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1038059 No. 1038059 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
THREAD 2: https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/1019132.html
THREAD 3B: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1038066.html
WIKI: https://questden.org/wiki/Perpetuity

---

And again, you see it all play out, reliving the mistakes exactly as you’d made them on that day. The performance of a tragedy...
74 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1046001 ID: 629f2e
File 166537194770.png - (718.55KB , 1000x1000 , 216.png )
1046001

...Albert did point out that you all need to stick together. Leaving Enid standing out here in front of your house is just going to make you both look suspicious. Better to just get it over with.

You hold the door open for her. From the moment she steps inside it’s clear that she wants to bring up the odd scene sitting in front of her.

Clive: “...Don’t ask.”
Enid: “Huh?”
Clive: “I already had to explain it to Albert. I don’t want to again.”
Enid: “O-Oh... Do you mind if I ask him when we meet back up?”
Clive: “Whatever.”

You walk towards the kitchen, when you notice her crouching down in the corner of your eye.

Clive: “Don’t touch that.”
Enid: “Oh, sorry. It’s just that we came here to bring snacks, so—”
Clive: “Not. Those. In the kitchen.”
Enid: “If you say so...”

She quietly complies, following your lead.

You waste no time, beginning to dig through cabinets and pulling out items that don’t need any preparation. Pretzels, granola bars,cut up apples and peanut butter.

Conveniently, you have a paper bag sitting around from ‘Bec’s last grocery run. You load it up with as much as it will hold, and lead Enid back the way you came.

There’s a moment of hesitation from her at the front door, as she casts her gaze back to the scene. Without a word though, she shuts it behind you both. It’s a small gesture of respect for your privacy. You appreciate it.

As you start off towards your next destination, she eyes the bag you’re holding.

Enid: “Will your mom and dad notice that you took so much?”

In one way, it was comforting to be asked that. It meant Albert hadn’t told everyone what he knew. That part was nice. Being made to think about your deceased parents, less so.

Clive: “No. They... won’t care.”
Enid: “Oh. So, you don’t need to make an excuse?”
Clive: “No.”
Enid: “...”

Ugh, come on Clive, she’s just trying to be friendly. Give her something to work with.

Clive: “...They work Nights. We don’t talk much.”
Enid: “Really? Then, when do you see them?”
Clive: “After school, before they leave for work. We get a few hours with them. It’s just me and Rodney at night though.”
Enid: “Is that okay?”

You shrug. It was more okay than the Actual current arrangement. This excuse hadn’t come out of nowhere though, it was how things were before.

Clive: “Rodney always wants to spend more time with them, but he understands. He’s pretty mature for his age.”
Enid: “I wish I could have met him. He sounds really nice.”
Clive: “...You’d probably get along.”
Enid: “If we investigate well-enough, we still might.”
>>
No. 1046002 ID: 629f2e
File 166537201156.png - (1.36MB , 1000x1000 , 217.png )
1046002

The conversation stalls from there, as you walk in silence towards the field. It was on the way to the toy store, and the most common place to find ‘Bec. Sure enough, you catch her at the edge of the clearing. With her is The Slacker, John, who completes a transaction with her as you come into view. They both notice your approach.

John: “Eyy, Killer Clive and- it’s Enid, right? We talked just the other day, The Homeschooler?”
Enid: “That’s right. And you’re John, right?”
John: “Sure am! So what’s the deal here? Did kids stop giving the safety lesson about identifying safe Schmidts to be around ever since I went up a grade?”
Clive: “. . .”

‘Bec thankfully spares you from having to respond to that. With a swift elbow to the gut (using more force than necessary), she addresses her previous customer.

‘Bec: “Piss off, flake. You already paid, so we’re done here. Scare any of my customers away, and your mom gets a tip off about the kinds of magazines you’ve been buying.”
John: “Hey c’mon ‘Bec, don’t turn fink over a little joke. Honestly, it’s nice to see the lil’ killer take after his littler bro after all this time. Makin’ friends instead of corpses–”
‘Bec: “Five. Four. Three-”
John: “Welp! Nice seein’ ya, but I gotta make myself scarce. Nice doing business with–”
‘Bec: “Two. O-

Realizing her countdown wasn’t going to pause, he turns on his heel and starts jogging away. ‘Bec spits in his direction as he escapes your sight, before turning back to you and Enid.

‘Bec: “Sorry about him, he’s a dick who thinks he’s funnier than he is.”
Clive: “...Our grade has Lemmy. I get it.”
‘Bec: “Oh shit, right. Yeah no you win. I’ll take Sheppard and the Caldwells over That any day of the week.”

The tense atmosphere diminishes, replaced by a more casual air. You like ‘Bec. Most people have treated you differently since your Incident, but not her. She’s an equal opportunity pain in the butt.

‘Bec: “Hey, where’s the geek?”
Clive: “Albert?”
‘Bec: “Yeah, I need to talk to him about something. Why didn’t you bring him instead of... I don’t know who this is, name?”
Enid: “I’m Enid.”

If life were a cartoon, there would be dollar signs in her eyes right now.

‘Bec: “Y’know what, poindexter can wait. Can I get you guys anything right now?”

There are many ways you could broach the topic, but you decide that the direct approach would be best.

Clive: “Do you have a key to the nuclear power plant South of town?”
‘Bec: “...The what?”
‘Bec: “Clive, what the hell are you talking about?”

You still have the newspaper article you’d shown previously, which you share with ‘Bec as well. She reads it closely, before reaching an understandable conclusion.

‘Bec: “Why the fuck would you want to go there?”
Clive: “We... have our reasons.”
‘Bec: “Oh okay, cool. Five Bucks.

Enid winces.

Enid: “We don’t have that much.”
‘Bec: “Then get it. Do you know how much of a pain in the ass it’s gonna be to find a key to this place? I’d have to figure out Who’d even have one before I can get it from them.”
‘Bec: “You’ve given me literally nothing to go on, and if I’ve never heard of this then there can’t be many other people I can ask. This will literally take up the rest of my day.”
‘Bec: “So you’re either gonna give me more to work with, or you’re gonna pay top dollar. Your call.”

Without any leads, it would take time to find a key. This wasn’t her upcharging you, it was a simple fact of life. Still, you need a way in sooner rather than later. Even putting the price aside, this deal is just not acceptable in its current state.

How do you haggle?

A: Give her some information
-Tell her what you think will be enough to find a key, but leave out the bigger details
-It should get you a discount
-’Bec isn’t a fool. She’ll know there’s something you aren’t saying
-Unless otherwise specified, you’ll disclose that Albert’s father is a former employee, and suggest checking his apartment

B: Give her ALL the information
-Tell her what’s going on. Not just about the nuclear plant, but about graduation as well
-It should get you a discount
-’Bec will be aware of your investigation, and will do what she will with that information

C: Change your request
-Ask her to come with you to unlock the door herself
-You won’t be able to get back in without her help
-Unknown price
-’Bec may demand more details before she agrees to follow you. Unless specified, you will relent to any requests for information

>>
No. 1046006 ID: e51896

Didn't think we'd go in and out of Clive's place so quickly, otherwise I would have suggested to move the chair, and clean the candy in case somebody comes in snooping while we're gone. Aw well, it probably would have stressed Clive too much anyways if we asked him to do that.

trust Bec with full information. Honestly, it'd probably be good to have her on our side on this, even if she's a bit of a bully scammer. Plus I think she helped save Jojo, If that's true, I feel she has a good heart deep inside enough to trust her with full information

lastly, there's a couple of people behind Bec and John. I don't recognize the silhouettes, but one of them has glasses.
Be careful, they might be spies. Might want to whisper to her, or bring her somewhere more private, or let her know we're not alone or something.
>>
No. 1046007 ID: 22eda9

Looks like there are some others besides Bec in view. If you're gonna spill the beans, maybe not here.

