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File 164108745506.png - (229.18KB , 1000x1000 , 56.png )
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...
Expand all images
>>
No. 1019133 ID: 629f2e
File 164108751724.png - (671.21KB , 1000x1000 , 57.png )
1019133

Jolene: “Uuuggggghhhhh that test was so boring.”
Albert: “Yes, I agree. Waiting for the rest of you to finish was incredibly dull.”

If you were anyone else, she would have punched you in the back of the head for that. Thankfully however Jolene is well aware of your condition, and shows some amount of caution around you as a result.

Jolene: “You know what I mean, Einstein.”
Albert: “It’s Neddy. Or Albert if you’d like to keep things casual.”

You understood that it was a nickname of course, you were just being cheeky.

Jolene: “Jump off a bridge and tell me if you find anyone who cares at the bottom.”

She flicks you in the back of the head. You really shouldn’t bother trying to build a rapport with her, but you live in the same Apartment Complex, and there’s little else to do on your way back home. Might as well share a few words, even if hers are little more than childish insults.

Jolene: “So what are you doing today? Studying so that you can be even more bored tomorrow?”
Albert: “No amount of studying could affect the ease at which I will handle any questions asked of me tomorrow. I was probably just going to lie down while listening to the radio. I’m still supposed to be resting after all.”

Her expression shifts slightly.

Jolene: “Oh yeah, your arm. How’s that feeling now?”

You roll your eyes. The obvious concern was nice, but the moment you give a genuine answer she’d backtrack with a harsh comment.

Albert: “It feels fine.”
Jolene: “Too bad. If you’re lucky, maybe if you’re lucky it’ll kill you next time. Fingers crossed!”
Albert: “If I even make eighteen with my health, I will have to start buying lottery tickets to take full advantage of my luck. Perhaps my fortune will net me a fortune?”
Jolene: “Don’t worry, I’m sure you have a long and miserable life ahead of you.”

Home was in sight. A flight of stairs and a doorway were all that lay between you and this conversation’s end. You couldn’t get there fast enough.
>>
No. 1019134 ID: 629f2e
File 164108761707.png - (852.51KB , 1000x1000 , 58.png )
1019134

Albert: “I’m sure it will be better than yours at least. Not that I see you lasting nearly long enough for us to compare, given that you have No Skills whatsoever that you could sustain yourself with.”

Was your mouth moving? Ah, yes, it appears you were taking the bait and were firing back, despite knowing where that gets you. You start to walk faster to try and avoid it.

No, you didn’t think it would actually work, but it felt better to try.

You get up two steps before she grabs the back of your shirt and yanks you down to the ground. You were definitely going to have an ugly bruise on your back from that, as well as one on your stomach when she pins you down with her boot.

Jolene: “Wanna try that again, smart-@$%?”

The right answer was naturally to take back your comments, but you were finding yourself in a bad mood suddenly. Perhaps it had something to do with the pain you were feeling all over my body, which would certainly change your planned relaxation into yet another rough recovery session. So instead of giving her what she wants, you find yourself targeting her insecurities instead.

Albert: “Do you want to become a killer? A little more pressure, and I’m sure you’ll be able to pop my stomach. I won’t have much of a long and miserable life if you do that.”
Jolene “You-”
Albert: “I’m sure Clive will be more than willing to hand over his position of social exile. Please, go right ahead and convince everyone that he was right to try and put you down.”

…Her leg moves, and you’re freed from the floor. The results of this conversation? More bruises for you, and a heaping tablespoon of self-hate for her. Nobody wins, and you’ve both ruined one another’s days.

Congratulations Genius.
>>
No. 1019137 ID: 629f2e
File 164108768022.png - (812.04KB , 1000x1000 , 59.png )
1019137

Silently, you both walk up the stairs. The thought of apologizing crossed your mind, but you decide that she should do so first. She never will, you know it.

Your door comes up first. She hangs back and waits, not walking past you to her own yet. You know why, but don’t feel like poking the bear further by bringing it up. The bruises you had already received were more than satisfactory.

The normal smells of mold and alcohol that greet you upon opening the door are accompanied by a new, yet familiar scent. Blood. The only difference is that this time it wasn’t your own.
>>
No. 1019138 ID: 629f2e
File 164108771338.png - (867.44KB , 1000x1000 , 60.png )
1019138

No, it was your Father’s, judging by the beaten and broken figure on the floor in front of you.
>>
No. 1019139 ID: 629f2e
File 164108775918.png - (1.14MB , 1000x1000 , 61.png )
1019139

Albert: “...”
Jolene: “...What are you waiting for?”
Albert: “...”

Petrified. Every muscle in your body refuses to move.

You have to call for help. You need to get an ambulance, and get him to the hospital before he bleeds out. All of your instincts are screaming at you to move.

…But a selfish part of you tries to subdue those instincts, telling you to just leave him be.

Because if you do all of that… he might Live.

Jolene: “Would you just go in already!? What are you staring… at……”
Jolene: “...”
Albert: “...Wait-”
Jolene: “aaaa… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!”

The words you were about to say die in your mouth, as other residents start to rush over. It was too late. Whatever choice you would have made becomes moot, as help gets called for.

Things grow fuzzy from there, as the events that follow seem like a blur. You wouldn’t get a chance to sit down and address your feelings until tomorrow it seemed. Hopefully you could reach some resolution before the evening.

After all… tomorrow was Game Night at Phillip’s.
>>
No. 1019141 ID: 629f2e
File 164108783357.png - (644.96KB , 1000x1000 , 62.png )
1019141

...

As the sun peering in through the windows wakes you up, you let out a yawn and stretch out your limbs. You’re quickly punished for this when your sprained leg loudly complains.

Your name is Albert Neddy. You’re a boy often regarded by your peers as The Genius, due to your incredible intelligence. You’re 10 years-old, but will be turning 11 in just three months. You doubt middle school will present a significantly greater challenge than elementary has though, so the change will be mainly in the kids you share classes with. At the moment, you have a minor headache, and a sprained leg. Hopefully the day will not see fit to grant you further injuries.

Today is Tuesday, which naturally means you have class. More importantly, at lunch you and your companions will be discussing yesterday’s investigation, and how you should all proceed. In your opinion? You’re still lacking information, and should expand the range of your search. It’s too early for radical options such as breaking into the high school. Unfortunately, you suspect that you’ll need to talk certain people (Lillian) out of the idea.

Dad still isn't home from the hospital, so it's just you and your mother here. She comes out of the bathroom as you’re picking yourself up, letting you know it's unoccupied.

