest, that we did think those things, but it wasn't OKAY to think those things.
>>
No. 1032164 ID: e5709d

1. "Yep.
You want to know the secret to being intelligent? No, really, I have it boiled down to a science:
* Subsist on a 300-calorie-a-day diet. Mine's lower.
* Never be encouraged by your friends or family, no matter what you accomplish. You have to learn for yourself.
* Always control your anger, no matter how much you hate your abusive father.
... There. My life sucks, and I'm filled with as much bitter hatred as you're filled with feral rage. But we have to keep it controlled if we want to grow up.
Don't let the adults tell you I'm better than you; that's how they divide us, make us attack each other."
>>
No. 1032174 ID: 629f2e
File 165251784387.png - (444.53KB , 1000x1000 , 119.png )
1032174

You pause, considering. The last time you spoke your honest thoughts to Lillian, it didn’t exactly have a happy resolution. Something inside of you says to just lie for the sake of survival, but your Reason steps in to remind you how poorly this conversation will go if she were to catch you spouting falsehoods. With that in mind, you settle for pillowing the harsh truth with a softer one.

Albert: “...Yes. I was just saying what I thought at the time...”
Albert: “But I was Wrong. I thought that you wouldn’t be able to handle a simple investigation without a chaperone, and I was mistaken.”
Lillian: “You really thought I couldn’t do something that simple?”
Albert: “Well... No. I suppose not.”
Albert: “I didn’t trust that you could manage Franklin and still manage to perform a thorough investigation.”

She rolls her eyes, before leveling you an annoyed glare.

Lillian: “Really? You didn’t think I could do Both of those things? So then if I had gone without Franklin you would have been fine?”

...You sigh. Full truth it is then, no cushioning the blow.

Albert: “No. I would have been equally doubtful.”
Lillian: “Thought so.”
Lillian: “The problem’s still me then, ain’t it? I was the one you didn’t think could handle herself.”
Albert: “...It was more evenly split between you and Franklin.”
Lillian: “Yeah... We were the Burdens, right? Too stupid to leave alone, more trouble than we’re worth.”
Albert: “Look, I-I recognize that I was wrong to think-”
Lillian: “Yeah, you were.”
Lillian: “Glad you stopped thinking that, doesn’t change the fact that you did.
Lillian: “You looked at me, and you saw a useless ditz that would only get in your way.”
Albert: “...”

She winds her arm up, and hurls her ball against the wall. She effortlessly leans just slightly to the side to dodge, as it bounces back with great speed. You spot a dent in the wall where it hit.

As the ball loses momentum and rolls away, she lays back and stares up at the ceiling, stealing occasional glances at you.

Lillian: “That’s what everyone thinks about me, isn’t it?”
Albert: “...”
Lillian: “Why?”
Lillian: “Why did you think I was so stupid?”

...That was a good question. Obviously for a time you would have accepted the simple answer of ‘it’s Lillian, need I say more’ but now that you actually have to consider saying more... It’s difficult to pinpoint.

Why exactly had you thought so poorly of Lillian?

1: Albert: “Your grades.”
-It’s the simplest answer, she has some of the worst grades in school
-She may not be satisfied with this. She's well aware of this already, and she isn’t the only student in class with poor grades

2: Albert: “Your demeanor.”
-Claim that her general attitude was the source of your confusion
-Asserting that someone’s natural character makes them appear foolish seems like the quickest way to introduce your face to their knuckles

3: Albert: “Our tutoring sessions.”
-Your one-on-one efforts to teach Lillian ABSOLUTELY played a major role in your opinion, but it doesn’t do much to explain why others may have felt similarly
-You have a feeling this answer might be the most upsetting

>>
No. 1032175 ID: 1c6255

None of the above: YOU are the one whose intelligence has, for better or worse, become their defining trait; so you unconsciously judge others harshly on that because it helps you feel superior.
Others don't think of Lilian as a ditz, YOU do because YOU're the one who uses that to push yourself up.

Tell her that.