My suggestion is... a mix of everything!

While on the way to C, use A as a bargaining chip and see what she thinks, and if she seems on board, then go in with B. It's up to her what she does with that information.

It could be unwise to tell Bec everything- however, as the information base, it's possible she could shed some light on the current running theory.
In the worst case scenario, if she gets caught, it's all over.

...That's a risk that you two have always taken though, so why stop now?
>>
No. 1046067 ID: 8483cf

A. We have to keep an eye on our suspicion levels, and giving 'Bec more info than necessary will absolutely lead to consequences.

Plus, she'll respect us more if we don't tell her everything up front. Nothing in the world is free.

If she's receptive to the first bits of info, maybe share slightly more, but don't tell her too much in public.
>>
No. 1046996 ID: 5499f4

>>1046067
I think A with a side of C, if she's more deeply interested and wants to go somewhere private because she thinks its valuable enough I'm willing to go C, but primarily A
>>
No. 1048207 ID: 629f2e
File 166737303630.png - (1.19MB , 1000x1000 , 231.png )
1048207

You trust ‘Bec, but the two of you don’t normally tell each other more than what’s absolutely necessary. The only reason she knows about your parents is because you needed her to understand for the sake of your business transactions. While the secrets of graduation aren’t exactly personal, telling her unnecessary things could end up biting you later on. If she tries to investigate it herself and gets caught, you’re sure she’d Rat out anyone to save herself. Rodney’s safety is on the line, so that isn’t a risk you can afford.

Clive: “...Alright. I’ll give you a little more.”
‘Bec: “Finally.”

Before saying anything incriminating, your eyes land on two kids closeby. The idea that they might be listening in strikes you, but all you see when you stare at them are two middle schoolers having an unrelated conversation. The first is Louie’s brother, Saihu Leoi, and you’re rather sure that the other girl is Eren Wells. The Astrologer and The Baker are a pair you can’t even pretend to suspect of anything.

Still, better safe than sorry. You motion for ‘Bec and Enid to follow you further from the clearing before explaining.

Clive: “...A few other kids and I are going to investigate the nuclear power plant.”
‘Bec: “Okay, but Why? You’re risking getting in some serious trouble, so there’s gotta be a good reason.”
Clive: “I’m not telling you That for free.”
‘Bec: “The hell? You said you were giving me more.”
Clive: “I’m giving you a lead. If you want to know more about the plant, Albert’s Father used to work there.”
‘Bec: “My lead is pissing in a bowl at the hospital. What kinda shit clue is that?”
‘Bec: “Besides, you hang out with Albert, apparently. If that twerp had a key, you would have found it at his apartment. This doesn’t get me anywhere.”

That was a Lie. The gears were definitely turning in her head, as she reassessed various connections and whatever other info she’d gathered. Applying the new sliver of information to them would give her threads to pull on. ‘Bec will find something out given enough time, you’re sure of it.

Still, you need a way into the nuclear plant Now, and that means you can’t wait for her to find that key. Best to change the requirements of your request.

Clive: “Forget the key. How much would it cost for you to come with us and unlock the door yourself?”
‘Bec: “...How much do you have?”
Clive: “A dollar fifty.”
‘Bec: “Pfft, no. Not to go stick my neck on the line for you is that enough. If you want me to go past the death forest, then it’s gonna cost you more than that.”
Clive: “How much?”
‘Bec: “The money you offered and some Gossip. Give me some info I can make at least a buck on, and I’ll let it cover the rest of your bill.”
Clive: “...Hmm.”

Obviously you can’t just give the graduation conspiracy to her, but what else would qualify as decent gossip? You don’t talk to many other kids, so you aren’t sure what they’re interested in. Plus, none of them have told you anything you could give here as a response. Enid probably isn’t much better, having just recently joined your class.

Has anything interesting happened recently that wouldn’t give away the whole secret of graduation?

...Maybe... Okay, that might just suffice.

Clive: “...I have something.”
‘Bec: “Spill.”
Clive: “Yesterday, after school...”
Clive: “Lillian and Albert got into a Fight. She hit him hard enough to send him flying.”
‘Bec: “Pfft! Holy–!”
Enid: “Wait what!?

Oh, right, Enid wasn’t there for that. Whatever, it’s not important.

Clive: “Is that enough?”
‘Bec: “...Eh, It’ll have to do. I can probably get a couple hits on that. Alright, alright, gimme the cash, and tell me when we’re leaving.”

The coins are exchanged, as you tell her the time to at the Foster’s house. With that settled, she leaves to make her own preparations. Enid hesitates, still shocked from your gossip.

Enid: “...Did they really have a fight?”
Clive: “Yes.”
Enid: “But... Why?”
Clive: “Interpersonal drama. It was stupid.”
Enid: “Is everything okay now at least? Did they make up?”

You shrug. It doesn’t satisfy her at all.

Nothing interesting happens on the way to the store.
>>
No. 1048208 ID: 629f2e
File 166737305271.png - (1.18MB , 1000x1000 , 232.png )
1048208

...

Enid: “Do you want to come in with me?”
Clive: “Do you want me to come in with you?”
Enid: “...A little bit.”

You shrug. It seemed obvious that you being there would just make her attempts at getting a discount harder, but that was her call to make. Both of you enter the toy store.

Mr. Snyder: “Hey kids– Oh! Enid, how have you...”

He pauses, clearly looking at you behind her. You look away, but you can tell he’s still looking.

[The Suspicion surrounding members of your party has changed.]

Party Suspicion Levels:
[Clive: 57/100](+2 for being around Enid)
[Enid: 12/100] (+2 for being around you)


Mr. Snyder: “...H-How have you been doing?”
Enid: “I’m feeling a little better, but still not a hundred percent... May I look around?”
Mr. Snyder: “Of course. You don’t even need to ask.”

As Enid walks down an aisle, you’re left unsure of whether to follow or not. After a moment’s hesitation, you decide to do so. Pretending you weren’t with her would just make you seem more suspicious than you already are.

The next few minutes are filled with walking up and down the aisles. It’s dull, but Enid seems enthralled by all the different toys on the shelves. You don’t want to spoil her fun, so you keep your mouth shut. The original task comes back to her eventually, as you both stop in front of a variety of colorful flashlights.

She grabs a Pink one with a Pink light filter. You wonder if the girl in the Pink dress has a favorite color.

On the way back up, she pauses in front of a rack of plush toys. You tap her shoulder.

Clive: “The price tag for that light said it’s $1.50. That’s all we have.”
Enid: “I know...”

Knowing does not stop her from grabbing a toy. She did claim that she could probably get a discount earlier. Time to see if that’s true or not.

Mr. Snyder: “All done? I can ring you both up right over here.”
Enid: “Thank you. Just these two, and here’s the money.”

As she sets a single bill down on the counter, Mr. Snyder frowns.