Without going into too much detail, you go through your normal morning routine. After a brief shower you put on your usual attire of a striped pajama shirt and sweatpants. Your standards for "presentable" have never been very high, so you just wear what you find comfortable. Beyond that, your wardrobe is rather limited, so you don’t have many other options.

As soon as you leave the bathroom, you’re immediately hit with conflict. This is because you come out in time to see your mother pouring herself a bowl of Rice Cereal, which you had been planning to have yourself. Despite making a claim on the only other meal option in the house, she'd decided to take your breakfast instead.

Your stomach growls.

Mom: "Good morning, Albert. Sleep well."
Albert: "Yes mom."
Mom: "I don’t remember you being up for long after you came home. Did you get to last night's Worksheet?"

...Oh dear, you didn't, did you?

Your parents give you daily Homework, since obviously the school's offerings don't pose much of a challenge to you. Their work comes from textbooks far beyond your current grade. It’s always been ahead, the distance has just increased over time.

Your parents' worksheets aren't actually too hard for you either anymore. They used to keep you up all night (which certainly couldn’t be good for your already poor constitution), but you studied ahead of them quite some time ago to reclaim your sleep.

That’s your little secret though. You’re sure mom and dad would just increase the workload if they knew you could handle it. None of this matters of course if you don’t do the work!

This isn’t good, what should you say to her?

Let’s talk about Albert for a moment.

As “The Genius”, Albert is naturally more gifted at Calculating the possible outcomes of his choices. Using whatever information is at his disposal, Albert will analyze his options and give his insights into the potential outcomes.

HOWEVER!

Do keep in mind that these insights can only be generated based on Albert’s knowledge. In situations where he knows too little, they will not be offered at all. In addition, whenever Albert’s biases, assumptions, and any incorrect information he has been given may taint the results significantly. Please consider how well you think Albert knows what he’s talking about before accepting his conclusions.

And finally, if you wish to whisper ideas into his head that Albert hasn’t yet conceived of, then naturally you will not have his insights to go off of. With all of that said…


What should Albert tell his mom?
A: Just tell her the truth and get it over with
-Low chance you get away without consequences
B: I haven’t missed a worksheet in months. If I just say I did it, she won’t have any reason to check
-High odds you get away scot free
-If you’re caught, the punishment will definitely be worse
C: Maybe I can distract her somehow. It isn’t the same as lying, so even if it fails the punishment shouldn’t be worse than normal
-Choose what you want to bring up to distract her
-Variable odds of success depending on topic
-If the distraction fails, 50/50 odds you get a worse punishment (based on whether or not she realizes you were avoiding the question or not)

...And when she leaves, what should Albert do about his hunger?
1: She had my cereal, so she forfeited her dibs on the ham
-There will ALMOST CERTAINLY be consequences for this later today
2: On the other hand, she’ll kill me if I do that. I should just leave and try to hold out until lunch
-There will CERTAINLY be consequences before you make it to lunch

>>
No. 1019145 ID: 8483cf

Let's abuse this newfound power of CALCULATION!

B, and 1. Almost certainly is not certainly, and we're gonna die before we hit 18 anyway, let's make it in pursuit of actual nutrition.
>>
No. 1019148 ID: afe7de

Here's my thoughts, B1, because she'll probably be too focused on the missing sandwitch to care about homework when you get back after school. Also, is it possible to just *do* the worksheet at school during some free time?
>>
No. 1019151 ID: 8483cf
File 164108895231.png - (40.71KB , 600x257 , Dontstarve.png )
1019151

In support of my position I offer Exhibit A
>>
No. 1019160 ID: ce39da

B, followed by... Hey, has your mother actually commented directly on what happened to dad? If not, that might be an excellent topic for leading into C. (Hey, nobody said you can't do more than one; B barely takes one or two words, and we can use C to cancel any attempt she might make to call us on it.)

Not sure what the play is regarding food. It sort of seems like she's even more desperate about food than you are. Can the family just not afford much sustenance?

... Ah, that's why mom was in a bad mood: hospital bills = less food money. The alternative, of course, would be that she somehow still loves that man on some level, and I'm finding that hard to believe.

We need to remember that while the odds are being spelled out for us, the severity isn't being conveyed. The consequences for being malnourished before lunch probably aren't nearly as bad as the ones for taking the ham, which can range from outright injury to early graduation... I honestly can't comment on this; I'm tempted to suggest cutting off slivers from the cut edges and pray mom doesn't notice.
>>
No. 1019407 ID: 629f2e
File 164127134527.png - (480.58KB , 1000x1000 , 63.png )
1019407

After weighing the risks, you decide to lie to your mother.

Albert: “I took care of it right after school, before you got home, since I was planning to be out all day. It’s still there on the desk if you want to grade it before work.”
Mom: “Hm…”

You see her eyes glance over, considering it.

Mom: “Later. I have to get to work.”

She puts her bowl in the sink without even rinsing it before grabbing her keys off the counter.

Mom: “Are you going to be out all day again?”
Albert: “Maybe.”
Mom: “Well if you are, try to stay at one of your friends’ homes tonight.”
Albert: “I don’t think… Most of them aren’t in a sleepover mood right now.”
Mom: “Why not?”
Albert: “Recent Events.
Mom: “...Oh, the graduations. Look Albert, can you just try? I don’t want you keeping me up all night, and pay doesn’t come in until tomorrow. Just try to get someone on board with it.”

Oh, how rude of you. You hadn’t even considered that your stomach’s complaints could have been bothering her this whole time. What an inconsiderate child you’ve been.

Mom: “I have to go. If I’m a minute late that @$*%)!3 will dock me the whole hour. Piece of $!*%...

She walks out the door without another word to you, leaving you by yourself. No “I love you”, no goodbyes, just a stream of profanity aimed at her boss. All in all, a typical morning.

*GURGLE*

You grab your stomach in pain. A thought crosses your mind that you brush off initially. It returns seconds later with greater intensity. You try to ignore it, knowing the Risks it puts you under, however…

You limp over with your cane and glance out the window. Sure enough you mom is walking away, no indication that she might turn around and come back. You should be safe. If you’re going to do this, it has to be now.

With another complaint from your guts, you walk over to the fridge and pull out the Ham, about two small slices that are just starting to stink. You don’t need to check the sell-by date, because it was past that when mom brought it home. The bread comes out of the cabinet, a tied off bag with only the crust pieces left.

These pieces wouldn’t normally combine into anything appealing to consume, but you had a secret weapon. With one extra ingredient, this sandwich would become Tolerable.

All it would take? A healthy spread of Honey Mustard.

By drenching the ham in the condiment, you’re able to eat it without even noticing the horrible aftertaste. Only the horrible thoughts of what this ham would do to your body.