Failing that, C.
>>
No. 1032176 ID: e5709d

B: "I have a tendency to look at people who don't recognize harm and/or abuse, when it stares them in the face, as stupid.
You know, when you punched me despite my many physical conditions."
>>
No. 1032177 ID: 782e0e

I don’t think any of those are the right thing to say, in all honesty. The truth is that you’ve used yourself as a basis in which to compare others to. Intelligence is an incredibly diverse thing to discuss and you’re smart enough to know that people can be smart in different ways.

The reason you didn’t think Lillian was smart was because in comparison to YOURSELF, she didn’t stack up.

Explain this to her, apologize for it, and admit that you based your world view on your limited experience. If you want to help, add something about Lillian that you simply couldn’t do. The way that she can almost instinctively aim a ball’s throw and dodge it? That must’ve taken practice and she’s probably more in tune with her abilities, reflexes, and limits in a way that you probably aren’t and may never be! Knowing yourself and your body is a very special type of intelligence, and I think sharing this with her might help to show you’re putting an effort into fixing your busted behavior.
>>
No. 1032179 ID: 96c896

Why not all of the above?
>>
No. 1032183 ID: e51896

Something to consider as to why Lilian thinks everyone believes she is dumb, I think it relates to what Lilian's mother herself said to Albert

>Mrs. Dyad: “That’s very kind of you to help her! Just don’t strain yourself trying, I know she can be a bit slow to pick things up.”

I might be looking too deep into it, but something about her mother phrasing that doesnt sit right with me, specifically her saying she's slow to pick up on things and dont strain yourself from trying.

I dont know, but is anyone else getting the impression that this felt like a polite way of saying, 'she's not smart enough to learn and understand, and too much of a loss cause to put effort into helping her as she wont understand what your tutoring?' It is probably a bit too extreme as to how I put it, but her mother calling her own daughter slow and telling Albert to not try his best to help her improve, especially saying this BEHIND LILIAN'S BACK just didnt feel right, and could be a reasoning why Lilian thinks everyone believes she is stupid. Thinking in Lilian's position, if I overheard my own parent say that about me to someone else, I probably would be upset.

Consider also her mother is a stickler, im wondering if behind closed doors, Lilian isnt meeting her mothers expectations and may have been getting on Lilian's case about her intelligence, and might explain why she feels everyone thinks she's not smart...

In any case

Im thinking B or C. Leaning towards C. I think while C might not explain why others may have felt similarly and might be most upsetting, it would be more of a way of getting her to understand that her behavior and lack of focus from Albert trying to tutor her could also apply to other factors in her life towards others which could make people mistake her for being stupid.

I think really, it might not be an issue of intelligence, but Maybe an issue of staying focused? Maybe she needs to understand that she has a lot of potential to raise her grades and do a lot of great things, she just needs to disipline herself to focus, much like how she was focused in sneaking in the school and taking care of Franklin, and succeeded because of it. If she can apply that focus to other aspects that she'd normally find boring like lessons, she can achieve so much!
>>
No. 1032195 ID: ce39da

C (modified): "... I honestly can't speak for everyone else. My experiences over the past day or so have given me painful evidence of my currently having the Emotional Intelligence of a toaster. I can tell you why I thought you less intelligent, though, and maybe that can offer insight into the broader problem. Only if you want me to, though."

"During our tutoring sessions, you needed several repetitions before you could get a single problem down. You struggle to power through those repetitions due to a seeming lack of focus. You get bored easily and don't seem to enjoy learning and critical thinking."

"Of course, while this explains why I Thought what I did, I admit that the reason I Said it was... mostly out of anger. I am not Talented - I wasn't at first, anyway. I've... realized, however, that it's unfair to compare your Effort to my own - I was uniquely motivated, after all. I had fallen into the trap of thinking Academic excellence was all that mattered when evaluating others... because, in my own life, it was all that mattered. It defined my every action."

"It... It was the difference between whether my parents let me Eat each night. For as long as I could remember."
>>
No. 1032196 ID: 8483cf

>>1032183
>>1032195
Agree- C is the correct choice here.
>>
No. 1032205 ID: 0838d6

>>1032195
>>1032183

I definitely DONT think you should throw her mom under the bus. That'll cause more long term problems then you think, but I agree that C and then mentioning that your livelihood is directly tied to performance, you showing your weakness, will likely get her to show hers and thus you can come to terms with eachother. It WILL be rough, and unless it was unanimous like it is now, I doubt he'd even be willing to broach the topic.