Mr. Snyder: “Hmm, that’s only A Dollar...
Enid: “Um, is that not enough?”
Mr. Snyder: “Not for the flashlight at least. The stuffed toy is only a quarter though.”
Enid: “But I thought... I must have read the wrong price tag, I’m sorry. I-I’m sure I have enough, so it’s fine.”

She makes a show of digging through her pockets, before setting two more quarters on the counter.

Enid: “Is that good now? I can get more if it’s not.”
Mr. Snyder: “Still a quarter short if you want both... but hey, you can get the flashlight now!”
Enid: “Oh...”
Mr. Snyder: “...So hey, um, what are you going to do with this anyways?”
Enid: “Roger wanted to teach me a fun Game that you need a flashlight for. We were all gonna go play it at the field.”
Enid: “I need it for the game, so I’ll take that over this.”

With sagging shoulders, she picks the plush back up and gives it a sad hug.

Enid: “Can you promise not to sell her? I’ll come back and buy her later, I promise! I have enough, just not on me.”
Mr. Snyder: “...Um, y’know... How about you take this little gal for Free? She’s been on the shelf for a while, and nobody’s bought her so far.”
Mr. Snyder: “She’d be happier with you than sitting around the store with me anyways.”
Enid: “Really? Thank you Mr. Giovanni!”

She hugs the toy tightly and flashes him a smile. With that, she picks up her things and walks out. You follow behind, taking nothing. Snyder’s eyes are locked on the back of your head as you go, you can feel them. Maybe having you around did help in a way. He was so focused on what you might be doing that he didn’t seem to realize that Enid was Manipulating him that entire time.
>>
No. 1048209 ID: 629f2e
File 166737307730.png - (1.00MB , 1000x1000 , 233.png )
1048209

When you finally get out of sight of the store, Enid turns and holds the toy out to you.

Clive: “...What?”
Enid: “This is for you.”
Clive: “...Why?”
Enid: “Well, y’know... You said you didn’t have any toys, and her face reminded me of yours, so I thought you’d like it.

She deposits the toy in your hands, letting you look at it more closely. It was a humanoid plush in winter clothes, with rich purple hair covering one eye. She wasn’t wrong, the toy stared back at you with a tired expression of its own. Odd design choice. No wonder it had been on the shelf for so long, who is it meant to appeal to?

...

Clive: “Thank you.”
Enid: “Do you like it?”
Clive: “...I don’t dislike it.”
Enid: “Well if you like it, then you have to name it. That’s how plush toys work.”

You don’t know or care whether that’s a real rule. With a single glance at its hair, you simply dub her Plum to settle the matter.

...You’re going to have to hold this thing for the rest of the day, won’t you?
>>
No. 1048210 ID: 629f2e
File 166737308968.png - (87.48KB , 1000x1000 , 234.png )
1048210

...

You meet up with the others outside the Foster’s home. ‘Bec shows up just a bit later, making you wait a few minutes.

‘Bec: “Yeah, I know I’m late. Shut up, I had shit to grab.”
Roger: “Like what?”

She reaches into her jacket and pulls out a Crowbar.

Albert: “...My faith in your lockpicking skills is dropping rapidly.”
‘Bec: “Hey, dipshit, I haven’t seen the fucking door. I’m not making this trip twice, so if Plan A is out then Plan B is coming with me.”
Roger: “We don’t really want to leave a trace of us being there. Wouldn’t breaking in do just that?”
‘Bec: “Only if you’re sloppy.”
Roger: “...If you say so. Alright, let’s double check and make sure we have everything.”

You put all that you’ve picked up together. You have:

-2 Flashlights
-A Compass
-4 Water Bottles
-4 Rations (Enough snacks to provide a full meal for about 4 of you)
-1 First-Aid Kit


Most of the food and drink gets loaded into Roger’s satchel, while the rest will be split among yourselves.

Enid: “Can I ask something?”
Albert: “You don’t need permission to speak. Go right ahead.”
Enid: “Um... Are we going to go through the forest?”

You all turn towards the treeline. It was uncharted territory for you, and seemingly for everyone else. Kids talk about going in plenty. There are a million and one rumors, but you don’t know anybody who has actually done it.

Roger: “...Actually, I was going to suggest we take the Road instead.”
Albert: “I’m in agreement. Given the information we have, it seems the safest route.”

You know the path they’re talking about. The only family that regularly takes it are the Sheppards, as it leads to and from the farm where they live at the town’s edge.

‘Bec: “Yeah, we could do that. Or, and stay with me here, we could try not to get seen. We’d be walking right in front of the farm without any Cover.
Albert: “As opposed to walking into the rest woods, visible to anybody on this street peeking out their window?”
‘Bec: “We’re talking about the difference of about one minute to several spent in constant exposure.”
Roger: “I wasn’t thinking so much about being seen. The only thing we know about the nuclear plant is that it’s South, but we don’t know how far East or West it is.”
Roger: “Most places in town were designed around cars, so I figure if we Follow the road, eventually we’ll find the plant’s Parking Lot.
‘Bec: “We could hook back up with the road after cutting through the forest.”
Albert: “I take it you know just how far it stretches out then?”

She grits her teeth. Clearly she didn’t.

‘Bec: “That’s not the only problem! If anybody saw us, we’d be out in the open. The forest would give us cover, which we can use to slip away if we pick up any pursuers.”
Roger: “Couldn’t we just duck into the forest anyways if we see someone on the street?”
‘Bec: “You don’t think before you talk, do you?”
‘Bec: “Put yourself in their shoes. You think you see something moving in the woods, you check it out, don’t find shit, you’d probably write it off as a leaf or something.”
‘Bec: “You see a conga line of dumbass kids run into the forest, and you don’t just go ‘oh, must’a been the breeze’, you know some shit is up instantly! No Deniability!
Roger: “I see your point, but I still think it’s better to take the road.”
Albert: “I agree.”
Enid: “...I don’t know. You made both options kind of sound bad. I’m not sure which is better.”

...Both sides made good points. You aren’t entirely sure who to support, or if you should even toss your hat in at all. Would your opinion actually change anything here?

Should you speak up? BE WARNED! There’s a chance that Clive will give up on interjecting his opinion, and he’ll gain some Fear if he does.

1: Support ‘Bec
-Agree that you should cut straight through the Death Forest
-’Bec will be happy with this arrangement

2: Support Roger and Albert
-Agree that you should follow the road to the plant
-Albert will appreciate the support

3: Present a new option
-Present an option neither party has considered
-The odds of Clive failing to share his thoughts lowers dramatically if this is chosen

4: Stay out of it
-They’ll work it out themselves
-It’ll feel better this way


ALSO

Choose TWO items for Clive to hold onto. Even if he gets separated, he’ll have access to the items’ benefits. If Clive picks something another kid wants, there’s a chance he’ll chicken out and gain a little bit of Fear.

A: Flashlight
-You will be able to illuminate dark spaces
-Enid has claimed the pink flashlight she bought. Roger would prefer to keep his as well

B: First-Aid Kit
-You will be able to mend the wounds of yourself and others
-Albert wants this, likely out of concern for his own health

C: Compass
-You will be able to navigate the halls of the plant with significant ease
-Nobody feels strongly about the compass, so it’s free game

D: A Ration and Water
-You will be able to take a snack break, letting yourself calm down and drop a bit of Fear
-Roger certainly won’t mind you lightening his bag by carrying this.