However bad it made you feel in the long run, your hunger was sated for now. Your stomach stops complaining, and you genuinely feel a little better.

Albert has lost a point of Pain due to silencing his stomach
Current Pain: 1/10 (Your leg is still sprained)

Pain is a semi-exclusive mechanic to Albert. All kids technically have it, but it’s only truly worth mentioning on Albert. Due to his tendency to rack up medical issues, he tends to be in some amount of pain at all times.

As Albert acquires new symptoms, his level of Pain will rise. Different symptoms come with different downsides. If Albert ever hits his Pain Threshold of 10, he will pass out and be forced to visit the hospital, ending his POV and removing him from the next thread.

Current Symptoms:
-Headache Lvl 1: A constant. If this ever actually goes away, that might be cause for alarm. Doesn’t even contribute to your level of pain at this intensity
-Sprained Leg: Forces Albert to walk with a cane. Going without one risks injuring the leg further. [1 Pain]

>>
No. 1019408 ID: 629f2e
File 164127146359.png - (696.73KB , 1000x1000 , 64.png )
1019408

Putting most of your weight on your cane, you start your trek to school. Seems like Jolene got ahead of you today, as you don’t see her on the sidewalk. With your leg, you probably wouldn’t have been able to keep pace with her anyways.

A few kids pass you by, mostly ones from the nearby townhouses rather than the awful apartment complex your family rents space in. You aren’t surprised that Roger got ahead of you, it’s only natural given his speedy pace. Still, you had been hoping to see a friendly face on your walk. It was seeming more and more like you were the last of your companions to trudge towards the school.

You arrive before long, and find kids idling about in the classroom and hallway. Conversation, small games, and the sound of kids rapidly trying to complete their homework fills the space. Through it, a few kids strike you as being worth chatting.

Which TWO people will you speak to?
A: Enid - The Homeschooler
-She isn’t looking well
-You have a feeling that you’ll have to address her before school ends, and that you’ll have a chance to later.
B: Clive - The Antisocialite
-He looks like he wants to talk to you
-You have a few questions for him as well
C: Roger and Lillian - The Artist and The Athlete
-They’re already talking. You can tell from here that Roger has bad news
-You can probably just get the details from Lillian at lunch
D: Louie - The Class President
-He seems anxious
-He always seems anxious
-He seems more anxious than usual today though
E: You could find a middle schooler to talk to...
-If you have questions that only a middle schooler can answer, you can grab one on their way to class
-What would you want to ask about?
F: What about Mrs. Chamberlane?
-Talk to the teacher
-You have a feeling she won’t tell you much
-That doesn’t mean you can’t try
G: Other
-Pick any other kid present to talk about anything you have in mind

>>
No. 1019410 ID: 3439d7

B, c
>>
No. 1019415 ID: 8483cf

B and D. Let's see some new faces!
>>
No. 1019424 ID: afe7de

B/C
>>
No. 1019525 ID: a58d3b

Clive and Louie. Since we don't know their schedules, this may be our only opportunity to chat with them today, and it'd probably be trivial to flag down the others after class.
>>
No. 1019532 ID: ce39da

B and D - Clive actually wanting to interact with someone is a momentous occasion, and Louie might be aware of a new, evermore unfortunate development.
>>
No. 1019996 ID: 629f2e
File 164169972180.png - (925.17KB , 1000x1000 , 65.png )
1019996

Better start off with Clive. You get the feeling that isn’t going to be an easy conversation, so better to have it now and give him time to cool down before class starts.

Through the doorway, you shoot him a nod. He gets the signal and joins you in the hallway. The two of you go around a corner to a part of the hall where there aren’t any other students.

Albert: “I’m guessing you want an update regarding our investigation, don’t you?”
Clive: “Do you know what happened to Rodney or not?”

His eyes locked onto yours with a glare, but it lacked weight. More than anger, all his expression conveyed was the immense toll this situation was taking on him.

For all your classmates like to gossip about this kid being some sort of Sociopathic Monster, the real thing didn’t live up to the hype. His incident with the classroom’s resident bully aside, Clive Doesn’t get into fights. That would involve him interacting with anyone, which he avoids; or anyone interacting with him, which they avoid. He simply minds his own business, and doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks of him.

Maybe he’s a coward, so afraid of being social that he’d rather be feared and avoided. Or maybe he just prefers not to be bothered, and appreciates the isolation his position gives him. You don’t know, but whatever it is, Rodney has always been the sole exception to that rule.

It’s no wonder he’s desperate to get him back. Rodney may be the only person in the world that Clive actually Likes.

Albert: “We have a clearer picture of the mechanisms involved in early graduation, but there’s still much that eludes us. Specifically, in the pattern we uncovered, Rodney seems to break many of the rules.”
Clive: “What pattern? Explain that first.”
Albert: “It’s really quite simple. Early graduation is something decided upon by the Parents.

For a brief moment, his eyes go wide. He hides it quickly, but you’re already reading into it.

Albert: “We ran through all the examples we could find, and it’s clear. Every child who graduated early gave their parents good reason to send them away.”
Albert: “Well, not good reasons, but clear Justifications. High expectations not met, the children being nuisances, conflict between them.”
Clive: “That’s… That’s not it. Rodney gets along with our parents just fine.”
Clive: “You say he breaks your pattern? I say your pattern is Wrong.
Albert: “...Hm. I suppose you would say that.”
Clive: “What?”
Albert: “Clive, let’s cut to the chase. I don’t think the pattern we identified was wrong. I think Rodney is an exception to the rule.”
Clive: “Prove it.”
Albert: “Certainly. Would you mind answering a question for me first though?”
Clive: “Shoot.”
Albert: “How did you Know that your parents didn’t talk to anyone about Rodney’s graduation?”
Clive: “...”

He clicks his tongue, thinking for too long before answering.

Clive: “...I was with them all day. That’s all.”
Albert: “Is that so?”
Clive: “They never left the house, and we didn’t have any visitors. That’s how I know.”
Albert: “...Then what of the days that preceded? Could a conversation not have happened while you were at school? Can you honestly say it’s Impossible?
Clive: “...Fine, maybe it did. They still wouldn’t-”
Albert: “No. That conversation never happened, and you’re sure of it. Don’t acquiesce to get out of explaining yourself!”
Clive: “No, you made a good point. Could have happened any other day. Guess I just didn’t think about it too hard, my bad.”

His voice carried an empty bored tone. It was almost as if he realized you couldn’t prove anything, so he was tired of talking about it like this. You weren’t going to get him to slip up.