However if she brings up her mom's expectations (or lack thereof) on your own, you can offer your insights.
>>
No. 1032214 ID: e51896

>>1032205
Oh yeah, agreed, definitely don't bring up her mother. She might bring it up herself if she's comfortable with it, but lets not be the one to do that for emotional reasons, we don't want her to feel uncomfortable.

But it is something to keep in mind as a possibility as to why she might think everyone thinks she isn't smart and that Albert making her feel that way with his comments isn't just the only reason that is making her believe people think she isn't smart (though Albert was most likely that major final straw for her after those comments he made to her earlier in the day. Really, she needed him to be a friend to believe in her when most others wouldn't).
>>
No. 1032791 ID: 629f2e
File 165294050104.png - (923.30KB , 1000x1000 , 120.png )
1032791

Albert: “...Do you remember our tutoring sessions.”
Albert: “You asked me to help you prepare for your math final. I assumed at the time that you didn’t quite get some of the things we had recently covered.”
Albert: “When we finally met up however... You were just so far Behind. I was explaining things we’d covered months ago, and you took so long to make any progress...”
Albert: “And after a full Week’s worth of meetings, you treated getting a ‘D’ like acing the whole thing.”
Albert: “It felt like I had thrown my freetime into a black hole, and nothing had come out of it.”
Albert: “If I had to pinpoint a starting point for this, that would be it.”
Lillian: “...”

Despite your fears, you walk closer into the room as you talk. Your legs were getting tired from standing, and her cushiony bed was just too alluring to pass up. She sits back up as you take a seat beside her.

Lillian: “...I was Proud of that ‘D’. I hadn’t expected to do so well, I was just hoping it would be a high ‘F’. Getting more than half the questions right was pretty cool.”
Lillian: “And I thought you’d be happy to see that I didn’t fail, since you helped make that happen.”
Albert: “...”

...Perhaps your perspective had been biased. You couldn’t deny that grades meant a significant bit more in your household than most others.

Lillian: “...Y’know... Mom really got on Phillip’s case about him getting ‘C’s in most subjects last time our report cards came in. You remember him whining about it?”
Albert: “Yes, he complained often, arguing that it was a passing grade and was therefore acceptable.”
Albert: “...I suspect that is why he graduated early. He fits the Jonah example perfectly.”

She huffs, but doesn’t insist on Phillip being an exception to the graduation pattern as she had before. She doesn’t even deny your theory this time.

...She suspected it from the start, didn’t she?

Lillian: “Yeah? Well I didn’t even come Close to ‘C’s in most subjects. ‘F’s, ‘D’s, and yeah, obviously an ‘A’ in gym, but that’s not really school. I had bad grades almost everywhere.”
Lillian: “...But she never brought it up. Not one time.”
Albert: “That seems... very inconsistent. Why wouldn’t-”
Lillian: “I don’t know! Mom would always tell Phillip that he could do better if he tried, and that he wasn’t putting his all in if he was getting ‘C’s.”
Lillian: “But she just... never talked to me about grades or classes. Never told me I could do better, or that I just needed to study more.”
Lillian: “It’s like... she treated me being Dumb as this unshakeable fact. And I just... Do I just give off that vibe or something?”
Lillian: “It’s not like Phillip was blindingly smart or something. So why can he do better, but I’m stuck with what I’ve got?”
Albert: “I-I’m not... I don’t know.”
Lillian: “I’m not Incapable of learning. I got a ‘D’ on the math test! I improved! I studied, and it made a difference.”
Lillian: “I’m not dumb! So...”
Lillian: “...Why does everybody think that I am?”
Albert: “...”
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No. 1032792 ID: 629f2e
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1032792

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No. 1032793 ID: 629f2e
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1032793

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No. 1032796 ID: 629f2e
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1032796

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No. 1032799 ID: 629f2e
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1032799

Albert: “...I’m sorry, Lillian.”