>>
No. 1048217 ID: e51896
File 166737539020.png - (101.28KB , 1028x927 , visualaid.png )
1048217

to help raise Clive's confidence enough for 3, we need a bit of 1 too so he can fall back on that if it doesn't help, and Bec will have his back at least a little.

1 and 3. Go with Bec's idea (1), but ask what if we go South-East instead of just south, that way, we'll be hidden in the forest until we reach back into the road the farm is on, and we'll most likely get past the farm by the time we reach the road. We have a compass after all.

Be sure to ask that in a form of a question instead of just telling them to do the idea, since if it's a good idea, they'll take it, and if it's not, they will simply just answer you're question as to why not, and we won't get too hurt over it since you didn't demand it and you'll still be supporting Bec's idea. Bec might even support your idea at least

pictured is Visual Aid on what I'm talking about too. We should be able to get past the farm by the time we reach the road, and have a less likely encounter with the Sheppards.
>>
No. 1048220 ID: 22eda9
File 166738036968.png - (145.73KB , 821x625 , Cattenom Alter.png )
1048220

I like Plum. Plum's nice.
Enid might not have thought through that Giovanni might think that Clive took Plum rather than being gifted it, but that's a thought for later.

I wish I could pull a big brain suggestion of "Follow the creek" since Our Cattenom has a river that practically leads straight to the Nuclear Plant. (Pic Related)

I wish, but... the creek depicted here in Perpe-ttenom's map leads to the Ocean (Not present in Eart-tenom) but also even if this is even slightly close to a real lead (following an unknown river) I can't actually think of any plausibility for which Clive can base this knowledge off of and suggest with.

I do like the suggestion of AC though, and I'd like to also suggest something along the lines of "Following the road from within the forest."

(My heart says "Just cut through the forest, we'll see more cool stuff!", but logic keeps winning out. It just keeps happening. It's like my two brain cells are Lemmy and Albert.)

As for what to bring with, I'm thinking either C or D.
The compass is good since if all hell breaks loose, Clive can just go East until he reaches the road and follow the plan from there.

However, D is also a good choice since it offers some immediate relief if and when necessary. If the road makes sound from traffic, then the compass may not be necessary after all for the above plan with C.
>>
No. 1048307 ID: 8483cf

3, C. Clive isn’t really the nurturing type (at least not with Not-Rodneys), so I can’t see an emotional (Fear) benefit to having him play quartermaster. Compass it is.

I support >>1048217 with AC. It makes sense for kids to want to play in the farm fields, we’d be heading in that direction that way. Walking along the road in a big ol’ group is just asking to get spotted and add tons of suspicion.
>>
No. 1048328 ID: 5499f4

>>1048217
>>1048307
Supporting these
>>
No. 1048355 ID: a2d88b

>>1048217
Sounds good, supporting this.
>>
No. 1048549 ID: 629f2e

rolled 5 = 5

You want this to not be 1.
>>
No. 1048550 ID: 629f2e

rolled 2 = 2

You want this to not be 1.
>>
No. 1049119 ID: 629f2e
File 166830449294.png - (1.19MB , 1000x1000 , 239.png )
1049119

Clive: “...Why don’t we do Both?

You flinch, as the interjection sets all eyes on you. It’s tough to hold your ground.

Roger: “How would we do that?”
Clive: “We could enter through the forest, but come out near the road after we pass the farm.”
Albert: “Hmm... That’s not a bad idea. We do have a compass to keep us moving in the right direction. We’d simply have to travel South-East.”
Roger: “We’d connect back to the road, meaning we could still find the plant’s parking lot.”
‘Bec: “Traveling near the forest’s edge could still get us seen by the farmers though. Then we’re back with all the issues I brought up already.”
Albert: “Even if we’re spotted though, the trees should provide enough cover to obscure our identities.”
Albert: “We could still be seen, but the possibility is reduced dramatically this way.”

There’s a lull in the conversation, as everyone considers the suggestion to themselves.

‘Bec: “...Fine. It’s not that shit an idea.”
Roger: “I agree.”
Enid: “It sounds like that has all the upsides but none of the bad parts.”
Albert: “Then I think we’ve reached an agreement.”

You can’t deny a small swell of Pride at your suggestion going over well.

You spoke your mind, and had your idea accepted by the group. -2 Fear

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 47/100]
[Albert: 41/100]
[Enid: 0/100]
[Roger: 9/100]
[‘Bec: 20/100]

>>
No. 1049121 ID: 629f2e
File 166830470993.png - (1.16MB , 1000x1000 , 240.png )
1049121

You decide to hold onto a Ration for yourself, which would save you from having to ask Roger for it later (avoiding future conversations is a wonderful feeling). Nobody complains when you offer to take the Compass, though Roger reminds you to be careful with it since it doesn’t belong to any of you. Louie would be rightfully upset if you returned it in a poor condition.

Roger: “That’s everything?”
Enid: “I think so. It’s time then, right?”
Albert: “Right...”

There’s a sense of Hesitation. Being told your whole life not to do something will inherently give you pause before doing it. You were going to go inside the Death Forest.

Suddenly, it felt like you were playing with higher Stakes. This isn’t the same as doing research at the library or getting gossip from ‘Bec. You’ll be in serious trouble if you’re caught doing this. There won’t be any excusing your actions as anything but what they really are: An investigation into the system.

If this goes poorly, you could all be the next to Graduate. Maybe even worse...

Roger: “Well, we don’t really have a choice. Whether we do it now or later, we’re just gonna have to do it.”
‘Bec: “He’s right. C’mon, let’s go.”
Enid: “Ah, wait. How are we going to get across the river though?”
‘Bec: “Jeez, you really have been sheltered, haven’t ya?”
Enid: “What’s that supposed to mean?”

The answer had been so obvious to the rest of you, you hadn’t even thought to mention it. There were large rocks jutting out above the stream, almost inviting you to hop across them.

Roger goes first, followed confidently by ‘Bec. Albert is slower, but has enough control over his cane to make it by himself. Even after watching all of them do it without issue, Enid still asks you to hold her hand as she goes. You silently reflect on how most kids would find touching you scarier than a few small jumps.

In fairness, Enid does nearly slip right off, justifying her concerns. You would argue that your tether was responsible for the slip, but it’s not worth the effort. Everyone makes it across.

Enid: “Thank you.”
Clive: “You should do it yourself next time.”
Enid: “I don’t want to fall in. I can’t swim...”
Clive: “I can’t either. Don’t drag me down with you.”
Clive: “It only goes up to your junk. Just stand back up if you fall, and don’t let it get into your mouth.”
Enid: “Why not? It’s just water.”
Clive: “It’s Untreated. Same stuff that comes out of the sink or shower.”
Enid: “Oh, I see. It’s not like the stuff that comes in bottles?”
Clive: “Yeah. You’ll get sick if you drink this.”

Albert rushes you along at the tree line, pointing out that the longer you spend there, the higher chance there is that somebody will see you. His concerns see you all stepping foot within the forest, regardless of any misgivings or concerns you might hold.

There’s a clear cutoff point where the forest starts, characterized by the leaves on the ground. The side that was considered still being in town was clearly raked, while the floor of the forest clearly hadn’t received such treatment in a long time.