Alright then. If that wasn’t an option, you’d ram through his defenses by elucidating your leading theory.
>>
No. 1019997 ID: 629f2e
File 164169979159.png - (866.13KB , 1000x1000 , 66.png )
1019997

Albert: “...Fine. You don’t want to tell me. Then I’ll talk instead.”
Albert: “There’s an easy explanation for why you’d feel certain that conversation never took place. Because you already knew it Couldn’t. It was physically impossible for it to happen.”
Clive: “...”
Albert: “Your parents couldn’t meet with anyone. Your parents couldn’t agree to anything, let alone decide that Rodney should graduate themselves. Any idea why that might be Clive?
Clive: “...”
Albert: “...The conclusion I’ve reached is that your parents.”
Clive: “Stop!

He grabs you by the front of your shirt as he interjects. It isn’t a threat. The boy in front of you is almost shaking in Fear at the words that were about to pass your lips.

Clive: “Don’t say it. Please…”
Clive: “You’re right.”
Clive: “Just... Don’t say it...”

He lets go of you, pulling his arms into hold himself.

Albert: “...What happened to your parents, Clive?”
Clive: “...”
Albert: “...”
Clive: “...I… It doesn’t matter.”
Clive: “They’re… They can’t be responsible for Rodney graduating. That’s all.”
Albert: “That’s all!? Clive, putting aside all the questions that arise about your brother’s circumstances, this isn’t something we can just sweep aside.”
Clive: “We can, and we will.”
Albert: “What happened to them Cl-”
Clive: “Stop. We’re not talking about this.”
Albert: “What Happened?
Clive: “...”
Albert: “...”
Albert: “...Did you have something to do with it?”

He doesn’t flinch. There’s no immediate reaction, but slowly he tilts his head up towards me.

Clive: “...Yeah.”
Clive: “I did it. I…”

It didn’t need to be said. You don’t push it.

Despite the painful confession, he seemed a little better than before. Perhaps talking about it with someone about it helped.

Clive: “...Don’t tell anyone.”
Clive: “You’re smart, you can guess what’ll happen if you do.”
Albert: “I don’t imagine I could survive what Jolene went through.”
Clive: “Fine. We’re done then.”
Albert: “Ah, could I make a Request before you leave?”
Clive: “?”

He halts his retreat, turning back to look at me. His gaze starts to darken, so I quickly clarify.

Albert: “This isn’t blackmail, it’s unrelated to what we just discussed.”
Clive: “...Alright. What is it then?”
Albert: “I’d like you to join my companions and me in our Investigation. You’re planning to dig deeper into what happened to Rodney anyways, aren’t you?”
Albert: “We’d be able to share leads and information far more easily if you came along with us, wouldn’t you agree?”
Clive: “That’s a terrible idea.”
Albert: “Oh?”
Clive: “...Your friends would never agree to it.”

You bite your cheek at that. He wasn’t entirely wrong. Franklin could probably be convinced easily, his friendship with Jhonen is proof that he doesn’t hold grudges, and you doubt Lillian would put up too much of a fuss. Roger and Enid though…

Well, Roger was completely terrified of Killer Clive, and Enid seemed to have taken Roger’s accounts of how bad he was to heart the other day. It wouldn’t be an easy sell for them.

Albert: “...They’ll see that the benefits outweigh the risks. I’ll see to it that they agree.”
Clive: “...”
Clive: “Fine. If it’ll help Rodney, I’d even work with JoJo.
Albert: “She’s really not that bad once you get to know her.”
Clive: “...”
Albert: “...Alright, that’s a lie. Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to go anywhere near her.”

That’s probably a more important measure to take for her sake rather than his.

With a final promise that he’ll join your group at lunch, Clive heads back to class. You’re left with answers that you hadn’t wanted to believe, but which you now know to be true.

Clive and Rodney’s parents are Dead.

...You just know this has to have something to do with Rodney’s graduation. Somebody had to make the call. But who?
>>
No. 1019998 ID: 629f2e
File 164169985960.png - (771.96KB , 1000x1000 , 67.png )
1019998

You spend some time thinking about it before heading back to class. Roger and Lillian managed to drag Franklin into their conversation, and Enid appears to be talking with Able about something (likely something completely meaningless, given your experience with the younger boy.)

Since you still have time, you decide to speak with the class president. His name is (not spelled this way, but neither your parents nor school have forced you to learn Chinese characters) Julong Leoi, but since that’s a bit hard to pronounce correctly, his nickname “Louie” is more common among your classmates and even the faculty.

He was pacing around the room nervously, anxious about something. Trying to guess what would be like trying to find a specific piece of hay in a haystack. Better to just ask the boy himself.

Albert: “Good morning, Louie.”
Louie: “Oh! Albert, hi. Thanks for the help yesterday, I know it was really short notice.”
Albert: “It’s nothing. You didn’t have any notice yourself, so you didn’t have the luxury to offer me any.”
Louie: “Well… Th-Thanks anyways. Does Enid seem like she’s adjusting well?”

You glance back at her for a moment. She seems to be in an equally bad state as the last time you looked.

Albert: “...She’s doing alright. All things considered.”
Louie: “Oh, that’s really good. I can’t imagine going through what she did...”
Albert: “How about you? You seem a little on edge today, has something happened.”
Louie: “Well... I-I’m not sure yet.”
Albert: “Hm?”
Louie: “It’s just... After yesterday, if somebody doesn’t show up it wouldn’t be crazy to think-”
Albert: “Someone isn’t here yet?”

You glance around the room, trying to identify the missing party. Louie beats you to the punch.

Louie: “It’s Lemmy.
Louie: “We’re neighbors, we almost always run into each other on the way to school, but he still isn’t here.”
Louie: “He could have overslept, or maybe he’s sick, o-or maybe he’s cutting class to set up some stupid prank…”
Albert: “...But you’re worried he Graduated.
Louie: “...I mean… What do you think?”

…You literally name dropped him as an example yesterday as one of the most likely kids in your class to graduate. To be perfectly honest…

Albert: “...It seems very possible.”

He runs his hands down his face as he moans with frustration.

Louie: “Everything is getting out of hand. First it was those three, now Lemmy? Is this just going to keep happening?”
Albert: “Well, we don’t know that Lemmy has graduated yet for sure…”
Louie: “I just wish I understood why this was happening. I’m supposed to be the class president, you’d think they would tell me things like this. It is school-related after all.”
Louie: “But nobody tells me anything! I’m completely in the dark about why kids are graduating early and what I should be doing about it.”
Albert: “If it makes you feel better, that just puts you on the same level as everyone else in this class.”
Louie: “It helps a little...”
Louie: “I just... The waiting is what kills me. Not knowing if someone is late, absent, or is going to high school now. It’s so stressful.”
>>
No. 1019999 ID: 629f2e
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1019999

He taps his foot to the ground in some sort of stress ritual. It doesn’t look like it helps all that much. After a few seconds he stops and sighs.