You can’t remember the last time you genuinely apologized to someone, but the words come naturally to you. The pride you had been holding onto fades into the background, as a drop of Humility enters your mind for the first time in a while.

Albert: “My troubled relationship with intelligence has inescapably altered my perception of it. Even so, I should have been giving you more credit.”
Albert: “...You aren’t an idiot.”

The words take a moment to set in. She finally meets your gaze, disbelief clearly written on her face. A few seconds pass before she finally seems to accept it.

Lillian: “...Thanks.”
Lillian: “I don’t need you to tell me that, but... it’s nice to hear it.”

She wraps an arm around you, and pulls you close. It’s a mighty hug, as you’d expect from her. There’s a hint of care to it however, as she’s careful not to powderize your bones within her grip.

Lillian: “Wow. This... is the worst hug ever.”
Lillian: “You’re too skinny dude! I can feel your bones stabbing into me!”

She lets go of you and ruffles your hair (your hair is thankfully immune to becoming a mess, as it always is). The mood change is a bit forced, but you go along with it. You’re already physically vulnerable due to your health, so emotional vulnerability is an extra serving that you truly hate. Besides, you’d said what you needed to.

There’s a lull, as it becomes clear that the previous topic had run its course. You consider leaving, but know that you have more time before you need to. Now would be a good time to talk to her about other matters.

What will you change the topic to? (Pick two)

1: Tell her about the investigation, and see if she knows anything
-You suspect that Lillian won’t have many insights into what you and Franklin discovered that you haven’t already heard
-There is a chance that she may have unique insight into your findings

2: Talk a bit more candidly about yourself
-She told you about herself, so it’s only fair
-Deepen the bond between you both
-Lillian will pity you

3: Tell her about the fortunes, and see what she thinks
-Practice that humility you just learned and admit that you’re considering something you heard in a dream
-Lillian thinks very differently to you, and has a very different base of information to go off of. She will offer a different perspective

4: Talk about Franklin
-Lillian is a lot closer to Franklin than you are. She may be able to tell you more about the boy you’ll be spending the night with
-You have a hard time believing you would learn nothing about him by asking her

5: Just chat for a bit
-Have a light conversation about nothing specific
-Gives you a chance to cool down from your previous chat
-Will result in minor Fear recovery

6: Talk about something or someone else
-What will it be?

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No. 1032802 ID: e51896

no matter what, one of the choices should be 2. She deserves to know about what you've been through, and help give her insight as to why you've been thinking and acting the way you have.

As for the second topic, either 5 or 3 with a lean towards 5. Talk about 5 to calm your nerves before talking about 2 though.

as for what to talk about if 5 is chosen, talk about her character Nipha during game nights and how focused she gets during those sessions which has lead you all to success before (plus it's a way to get to see what their game sessions is like.

After we're done, here is an idea: ask Franklin and Lilian if Lilian could join for tonights sleepover at Franklin's place, will help Lilian feel better. Best to ask her mom's permission first too.
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No. 1032804 ID: 96c896

>>1032799
2, 3. When you have a prophecy it's very important to get more than one interpretation of it.
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No. 1032812 ID: 798908

>>1032804
this gets my vote, 2 and 3.
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No. 1032857 ID: ce39da

2: "I know I've already apologized, both for my words earlier and for my lack of credit toward your intelligence. But I still feel like I owe you an explanation for my behavior, at the very least. Events over the last day have painfully highlighted how my own relationship with Intelligence has Poisoned the way I view and interact with people..."

Then either 1 or 3; Lillian needs to be clued in on something you discovered. Even if you don't go with 1, at least warn her that you discovered something Huge on your end and that you should all meet somewhere private to discuss it later. We don't want to get the whole "when were you planning on telling me this" spiel when someone drops that bombshell on her.
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No. 1032923 ID: 8483cf

2. I'm not a big fan of 3, since I don't know how she'll feel about fortunes, but I'm not voting AGAINST it, if that makes any sense.
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No. 1032992 ID: 0838d6

2/3

You're already going deep, and maybe she'll take 3 as a joke, give her opinion and it'll crack the ice leading to a cooldown before you leave.

Though I really want 2/5 but there's not enough votes for it.
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