Roger: “Albert, you’re going to lead the way, right?”
Albert: “Presumably. If I don’t you’ll leave me behind, intentionally or not.”
Roger: “Right. We can’t see much of the ground with all these leaves. Can you use your cane to test it as we walk?”
Enid: “Do you think there are traps out here?”
Roger: “I mean, it’s not impossible? Even if there’s not, it’d still be nice to catch any tree roots before we trip over them.”

That’s definitely a concern. You couldn’t see what you were walking in, as each step dug into a carpet of leaves that go halfway up your legs.

As you all start walking, you notice Enid start to lag behind quickly. Her legs were shorter than the rest of yours, which made walking through this mess a far greater ordeal.

The thought occurs to you that she can’t be far off Rodney’s height, and you’re able to hold him easily. He’s your little brother though. She’s a girl from class you met literally yesterday. It’d be weird to even offer, wouldn’t it? Does the clear utility outweigh the social contract in this case, or not? Will she get upset if you even ask?

Offer Enid a ride on your back?
A: Yes
-You’ll feel useful if she accepts
B: No
-You won’t feel awkward if you don’t ask

ALSO

Where will you walk among the group?
1: Near the front
-You’ll get to talk to Albert
-It’ll be easier to react to anything that happens ahead of you

2: In the middle
-You’ll probably have to talk to Roger
-Being in the middle makes you harder to identify from ahead or behind

3: Back of the line
-You’ll get to talk to ‘Bec
-It’ll be easier to react to anything that happens behind you

>>
No. 1049129 ID: e51896

Offer Enid a ride?
No. As cute as it sounds, as an introvert, Clive's done a lot already to share his idea of heading to the road through the forest. Lets give him a break for now. We are supposed to be patient with him after all. And putting her on our back might make us easier to see when we get to the forest edge, or anything else

And if there is a moment we need to run, or need a hand free, it's going to be difficult with Enid on our back.

We could instead see if she'd want to go in front of you so we can keep an eye on her, or maybe even handhold instead of piggy back riding. Handholding seem a lot less awkward than a piggyback ride and can help her traverse through the roots, leaf piles, and other weird plants, and she wanted to hold your hand earlier across the stream so she might be more fine with that. Plus, we gotta hold Glum Plum too, remember?

And yeah, with that thought of not offering Enid a ride, instead, stay in the back with Bec, that way we can keep an eye on Enid if she falls too far back. She has a flashlight too to get our attention if she falls back, and Roger won't get too distracted by us to help out Albert if he trips over and hurts himself or something. And if we're behind with Enid and Bec, then Albert and Roger won't go too far ahead and lose us since they need us for the Compass.
>>
No. 1049130 ID: 22eda9

>>1049128
I agree with this for the most part, but I'd still like to make a point.

I don't think Enid would turn it down, so really it'd just come down to if Clive's up for it or not. I suggest this choice is up to him.

..But yeah, probably in the back or close to it.
>>
No. 1049145 ID: 8483cf

Be careful with the compass or else Louie will be upset? What’s he gonna do, pun-ish us?

Oh god he would

Anyway, yeah, agree with the above. Clive wouldn’t offer the ride, I don’t think, and I won’t pressure him into it.

As for where to walk, avoid Roger for sure. Walking in front gets us furthest away from Enid, so it makes Roger more likely to notice her lagging behind, which will slow both of them down and make it so Roger is even less likely to talk to Clive.
>>
No. 1049168 ID: 5499f4

I disagree with the prior suggestors in saying that he wouldn't. He's already on a road to at least *attempting* to socialize and he misses his brother, maybe he wouldn't under normal circumstances, but I think this kind of thing would be calming to him in the moment. Also, having someone higher up means they can also spot for you in case there's anything weird coming up that you all (Being short kids) could miss.

I wanted to say A3, but Instead I'll go with A2, piggyback and the middle, the extra height from Enid means you'll be hard to see anyway, which means having someone up high in a hard to see place can catch something you all otherwise might miss.
>>
No. 1049531 ID: 629f2e

rolled 1 = 1

You want this to not be 1.
>>
No. 1049532 ID: 629f2e

rolled 2 = 2

You want this to be 2 or 3.

This roll will determine Clive's awareness of the previous result.
>>
No. 1049533 ID: b12f17

Per p petuity
>>
No. 1050690 ID: 22eda9

>>1049533
What did he mean by this...?

it is a mystery
>>
No. 1051261 ID: 629f2e
File 167047940423.png - (1.27MB , 1000x1000 , 251.png )
1051261

You’ve barely known this girl a day. Offering her a ride on your back would be... weird.

Pretend the thought never entered your head. If she needs help, she’ll ask you. Keeping that thought in mind, you stay close by in the back of the group. This gives you the added bonus of being near ‘Bec, who you feel slightly more comfortable with than the rest.

After a few minutes of walking, the older girl starts to speak, keeping her voice down so Enid doesn’t hear.

‘Bec: “So, what’s with the Doll?
Clive: “It was a gift.”
‘Bec: “And you brought it out here why?”
Clive: “Didn’t get the chance to drop it off at home.”
‘Bec: “Seems to me like you could have just left it at the Foster’s. Picked it up on the way back.”
Clive: “Maybe.”
‘Bec: “Any reason you didn’t?”
Clive: “...I didn’t think to.”

She sniffs the air.

‘Bec: “Hmm... Smells like a load of Bullshit to me.”

You choose not to humor her implications. It doesn’t matter to you what she thinks, and you didn’t lie in your answers. Let her believe what she does.

‘Bec: “...This whole plant thing has something to do with Rodney, doesn’t it?”
Clive: “Maybe.”
‘Bec: “I have literally never seen you be driven by anything else, so I’m gonna say yeah.”
‘Bec: “Cut the crap. What’s going on?”
Clive: “...The fewer people know, the better.”
‘Bec: “I saw Franklin and Lillian sitting with you at lunch today. In what world does the buck stop at me?

...She has a point, although you aren’t sure how she saw you together at lunch. Middle schoolers eat at a different time, how does she always get information like that?

Clive: “I didn’t choose to tell them.”
‘Bec: “Look, you know I can keep a damn secret, okay? Just say it already.”

The previous justification you gave comes to mind, not wanting to fill her in out of fear that she’d be caught. The argument was weak, but you hadn’t yet changed your mind about it.

Unfortunately, you don’t know that the other kids would share your hesitation. If she starts asking them, then it doesn’t matter what you choose to tell her.

Compromise seems like the best option here. Give her what she wants, but get something out of it for yourself.

Clive: “...Not for free.”
‘Bec: “Ask your own question first then.”
Clive: “Okay... Why did you want to talk to Albert earlier?”
‘Bec: “Because I Owe the brat something, and the sooner that isn’t the case the better.”

...Well that definitely wasn’t an answer you’d been expecting.

Clive: “What did he do?”
‘Bec: “That sounds to me like a second question.”
Clive: “You’re asking a big one. Explain.”
‘Bec: “Fine. He gave me good info last night about JoJo.

You tense at the name, suddenly not wanting to hear any more. She keeps going, speaking with a somber tone.

‘Bec: “Told me she might be in Trouble, and that I oughta check up on her. Found the kid half-frozen by the creek, and got her to the hospital before she got totally fucked up.”
‘Bec: “It was a helpful tip, so I owe him. If he hadn’t told me about it, and she stayed out there all night in that downpour...”

She could have Died. That was the implication.

The idea doesn’t bother you.