Louie: “...Maybe I should talk to Saihu about this.”
Albert: “Your brother? What can he do to help?”

Saihu used to be in your class, but he’s eleven now, probably closer to twelve you think. Back when he was here, you remember he was considered The Astrologer. You didn’t interact with him too much, but he was interested in space, symbols, and a lot of other things you just never cared for. Really, you just remember him calling you a Tauros, and never understanding what that meant.

Louie: “He’s good at dealing with stress. Talking to him makes me feel… Calmer.
Albert: “Well he is your brother.”
Louie: “I guess that’s true. Nothing quite like family to help you feel better, right?”
Albert: “In my experience, they’re the greatest sources of stress.”
Louie: “O-Oh.”
Albert: “Yes.”

You hadn’t really considered Saihu much, due to your limited interactions with him, but maybe you should. After all, if your investigation continues to turn up upsetting truths, you might need help managing your Stress and Fear.

Albert: “Do others say that about him too?”
Louie: “Um… Yes, I think I’ve heard at least a few kids agree. Why?”
Albert: “Then do you think he’d be available to talk later today?”
Louie: “O-Oh! Sorry, of course. If you’re feeling stressed out Albert, I’m sure he’s be happy to help. I could talk to him, and during Recess you’d probably have a chance to meet with him.”
Louie: “He has a lot of good Advice on how to manage your stress that you can apply at home too.”
Albert: “Really? I hadn’t thought about that...”

That advice would probably be more helpful in the long-term. However, there’s no denying that there are a few people you know in the short-term who could use some stress relief. You can only push people so far before they break. So the question was, which would you prioritize for now?

A: I should ask Saihu for tips on managing Fear
-You’ll lose half of recess talking to Saihu
-If he has any applicable knowledge, you may just learn a few things about managing Fear
B: But if his presence really is calming, then maybe someone should spend time with him
-Pick one of your friends to spend their recess with Saihu. They will lose an amount of Fear
-You won’t get any direct advice on Fear management
-Among your companions, only Roger, Clive, and Enid appear visibly stressed, Enid most of all
C: Perhaps I could get someone else to talk to him for me? It would leave my own schedule clear
-Pick one of your friends to talk to Saihu for you
-You will have your full recess period open
-Instead of getting Saihu’s explanation, you get a summary of his explanation whichever friend you picked
-For some reason, you don’t think you should pick Roger
D: Or I could just decide later…
-Push your decision back ‘til recess
-At that point, it will be too late to ask someone else to talk to him for you (Option C will be off the table)

>>
No. 1020002 ID: 8483cf

B. Send Enid to Saihu. We need the party face to be well-adjusted and not stressed!
>>
No. 1020007 ID: ce39da

> Saihu
Send Enid. She's going through a lot, though Clive could definitely use it too. You can talk to him yourself if stress and fear ever become an issue for you personally.

> Why Rodney?
This is... incredibly obvious, if you stop to think about it. If it can't have been their parents, and it clearly wasn't Clive, then that just leaves Rodney himself. The motive is clear, going from there; he resolved to take the fall for Clive's deed. Regardless of how long ago this took place, the death of two adults wouldn't stay hidden for long, at least not from the other adults. Rodney Protected Clive.

I... I can't imagine how well Clive would take that theory, obviously.
>>
No. 1020009 ID: afe7de

Send Enid is the obveous best choice., I agree with DC that taking the fall seems to be the likeliest reason for this to happen. Though, if he DID take the fall, then why isn't he in foster care or under someone else's care like Enid is? Which means he has another GUARDIAN. Hmm..
>>
No. 1020273 ID: 629f2e
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1020273

Gotta keep your priorities in order. You can always find Saihu again later if you really need that advice. Right now though, it’s plainly obvious that Enid is stressed out. This is the closest thing you can offer resembling Therapy.

Albert: “It’s not for me. I would like it if Enid were to talk to him.”
Louie: “Oh, that makes sense, given everything that’s happened.”
Albert: “Exactly. Could you introduce them to each other during recess today?”

He gives you a thumbs up, so you nod and return to your seat. You would have liked to talk to Enid about this now, but class is about to start.

Mrs. Chamberlane arrives seconds later, looking a bit less composed than usual. She brings an uncomfortable air into the room with her. We can all tell something bad has happened, but none of us know what. The tension hangs thick, all conversations go dead quiet, and we silently stare towards her awaiting the moment she chooses to break the news.

After setting down her bag and pulling out some papers, she turns and looks back at us all. Her forced greeting comes through an even more forced smile.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “Good morning everyone. I hope everyone else is here. If I call your name, please say “present”.”

She goes through a normal roll call, getting affirmative responses from everyone in the room. After your talk with Louie, it doesn’t pass your notice when she skips over Lemmy’s name entirely. It was hard to miss, since she was going through names alphabetically. You sigh, just waiting for her to say what you’d already concluded.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “Alright then. Now, before we begin today’s lesson, I have some Unfortunate news to share with you all.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Mrs. Fitzsimmons visited me this morning to inform me that her son Lemmy has gone Missing.

…Wait missing?

Mrs. Chamberlane: “Abigail believes that her son ran away from home for some reason, and we’re all hoping that somebody in town has seen him.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “It’s very likely he could be staying with a friend rather than out in the woods. So I’d like to ask if any of you were visited by him last night.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “It’s not safe for children to be out so late on their own. If any of you know, it’s your responsibility to tell an adult where Lemmy is. Please understand, it’s a matter of safety.”

Lemmy… Ran Away?

He didn’t graduate… He just left his home without telling his- no, of course he didn’t tell his parents. It was probably to get away from them if anything. Let’s not forget, he was a top contender for early graduation. Perhaps he was attempting to escape that very fate. Then again, it could have been something far more mundane. He could have gotten into an argument with them about something trivial, such as his bedtime or how many treats he could have.

You wouldn’t describe Lemmy as Mature in any sense of the word. It’s perfectly conceivable that he’d be childish enough to have left over something so petty.

Hmm… It’s tough to determine which is more likely. Recent events naturally bias you towards graduation as a motive, but you don’t know enough about him to really say one way or the other. Perhaps you should put a pin in it for the moment and return to the question when you have more information.

There is one other noteworthy part to this announcement however. Simply put, Mrs. Chamberlane told us outright that Lemmy ran away. It does lessen the credibility of a certain other theory your companions had brought up yesterday.