You don’t want JoJo to die, she doesn’t deserve that. Yet deep down... you kind of wish she would so that you wouldn’t have to See her again. It’s a selfish thought. Every time you see her, it just reminds you of your History. It’s the same for her too. The way she tenses up while passing you in the hall, or how she’ll look away if you even glance her way...

You deserve it of course. You put that fear in her.
>>
No. 1051262 ID: 629f2e
File 167047943889.png - (1.25MB , 1000x1000 , 252.png )
1051262

You’re spared from having to break the silence by Enid tripping. You turn back and rush to help her up.

‘Bec: “Hey, you still–”
Clive: “Just make Roger explain it. I’ll fact check later.”

It’s enough to satisfy ‘Bec for the moment, as she quickens her pace to reach said boy. Enid accepts your hand and pulls herself up. As you let go, she grips it tightly.

Enid: “Can we walk together?”
Clive: “Again?”
Enid: “I need help staying up, and your legs are longer than mine.”
Clive: “...Okay.”

Once again, you find yourself walking hand-in-hand with Enid. An awkward position, but significantly less so than carrying her on your back. Roger seems to take note of your slowed speed, and gets the others to slow down to accommodate. Probably for the best.

Enid: “...Um, Clive?”
Clive: “What is it?”
Enid: “I wanted to ask you something. What makes you Happy?

You blink, taken aback by the unprompted question.

Clive: “Why do you want to know that?”
Enid: “Well, you don’t smile much, so I wanted to know what would make you do it.”
Clive: “I don’t smile when I’m happy. This is just my face.”
Enid: “Really? So... are you happy right now?”
Clive: “No.”

She pouts.

Enid: “That brings up back to the original question then, doesn’t it? What makes you smile on the inside?”

What makes you happy, huh? That’s something you haven’t thought about for a while. You haven’t really had the chance to just... Do Things I wanted to. I don’t even know what I would do if I had the chance.

...I know who I’d want to do things with.

Clive: “...My brother, Rodney.”
Enid: “Just him? Aren’t you ever happy when you aren’t with your brother?”
Clive: “Sure.”
Enid: “Well... What makes you feel that way?”

You shrug. It was too hard to come up with anything.

Clive: “What makes you?”
Enid: “Normal stuff. Toys, sweets, good books, games... Don’t you like those things?”
Clive: “Sure.”
Enid: “Then you should have just said that! You’re so cagey.”
Clive: “...Sorry.”
Enid: “Seriously, I think everyone likes those things. If you do too, then you’re a lot more Normal than the others made you sound before.”

She smiles at you, with just a bit more warmth than you’re used to. It doesn’t make you feel bad.

What does bring you down is when the smile falls. You already know what is coming.

Enid: “Um... The others told me about... a thing you did, to another kid at school? Can I ask you–”
Clive: “Be quiet.”

Internally, you cringe. It came off harsher than intended, but you needed her to stop.

She flinches at your blunt remark, making you feel like complete garbage.

Clive: “...Don’t talk to me about that... Please.”
Enid: “O-Okay.”

Well that killed the mood. Great job, idiot.
>>
No. 1051263 ID: 629f2e
File 167047950073.png - (0.99MB , 1000x1000 , 253.png )
1051263

You walk in silence after that. Soon you begin to approach the road, as you’d planned by walking South-East through the forest. It would have been nice to be able to completely avoid the farm, but when you’re in the thick of the woods there’s no way to be sure whether you’re past it or not. Judging from what little you can see through the line now, you’ve just about reached it.

The treeline had cleared up enough to get a somewhat clear look at the farm as you pass on by. You could make the structures out, from the silo to the barn, and of course the main house resting atop the hill. Once you get completely past this, you’ll get on the road for the rest of your journey.

...

As you walk past, for just a brief moment... you see Someone.

It’s hard to make them out, as they’re nothing more than a silhouette in the window from where you’re standing. Even so, there’s no question who it is. That brief observation was all you needed, as nobody else could fit the silhouette you’d seen.

It was one simple detail: The shadow was missing an arm.

There’s only one boy in all of Cattenom who could meet that description: Aiden Sheppard, The Farmhand.

...Did he see you?

You saw him, just barely. It’s not impossible for the reverse to be true. You couldn’t even tell if he was looking through the window or not. Did he see all of you?

Clive: “We need to speed up.”
Roger: “Did something happen?”

You quickly relay your sight to the whole group, prompting discussion. Discussion had while walking, so as not to allow yourselves to be seen while questioning if you were seen.

Albert: “Are you sure you couldn’t tell?”
Clive: “He might have seen us, or he didn’t. I don’t know.”
Roger: “Could you make out his face when you saw him?”
Clive: “No. I just recognized his shape.”
Roger: “Then even if he did see, the same is probably true for him. And unlike him, we were moving. He wouldn’t have as much time to get a good look at any one of us I think.”
Albert: “That’s just an assumption though.”
‘Bec: “Yeah. The dweeb might have good eyesight or something. Plus, some of us might look pretty Distinct.

Everyone turns to Albert, or more appropriately Albert’s wild hairdo.

Albert: “...What?”
‘Bec: “I mean, the cane is obvious enough, but there’s no mistaking hair that dumb.”
Albert: “This is just how it looks in the morning. I don’t particularly care if it’s unsightly.”
Roger: “It’s the worst hair to draw, but I actually think it looks cool. Just tough to make it look good.”
Enid: “I think it’s really unique.”
‘Bec: “So is a rainbow turd, but that doesn’t mean it’s good.”
Albert: “...Again, I don’t care.”

The tone of his voice makes you think he probably cares a little.

Roger: “Anyway, Albert’s in the front. That means Aiden was the least likely to see him, since he may not have been at the window yet. Or he might not have noticed us yet when he was visible.”
‘Bec: “True...”
Clive: “The rest of us don’t stand out.”
Enid: “...Thank goodness Franklin had his own thing today.”

You share the sentiment. That boy is unmistakable from any distance.

Roger: “...I think we should keep going. If anybody wants to turn back though, just say so. There’s a bit more risk than before.”

After a beat of silence where none turn tail, you all continue as planned. It’s agreed that, even when you’re past the farm, you’ll stay within the forest’s boundary instead of taking to the road. Just an extra measure of safety, better safe than sorry.

The idea of being caught in these woods strikes fear into everyone. +2 Fear all around

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 49/100]
[Albert: 43/100]
[Enid: 2/100]
[Roger: 11/100]
[‘Bec: 22/100]

>>
No. 1051264 ID: 629f2e
File 167047958095.png - (1.68MB , 1000x1000 , 254.png )
1051264

Soon enough, there’s a break in the trees ahead of you. The end of these woods. You’d made it through without any major incident thankfully.

You weren’t certain what would be awaiting you when you got past the treeline. Your hope was that it would be the plant of course, but you didn’t actually expect such a thing. It felt a little too convenient that you wouldn’t have to search around at all.

And yet, the very moment you break from the trees and step onto blacktop... There it is.

Roger: “Whoa...”

He said it better than you could.

There were multiple towering structures... You hadn’t expected that.

Your first instinct is to wonder which might be the power plant. It’s a foolish thought. Together, all of this was the Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant.

The buildings were Massive, taller than any you’d ever entered; and the designs were Foreign, unlike any you’d ever seen in town. The parking lot stretched out wide, with room to house more cars than you’d ever seen in your life. It felt like you had stumbled into another world.

Roger: “...Y’know, now that we’ve made it, I guess I don’t know what I expected this to be like.”
Enid: “I know what you mean. I couldn’t even imagine it before, but this still feels completely different to what I was expecting. Does that make sense?”
Albert: “...”
‘Bec: “Damn... This really has been just outside of town all along.”
Roger: “Makes you wonder what else our parents have been keeping from us, doesn’t it?”

‘Bec seems shaken by the comment. Guess he told her the truth.

You don’t even know where to start here. How long would it take to look through one building, let alone all of them? Are there any you can skip?

Albert: “That one.”

Albert points to one of the plainer looking buildings. As you stare at it, it suddenly occurs how Old this place is. The wall of that building has started deteriorating, housing a large hole in its upper story.

Albert: “That’s the one we should look into.”
Roger: “You’re sure?”
Albert: “The parking lot seems centered around that building, almost like it’s assumed most people are to go into there.”
Albert: “If the other structures house more machinery than people, then they’re less useful to us. Not to mention, more dangerous to poke around carelessly.”
Roger: “Ah, that’s true.”
Enid: “I think Albert’s right. But, are you sure we don’t need to check the others?”
Albert: “We can decide that after surveying this building.”
Albert: “Seek out anything that can tell us what we don’t already know. Files, evidence of what took place here, ID cards that can tell us who else worked here, anything.
‘Bec: “I’ll get started on the friggin’ door then. Sooner I do, the sooner I can split.”
‘Bec: “Hey! Speedy, go play lookout.”
Roger: “Do you mean me?”
‘Bec: “Yeah. Head over there and peek around the trees to watch the path. If you see anybody coming, run over and tell me.”
Roger: “Ah, that makes sense. We should probably have some eyes on the woods too though.”
Albert: “I can watch them.”
Enid: “Um, me too. They’re pretty wide, so I think at least two people should. I’ll take the area by ‘Bec, and you can watch near Roger?”
Albert: “That’s fine with me.”

And once again, you’ve stayed quiet for too long and haven’t found a good place to set yourself. Great.

What should you do?

A: Help ‘Bec with the door
-When the door opens, you’ll be able to get in before anyone else
-You might be able to talk ‘Bec into staying, now that she knows the truth

B: Watch the road with Roger
-If somebody approaches from the road, you’ll see exactly who it is
-You might be able to make things less awkward with Roger before you get inside

>>
No. 1051273 ID: e51896

A. I don't think Roger is comfortable enough with us yet, and if someone does come down the road, they'll be more likely to see us if there is two people watching instead of one. Plus, we're not as fast as roger if we have to run, raising the chances of getting spotted. And I don't think Clive is social enough to make things less awkward with Roger. Let Roger become more comfortable with us through our actions during this mission instead of speaking with him. Clive isn't comfortable enough to be social anyways, let alone someone who is afraid of him. Let him practice with Enid for awhile first.

Also, trying to talk Bec into staying with us might be more important. She did seem shaken by the parents hiding something big from her, so she might be more willing to help get to the bottom of things.
>>
No. 1051275 ID: e51896

>>1051273
To add on, we also promised to fact check with Bec after she finished speaking to Roger. We can do that while we help her with the door. I have a feeling it's going to be helpful if she hears both sides of the story of what happened.
>>
No. 1051315 ID: 22eda9

I think A is the right choice too.
While I totally misread something earlier, it did still lead me to a relevant line of thought however-
If we see anything in there that's... well, visually displeasing/hard to look at, I suppose, we can warn the others in advance. Namely Enid.


While a part of me does want Clive to work things out with Roger, the biggest problem seems to be a matter of "What do I even say?" followed by "He's made himself clear, why bother?" - which isn't really helping things.

"...Draw anything cool lately?"
That doesn't really sound like Clive, but... what do I know?
I wonder if Clive has any interest in art.
>>
No. 1051355 ID: 8483cf

>>1051315
I highly doubt Clive is ready to make up with Roger, after how badly he messed up with Enid. Let's not push it.

A. Not just because I suggested something door-related in thread 3B, or because doors are fascinating in general, but because it's the right thing to do.
>>
No. 1051510 ID: 96112b

Oh, yeah, we should very likely do A. If apostrophe Bec leaves, we will be in real trouble.
>>
No. 1051529 ID: 22eda9

>>1051510
There's also the chance that Bec could get spotted/caught alone, which would also be bad.
>>
No. 1053799 ID: 629f2e
File 167376541580.png - (1.85MB , 1000x1000 , 266.png )
1053799

Clive: “...I’ll just help ‘Bec with the door.”

You doubt she actually needs assistance, but you did promise to fact check whatever Roger told her.

The other three take up their posts, while ‘Bec immediately gets to work. You sit off to the side, watching curiously. She has a few metal tools that she’s sticking into the knob, but you don’t have a clue how they work.

She glances over at you, and starts asking questions as she works.

‘Bec: “So. High school’s not letting anyone out?”
Clive: “Sounds that way.”
‘Bec: “Early graduation is some bullshit parents pull to ditch unwanted kids?”
Clive: “Maybe. It doesn’t explain Rodney though.”
‘Bec: “True. Hell, I’m amazed I’ve lasted this long when those fucks could’a ditched me whenever they wanted...”
Clive: “More reasons to think we might be on the wrong track there.”

Despite your grumbling, you actually do think the group is on the right track with that theory. It just doesn’t leave you much ground to understand your own situation. Why is Rodney the Exception to the rule? How did he get taken?

...The night he vanished, you left him alone in a poor mood. If he did something stupid that got him in trouble, then it’s your fault it happened. No matter how confusing it is, you have to figure this out.

‘Bec: “...So Lemmy’s at the morgue?”
Clive: “...He is?”
‘Bec: “Why the hell are you asking me!?”
Clive: “It’s news to me.”

Roger may have mentioned something about him and a disguise earlier, but otherwise Lemmy Not being missing was a development you’d missed entirely. Must have been brought up after you split from the group at lunch. Or maybe they just didn’t want you to know. You’re untrustworthy, you get it.

There are a few more questions from her, all of which you confirm. It seems like Roger decided to spare no details, save any others they might be keeping from you.

Clive: “I wasn’t with them for the first day, but all of that matches what they told me.”
‘Bec: “Hmm, I could see them lying to you though. Not completely reliable then...”
‘Bec: “Eh, it’s probably the truth. Roger seems like he’d be a shit liar.”
‘Bec: “Bet you’re psyched about this. Instead of being separated from your brother for a couple years, you’ve got an excuse to bust him out early. Save him from the conspiracy and all that.”

Well certainly you would enjoy that fact, if not for the details surrounding it. The uncertainty of what is happening to him in there, the terrible note you left things on, and the simple fact that he currently isn’t here are all preventing you from feeling any bit of levity.

Clive: “...If we find something in here, we’ll be more prepared to bust him out.”
‘Bec: “It’s pretty hard to plan when you don’t know what’s going on, huh?”

You nod. Alright, she looks like she’s almost done, it’s now or never.

Clive: “You could Stay and help too.”
‘Bec: “...Eh, I’d rather not risk my own neck. If you find anything though, I wouldn’t mind hearing about it after the fact.”
‘Bec: “Might even be able to cut you a discount. Y’know, if it’s good.”
Clive: “You’re more experienced at digging things up than any of us. If you’re with us, we’ll be more likely to find something Useful.
‘Bec: “Yeah, and if we all get caught together, then there’ll be nobody on the outside to free us.”
Clive: “...There’s Franklin, and Lillian still.”
‘Bec: “Nobody with a chance of succeeding.”