Enid: “What if Rodney Didn’t graduate?”
Roger: “Huh?”
Enid: “...The only reason we think he did is because the teachers say that’s what happened.”
Enid: “But if we can’t trust them, because they’re being suspicious and keeping things from us, then maybe we can’t trust that ‘fact’ either.”


It doesn’t fully disprove Enid’s point, that we can’t take our teacher’s claims for granted, but it does at least provide evidence that if any of the three who graduated the other day had actually run away, they likely would have been Honest about it.

Nobody responded to the teacher’s query for Lemmy sightings. Eventually, she sighs and breaks the silence.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “Fine, I guess none of you know anything. But please be aware class that if this situation continues, we may have to assume the worst happened and institute an Early Curfew on the town.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “There is a chance that Lemmy could have been abducted. If he isn’t found soon, we may conclude that there’s a kidnapper in town.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Nobody wants to have to go straight home after school, right? Having to stay indoors and be unable to play with friends would be just awful.
Mrs. Chamberlane: “If you know anything about where Lemmy is, be sure to report it so we can avoid that. Okay?”

It didn’t matter how much pressure she applied, you didn’t have any information to spare. That seemed to be the case for most of the class, as even the threat of curfew didn’t change the non-response. If anyone knew anything, they were keeping it to themselves.

The teacher seemed frustrated, but continued on with class anyways. That was thankfully the only announcement for today. The rest of class goes swimmingly.

You don’t even need to visit the nurse’s office at any point. All in all, not a terrible start to the day.
>>
No. 1020274 ID: 629f2e
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1020274

---

When lunchtime arrives, your friends are naturally very accepting of Clive’s presence at your table, going as far as to not mention it at all.



Okay, so it isn’t that clean-cut.

Lillian: “What’s this jerk doing here?”
Clive: “Ask him.”
Albert: “I invited Clive to join our investigation, since he’s going to be looking into many of the same things. Two heads think better than one, so it carries that six would be better than five.
Lillian: “Yeah okay… But why’d you bring Clive here? The dude sucks.”
Clive: “Alright, I’m leaving-”
Albert: “Sit back down! Look, he’s here because he wants to uncover what happened to his brother. Surely you can relate to that.”

She opens and closes her mouth, face contorting as she thinks about it for many seconds. You imagine a microscopic version of her clearing away the cobwebs in her head and turning her brain on to produce its first real thought in years.

Lillian: “...Meh, fair enough I guess. If it’ll help us get Phillip and Rodney back, he can stay.”
Lillian: “If he wails on anyone though, I get to deck him in the face.”
Albert: “Those are agreeable terms.”
Clive: “Fine.”
Franklin: “...You aren’t going to hit me if I sit next to you, right?”
Clive: “...I wasn’t planning on it.”
Franklin: “...Does that mean it’s going to be a spur-of-the-moment beating?”
Clive: “I won’t bite. Just sit down.”
Franklin: “Oh. I hadn’t considered teeth in your assault.”
Clive: “Oh my gosh. This was a mistake.”

He stands up and tries to escape again, so you grab him by the shirt.

Albert: “Would you stop trying to leave!”
Albert: “Jeez, Roger isn’t even here yet, and he’s the one I’m worried about.”

…Actually, come to think of it… You didn’t see Roger anywhere in the room.

Albert: “Lillian, have you seen Roger? Did he leave for the bathroom?”
Lillian: “Nah, he’s with his dad talking to the coach about joining Little League.
Albert: “...Excuse me?”
Lillian: “Oh yeah, his parents are forcing him to take up a sport by the way, so he’s gonna be busy all day with practice.”

…You want to bash your head into the table, but with your luck you’d get head trauma.

Albert: “So… Just us today then?”
Lillian: “Yep.”

You take a look over who all is here.

You have Clive, who seems averse to interacting with anyone and is only here for his brother.

Franklin. Nothing more need be said there.

Lillian. Again, really speaks for herself.

And Enid, who from the terrified expression on her face may not even be in good enough shape to accompany you all today; which is a shame, because she seems generally competent otherwise. This is all the assistance you’ll have on today’s investigation. If Roger doesn’t show, and Enid can’t participate, then you won’t even outnumber the Deadweight like you had been hoping to.

…Wait, Terrified? Enid just seemed unsettled earlier, what happened? Did Lemmy’s vanishing act have that much of an impact on her?

You follow her gaze to the boy in black sitting beside you, sliding the pieces into place. Ah, of course. Roger decided to run his mouth at the library and tell Enid all about your classroom’s black sheep, mincing no words. Congratulations Roger, even without you here your fear of Clive is still negatively impacting things.

[Those who had pleasant dreams lost Fear, while those plagued by Nightmares only gained more since last we checked in]
Enid is terrified of Clive’s very presence, and has gained 2 Fear as a result

Party Fear Levels:
[Albert: 10/100]
[Clive: 21/100]
[Enid: 54/100]
[Franklin: 10/100]
[Lillian: 3/100]


Enid really isn’t holding up well, and you have doubts about how effective a few minutes with Saihu can be for her. As much as you’d like to keep her around, you have to acknowledge that doing so may put her at risk of a total Meltdown if her fear grows more intense than it already is. It’s no secret that some of what you want to look into will likely be upsetting, but you can’t predict the scope of how bad what you find will be.

The fact is: You don’t think Enid has even had enough time to process her father’s death, let alone all of the other things you’ve started to dig into.

If you don’t say anything, it seems likely that she’ll just go along with the flow and continue helping with the investigation.

You think she’ll listen if you tell her to go home, however… Well, that’d leave you with Franklin, Lillian, and Clive. Perhaps, if she can hold on for one more day, you might at least have Roger on top of that tomorrow?

How do you want to handle Enid right now?
A: You know, there is a non-zero chance that Saihu’s a miracle worker. Maybe we can push this decision to AFTER recess?
-Decide not to make a ruling until you see where her Fear is at after recess
-You’re CERTAIN you can convince her to go home now. That may not be the case later…

B: Is it really worth the risk? Send her home and let her rest
-Enid will go home for the remainder of the day
-Enid should recover from MOST of her Fear by tomorrow (Somewhere between 30 and 50 points)
-You and Clive will have to carry the less capable members of your group today

C: Let’s not be hasty, we need Enid here
-Hold your tongue and let Enid participate in today’s investigation
-If a character’s Fear reaches 100, VERY BAD THINGS will happen
-If you really think about it, it’s her own fault if those things happen

D: If I’m going to keep her here, I should take responsibility for her
-Enid will participate in today’s investigation BUT you vow to keep her close at all times
-You’ll have the option of sending her home at any time if you’re worried about her Fear
-You feel like the pressure of babysitting will be very stressful, negatively affecting your rate of Fear gain

E: This isn’t my choice to make, it’s hers. Maybe I should talk to her
-Pull her aside and talk with Enid
-Give some idea of what Albert will say or what options he’ll push for
-You aren’t sure at this point how she’ll respond to you

F: Am I missing an obvious solution?
-Suggest an alternative way of handling Enid
-You have no way of knowing how it will affect Enid until you try it

>>
No. 1020275 ID: afe7de

E: Leaning on getting Enid to talk to Saihu by letting her know he does know how to help with this kind of stuff if she wants it, but that taking a day off is perfectly fine to cope with it on her own.