She has a point. How else can you convince her?
>>
No. 1053800 ID: 629f2e
File 167376544665.png - (847.73KB , 1000x1000 , 267.png )
1053800

...It probably won’t work, but there’s one thing you can try.

Whenever Rodney wants something really badly, sometimes he’ll resort to using Puppy Dog Eyes. Nobody can resist them, least of all you. It’s a miracle that he has no aspirations of world domination.

You’ve tried mimicking them in the mirror, and not once has it ever looked good. With no better options though, you try to force the expression onto your face.

Clive: “...Please?

‘Bec’s expression morphs into one of horror.

‘Bec: “Jesus fuck–! Fine! I’ll fucking stay, just stop doing... That!

...If it works, it works.

Clive: “...Thanks.”
‘Bec: “Whatever. If shit gets nasty in there, I’m blaming you. Could’a been doing anything else with my day, instead I’m sticking my nose into this dangerous crock of shit like a fuckin’...
>>
No. 1053801 ID: 629f2e
File 167376549512.png - (0.96MB , 1000x1000 , 268.png )
1053801

She grumbles until there’s finally a satisfying click from the doorway. Her tools come out, and she gives the knob a clean twist. The door creaks open with a push, much to her enthusiasm.

‘Bec: “Piece of cake! Alright, get Roger and–”

There’s a noise, a sudden sound of something quickly Stomping forward. You whip around towards the source in alarm.

It’s Roger.

He’s still at a distance when he pauses his sprint right beside Enid. He says something, and a moment later they’re both running towards the door.

You blink. He was supposed to be on the Lookout.

An awful pit opens in your stomach, as Roger stops to grab Albert. What would cause him to react like this? It could only be one thing, right...?

‘Bec: “Get inside.”
Clive: “...”
‘Bec: “Get inside! Now!”
>>
No. 1053802 ID: 629f2e
File 167376552976.png - (833.35KB , 1000x1000 , 269.png )
1053802

She yanks you to your feet and shoves you through the plant’s front door, pushing through herself right afterwards. Roger arrives only a second later, with Albert and Enid seconds afterwards. All three of them are panting for air.

Roger: “Shut the door!”

There’s no arguing. ‘Bec slams it shut, casting the plant’s interior into total Darkness.

Everyone immediately begins shouting over each other.

Enid: “Eep! I-I can’t See! Where’s that light...?”
Albert: “What did you see, Roger? Who was it?”
‘Bec: “Holy FUCK! What the hell is that god awful Stink!?

Her comment forces you to sniff the air. The putrid scent of, what can only be described as Death, greets your nostrils. No other comparison seemed appropriate, it was a smell so awful you feared that your nose might cease to exist, simply to avoid ever sharing a space with it.

Enid: “Eww.. What is that?”
Albert: “Roger!? Who was it?”
Roger: “I-It was Mr. Sheppard!

You click your tongue in frustration. Aiden must have seen something after all. He told his dad, and now Mr. Sheppard is checking things out.

You’re pretty sure that you hear Roger turn around quickly.

Roger: “‘Bec, you need to lock the door!”
Albert: “That’s right. If he checks and sees it unlocked, he’ll know we’re here.”
‘Bec: “I need a light.”

At that moment, Enid finally gets her flashlight on. A soft pink glow illuminates the room.

Enid: “Is this okay?”
‘Bec: “It’ll do. Point it here.”
Roger: “I’ll get mine out too.”

You can only vaguely make out his movements, as he rummages through his bag and pulls out a torch.

Roger: “Let’s see where we are...”

He turns the light on, pointing it down a long hall. It becomes easier to tell that you’re at a crossroads, with two paths on your left and right and one straight ahead. There isn’t much down that lit path, but you notice a silhouette on the ground near you. Roger sees it too.

Roger: “What is that...?”

He aims his light lower, pointing the beam directly at it.

...
>>
No. 1053803 ID: 629f2e
File 167376560167.png - (317.92KB , 1000x1000 , 270.png )
1053803

...
>>
No. 1053805 ID: 629f2e
File 167376563918.png - (423.20KB , 1000x1000 , 271.png )
1053805

...

Roger: “Why... Why is this– Why!?”
Albert: “I... I don’t know.”
Clive: “...”

Don’t panic.

Enid: “Is that... It’s dead.”
‘Bec: “What the hell is going on here...?”

Don’t. panic.

Take a deep breath– through your mouth. That smell... guess it really was Death.

...

Nobody speaks. The only sound is the rapid beating of your heart in your chest.

Your Fear is going up fast! What do you do?

A: Do nothing
-What are you even supposed to do about this?
B: Panic
-This is too much
C: Help
-Who needs it more than you?
D: Run
-You just need to get away from this
E: Kick it
-The corpse is just an object. Prove you aren’t afraid of it

>>
No. 1053807 ID: e51896

B. You have the highest fear right now, and I think expressing it will get some people in the group like Enid and Albert to help calm you down just like Albert did back in the hospital. It might also show Roger that you aren't an emotionless scary person after all and really do have feelings too, proving to him that you are just as scared and vulnerable as he is.

But this part is important when we do it: HUG YOUR PLUM PLUSH to give you some comfort and to prevent the panic from causing you to scream and get Mr. Sheppard's attention, and let the process of having the others try to help you easier.
>>
No. 1053818 ID: a060c0

F. Pick it up and say "Romeo, Romeo, where art thou, Romeo?"

....

No?

Okay, then just kick it.
>>
No. 1053820 ID: 22eda9

Whatever you do, please don't kick it- that might just raise everyone else's Fear more than it already will.

I'm thinking either B or C here.

B: Being scared is very humanizing. It's not the smart play, but it's better than being the emotional equivalent of a sack of potatoes.

C:
A quick rundown of the choices, from high to low priority;
Enid: Her Fear might be the lowest, but for some reason I don't actually fully trust that number. No disrespect to Saihu, just... y'know?
Hold her hand.

Bec': This whole situation reeks of "I didn't sign up for this" waiting to happen.

Albert: He has high Fear, but I don't know what would calm him down right now. Also, this seems kind of similar to walking in on his Dad wounded. It's mean to say, but he might have expected something like this, or even be less shocked than the others.

Roger: Attempting to calm him down will probably increase his fear.
>>
No. 1053822 ID: a988d9

Run. Together. Left corridor.
>>
No. 1053828 ID: 8483cf

Fear Management time. Now is the perfect time to panic, before Mr. Sheppard shows up. ‘Bec can lock the door, she’s the most professional of the group.
>>
No. 1053838 ID: bbb04b

F: "Enough s-staring." Push Enid's flashlight down so y'all stop looking at it, at least. "It... It's an adult, right? N-nobody we know. Also been here... w-way t-too long, I think. C-can we finish locking the door, now?"
>>
No. 1054499 ID: 48b74d

D:
Doubt you really want to make a scene by panicking in front of everyone else.

Instead, take the initiative and run! Well, don't literally run, it's still an abandoned building and it's dark. Do what you did earlier at lunch, find a room, away from the chaos and calm down... or panic, letting out your emotions can be good for you too.

Getting out of dodge may distract the others from the body and prompt them to follow.
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