Also say you're sorry that no one has asked her if she wants to just go home and process, this is a big deal and you feel bad.

Something like that!
>>
No. 1020276 ID: 8483cf

B. Send Enid home, she needs time to decompress, especially now that kids are disappearing left and right.

We're capable of carrying our team- well, not literally. But Enid needs a break BAD.
>>
No. 1020290 ID: e51896

E, and B if enid wants
>>
No. 1020296 ID: a2493c

>>1020274
F, I think it might be smart to pull her and Clive into a private conversation between the three of us to clear the air. With his permission, of course, if he's not down for that.

Clive has a bad reputation, but his motivations for being the way he is are understandable with context (especially given Enid's circumstances), and it may assuage some of her fears to get a direct conversation with the object of her fear about that. I suspect they might bond on similar traumas.

Potential obstacles:
-Albert isn't the most socially tactful person, and I get the feeling he might run his mouth. Managing that is going to be pretty important in general.
-Clive might react poorly to introspection. If he doesn't seem down to discuss his motives with the girl, we back off. Pushing the issue seems a bad idea.
-On a more meta angle, Enid might be too nervous to operate as an individual due to prior choices. We're probably going to take a stress hit playing mediator here, and should be prepared for that.
>>
No. 1020297 ID: f25cae

>>1020296
This
>>
No. 1020509 ID: 629f2e
File 164230376296.png - (717.59KB , 1000x1000 , 71.png )
1020509

Ultimately, you feel that it would be best to speak with Enid directly. If you lay out your concerns, she can decide for herself whether or not she’s fine to continue on today or not.

The idea of bringing Clive into it does cross your mind. Perhaps you could introduce them properly and show her that he isn’t quite the beast she fears.

…And as quickly as the idea comes, you decide against it.

Clive would probably treat the whole thing as too much trouble, and would definitely make a more serious effort to leave if you suggested the idea. Enid meanwhile might not feel comfortable enough to open up to you with someone she’s obviously afraid of present. And even if you wanted to try and break her fear of Clive, her fears are currently based on reality. Clive did get into a nasty fight, and he nearly killed Jolene by most accounts. It isn’t as if those rumors were incorrect, and Clive isn’t nearly personable enough to assuage her concerns. If anything, talking to him may just frighten her more.

No, probably best to speak for him rather than ask him to speak for himself.

Albert: “Franklin, I’m going to step away for a few minutes. Can you make sure Clive doesn’t leave while I’m gone?”
Franklin: “...Yeah, I can do that. If he tries to get up, I’ll think about what Jhonen would do to me and do that to him.”
Franklin: “...Which move though? He knew a lot of different ways to Restrain someone.”
Franklin: “Hmm… Can’t do that one, I don’t have handcuffs… Chokeholds could make his head pop off if I do it too hard…”

Him mulling it over openly should be a clear enough threat to keep Clive at the table while you’re gone.

Albert: “Alright. Enid, can you come with me.”
Enid: “Huh? What do you want me for?”
Albert: “Just a short talk. Is that okay?”
Enid: “Um… Okay.”

She stands up and follows your lead out of the room down the hall. You needed a space with some privacy, so you guide her to an empty classroom between the cafeteria and bathrooms.

Albert: “Here should be good.”
Enid: “For what?”
Albert: “Enid, are you feeling well?”
Enid: “What? Y-Yeah, I’m fine.”

…You lightly knock her on the head with your cane, eliciting a quiet interjection of pain.

Enid: “What was that for!?”
Albert: “It’s very fortunate you’re wearing a dress, as I imagine any trousers you wore would burst into flames from a Lie of that magnitude.”
Albert: “Let’s try this again, and at least try to be honest this time. Hello Enid! Are you feeling well today?”
Enid: “Um… What are you trying to say?”
Albert: “...How to put this…”

You consider reigning yourself in and honeying your words. Enid is clearly in a vulnerable state, so dialing back the Pressure could be the right way of handling her. If you just make her feel safe, then she shouldn’t have any trouble expressing herself.

Instead of doing any of that, you say this:

Albert: “You look like you’re a single sad song away from bursting into tears, and it’s physically painful to observe you in such a pitiful state.”

…This was a calculated response. You aren’t just bad at showing empathy, you have a plan.

Everyone is giving Enid the fragile porcelain doll treatment right now, so you’re separating yourself with a far blunter approach. By approaching her differently, you should hopefully break through her automatic barrier of half-hearted assurances and force her to actually consider the question.

At least you hope that’s how this goes, as if it doesn’t you’ll likely appear to be quite the jerk.

Enid: “I…”

Her eyebrows furrow for a moment, Anger briefly overtaking her fear and sadness. It mellows out a second later into a light displeasure.

Enid: “...Yeah, y-you’re right.”

Ah~ Nothing quite as validating as seeing a plan come together.

Albert: “Would you like to talk about it?”
Enid: “What is there to say? Saying “I miss my daddy” doesn’t bring him back. He’s… gone.”
Albert: “You’re staying with the Fosters now, right? Are they treating you well?”
Enid: “...Yes?”
Albert: “Is that a question?”
Enid: “No, it’s- They’re doing their best. I think they’re both nice people, and they really are trying to cheer me up, but…”
Enid: “The way they talk about what happened makes it sound like they want me to Forget about daddy.”

She grips the hem of her dress, tugging at it as she goes on.

Enid: “I don’t want to forget about him. But I don’t want to just be sad forever either.”
Enid: “Is the only way to feel better really just… pretending he never existed until I really do forget him?”
Albert: “I won’t pretend that I’m not the worst person to ask about that.”
Albert: “I haven’t heard mention of a mother yet. If you went through the loss of a parent once before, I imagine the same coping method you used then would apply here.”
Albert: “...Unless it involved your father of course.”

She shakes her head.

Enid: “Mom doesn’t count. I was a baby back then, I never knew her. I couldn’t miss someone I didn’t ever meet. It was always just me and daddy.”
Enid: “...”

She gets a far off look in her eyes, indicating she was probably getting lost in her thoughts. You snap her out of it quickly.

Albert: “Have you tried talking to anyone about this yet?”
Enid: “Um… A little bit here and there, but-”
Albert: “So no then?”
Enid: “...No.”
Albert: “Then why don’t we fix that?”

She looks up at you appraisingly. An uneasy expression begins to form.

Albert: “...To clarify, I know Somebody Else who I think it would be advisable for you to talk with today.”

You tell her about Louie’s older brother, leaving out any mentions of his stranger obsessions. She can find out about those herself after she agrees to engage in some much needed self-care.

When you finish your pitch, Enid is fiddling with her hands, uncertainly.

Enid: “...I don’t want to be a burden on anyone.”
Albert: “Good, then you’ll talk to Saihu and cease encumbering me with your emotional troubles.”
Enid: “I- Hey! Why do you have to say it like a jerk?”
Albert: “Because it works.”
Enid: “...”
Enid: “...Darn it, you’re right. Fine, I’ll talk to him.”

A small sigh of relief escapes you at her acceptance. That still left one question on the table though.

Albert: “Do you still wish to investigate with my companions and I later today?”
Albert: “Nobody will begrudge you taking time to properly rest and recover from the things you’ve gone through. Be honest with yourself.”
Enid: “Honestly… I just want to go home after school and sleep.”
Albert: “I imagine you didn’t rest well last night?”
Enid: “Not even remotely. I had Nightmares.
Enid: “It’s better if I go home and sleep anyways. Then I won’t be ‘cumbering’ you with my ‘emotional troubles.’”
Albert: “That’s ‘Encumbering’, but I see your point. I’m happy to know that you’re taking care of yourself.”

That wasn’t entirely true. There was a much louder voice in your head screaming in anguish at the loss of not one, but now Two of your teammates in today’s search. You aren’t entirely sure how you’re going to manage with such a massive hindrance, but it’s worth the trouble to know that Enid will feel better.

…You believe it will be worth the trouble. Eventually. The pit developing in your stomach now wouldn’t sway you.

Albert: “Come on, let’s go back before Franklin actually tries to put Clive into a chokehold.”
Enid: “Okay. And, um, thank you. For everything.”

The small but genuine smile she gives is enough to fill up the pit inside you. Even if it was going to be inconvenient, you know deep down that this was the right choice.

Enid will not be participating in today’s investigation
Albert has lost 3 Fear
Between talking with Albert, meeting with Saihu, and taking a full day’s rest, Enid will start tomorrow at 0 Fear barring changes to this course of action

Party Fear Levels:
[Albert: 7/100]
[Enid: 48/100]

>>
No. 1020510 ID: 629f2e
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1020510

When you both return, you’re personally pleased to find that Clive didn’t ditch you in your absence. If you lost him on top of Roger and Enid, you would probably just send Lillian and Franklin home as well and investigate by yourself.

Still, that left a pretty big lingering question… What exactly are you going to investigate today? You had a few different leads you could follow up on, but which were the best to pull on first?

The people around you start to talk, each raising different points and thoughts about what threads were most important. You can’t fully disregard their Opinions, but there’s only so much time in the day. If you split into two pairs of two, you can look into Two Leads at most.

So what was it going to be?

HOLD IT!

Before we can do that, there’s something you need to know.

Among your friends, Roger is the unofficial leader. This is due to him getting along with everyone well, and maintaining the group harmony better than any of you. As such, when Roger makes group decisions they usually go uncontested. You and your companions trust Roger to have your best interests.

You are not Roger Bannister.

As such, you will have to consider the opinions of others when making decisions as a collective. Every kid present gets to influence group choices, some more than others if they feel strongly enough.

In addition, while the spirits are many, Albert is only one. Keep that disparity in mind, it may become troublesome later.

With (hopefully) the final tutorial of this thread wrapped up…


What leads should your group investigate today? (Pick two to discuss now, you’ll decide after school which of them you’ll focus on today)
A: Lillian: “Phillip totally shouldn’t have graduated. He’s an exception too, just like Rodney.”
-You have a counterargument to that claim
-Dig deeper into the mysteries of graduation by looking into the three kids who graduated early
-Probably the most reliable lead, gives you a number of clues to look into
-Lillian and Clive both want this, +2 Votes

B: Enid: “...Daddy. What did they do to you?
-You don’t know how relevant this lead is, but following up on it will certainly help you learn more about Enid
-Dig deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Anderson house fire by learning more about it from Enid
-This will probably cause Enid to take back her choice to stay home today
-Enid wants this, +1 Vote

C: Franklin: “What was I going to… Oh! Right. Is your dad still in the hospital, Albert?”
-Ugh
-Dig deeper into the mysteries of why your dad was attacked
-You only care as far as wanting to know that his assailant won’t come after you
-If this wins, you’re locked into following up on it due to your personal connection

D: Clive stares at Franklin, assessing the strange boy.
-Franklin is an anomaly that you’ve ignored for too long
-Dig deeper into the mysteries of class alien Franklin by asking him directly
-Franklin REALLY doesn’t want you to choose this, -2 Votes

E: Albert: “I feel that there might be other things worth considering”
-Suggest an entirely different topic to investigate, creating an entirely new route
-Albert is conditionally interested in this, and will give +1 to any ideas that he thinks have merit

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No. 1020513 ID: afe7de

I think that even though I really want to know about Enid's situation, like REALLY want to know, we should respect Enid's agency and let her rest. If she's willing to talk about it but not go searching today, just so we can have that information I would like that.

If we can't do that then C/D, if we can, then that and C
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No. 1020514 ID: 8483cf

In order to better develop our hypothesis on graduation, we need to flesh out the exceptions. Look into A: Phillip.

Let’s ignore Franklin’s weirdness. He’s weird, but his weirdness isn’t so weird it’ll collapse into itself and form a black hole of weird. Yet.

Don’t focus on Enid’s dad. Let her rest, and let her be a part of the investigation later. She has information we don’t.

I vote E: Investigate the school’s attendance records, roll calls and administrative files. If someone’s graduating, there HAS to be paperwork involved.
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No. 1020517 ID: ce39da

Yeah, A and C. B should be saved for when Enid isn't on a fear-detox prescription, and D for when Roger can override Franklin's adamant non-desire. A seems reliable for clues, and C seems important to your personal wellbeing.
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No. 1020523 ID: afe7de

>>1020514
Actually I retract my C/D thing I want to do this, the E action of looking at records, there should be a public database students can access if it's a regular school with a library and documents. I LOVE this idea.
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No. 1020554 ID: afe7de

>>1020523
Editing my suggestion again to E, and a second E, which is talk about needing to stay with someone tonight because of stuff at home. Better to get this out of the way now.


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