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File 165776576711.png - (213.99KB , 1000x1000 , 138.png )
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...
Expand all images
>>
No. 1038061 ID: 629f2e
File 165776580915.png - (1.13MB , 1000x1000 , 139.png )
1038061

You had been stressed out. All afternoon and evening you’d spent agonizing over what you’d seen. The Fire, the Body being wheeled out, his Daughter’s cries... A man had died.

Frederick Anderson hadn’t just been any man however, but the rightful owner of your home. Your parents were renters before their ends’, leaving you to try and foot the bill to keep your home. Even trying your best, your payments decreased significantly, as you had to prioritize feeding your brother over all else. You couldn’t let him go hungry, not after everything you’ve put him through...

It was a miracle that you continued to live here, a kindness you hadn’t expected but deeply appreciated from Mr. Anderson. By all accounts, you should be mourning the death of a good man, but you’re too self-centered for that.

Instead, you’d spent the day dreading all of the worst outcomes this might have on your lives. What would become of this house you’ve spent your entire life in? Would your loan fizzle away, or will it be transferred to someone else? Would anyone else be as patient with you? Not likely. No, what would happen would be that they’d seize your home since no one’s around to tell them not to, then you and Rodney would be kicked out onto the streets. Or to a prison cell, once they dig up the truth rotting away out back.

It had been a bad day. You were barely keeping it together, and you just needed nothing else to go wrong around you for the rest of it, just a few hours of okayness.
>>
No. 1038062 ID: 629f2e
File 165776584945.png - (1.45MB , 1000x1000 , 140.png )
1038062

Your brother had finally come home, and it should have been your reprieve. He always makes you happy, no matter how down you feel.

Except you never got to share your concerns with him. Your attention had shifted to the arms, cradling a nice pile of Candy.

...And that was it. The straw that broke the camel’s back.

Clive: “Where did you get this?”

It was less a question than an accusation. The sheepish grin he’d come in wearing morphed into a frown. He knew something was wrong, but probably hadn’t understood the scope.

That was your fault, naturally. You never let him in, told him what had you on edge.

Rodney: “Um, I was over at Abel’s house, and I mentioned that I don’t have candy often, and his mom heard so she gave me-”
Clive: “It was Charity. You took charity.”

You had told him a million times not to accept things from others. It was hard enough keeping suspicion down as is, you didn’t want rumors to start going around about your parents not feeding you.

Rodney: “It was just a gift. Don’t worry, I’m sure she didn’t think anything was weird about it.”

That should have been it. You should have conceded, told him not to do it again, and moved on. Any other day you would have.

But you were past your limit. It was already too much, you just couldn’t do it.

You lashed out, sending the pile in his arms onto the floor. You needed it out of your sight, the brightly colored wrappers were driving your blood pressure up.

Clive: “It’s the same thing! Don’t. Take. Gifts.”
Clive: “Do you need candy? Was this little pile of goods worth getting yourself killed over? Because that’s what happens if we get caught!”
Clive: “Death! There’s no happy ending for us if you can’t keep your stupid head down!”
Rodney: “H-Hey! What’s your problem!? I said I was sorry! Why are you being such a... a paranoid turd?”
Clive: “My problem is that I’m doing everything I can to keep us afloat, and you’re trying to sink the ship! If you need candy, there are stores full of it. Just take some!”
Rodney: “I don’t want to steal it!”
Clive: “Ohhhh right, you think stealing is wrong. Guess you do need candy since every meal I put on the table must taste like ash in your mouth. Sorry.”
Rodney: “Stop it! Stop talking!”

You didn’t.
>>
No. 1038063 ID: 629f2e
File 165776589624.png - (1.12MB , 1000x1000 , 141.png )
1038063

What happened next was... It all came to a head, and you said Something.

The words themselves didn’t matter. It was the intent. The awful blend that had been stewing inside of you came out all at once. You fired it right at him, and it hit.

You regretted it instantly, but it was too late. You’d already said it.

Nothing you could say would undo the pain you’d made him feel right then.

He was crying when he left, running away into the dead of night. It was obvious he didn’t want to be anywhere near you. You couldn’t blame him. If you had the choice, you’d have left yourself too.

The guilt was overwhelming. At first you tried to chase after him to apologize, but it was late, and the moonlight wasn’t clear enough for you to see where he went... He had to come home eventually though. So you just... waited. All night long you sat there, thinking of what to say when you saw him again.
>>
No. 1038065 ID: 629f2e
File 165776606014.png - (1.55MB , 1000x1000 , 142.png )
1038065

...

He never came back.

In class the next morning, Mrs. Chamberlane announced Rodney's Graduation.

...

...

...

...It’s morning.

Your name is Clive Schmidt, or in the words of your classmates: The Anti-Socialite of Cattenom.

...You haven’t been sleeping well recently.

The reason is obvious. You’re sleeping in a chair. A wooden dining room seat, not even a sofa or recliner. Your back is sore, and you feel like you got at most an hour’s rest.

But you can’t sleep anywhere else. Not unless you can watch the door, which is impossible from your room. Rodney could come back any time, so you need to be there if he does. You have to Apologize...

It’s stupid. There are a million ways you could make this easier on yourself. You could have dragged your mattress down near the door days ago, but you won’t. You don’t deserve that comfort right now. This chair is terrible, it makes you feel terrible, and that just about matches your mood perfectly. You want to curl up and stop existing.

You won’t. It wouldn’t get Rodney back, it would just make you stop hurting. You haven’t earned that.

That means you have to keep up the routine. You’re already suspicious, can’t give your teachers more reason to suspect anything. This is a bad time for people to be poking around into your life and pulling skeletons out of the closet. Or, Backyard to be more accurate...

...Your body doesn’t want to agree with you, but you have to go to school. What should you do?

A: Take a shower and have a nice breakfast
-Ugh
B: Just use deodorant and eat a granola bar
-Meh
C: Stew in your misery
-Can we?

>>
No. 1038078 ID: afe7de

>>1038065
A.

I assume you have electricity and water still, but you might not for much longer, which means the food you got yesterday might go *bad* and if you really want to sell the *everything is fine* angle you should definitely shower.

You can just brood in the shower while you do it, even if you don't have soap, at least soaking and cleaning off anything from however long it's been will moderately help you. Plus it'll be warm and relax your muscles!

Also, random shower thoughts:
how much cash do you have and how much is owed in how long?
basically I want to know if this is a *right now* problem, or if this is an *end of the week* problem
>>
No. 1038083 ID: 7b75ea

I want to say A. Removing suspicion requires that you start on the road to recovery.

If you wish to stew anyway and refuse to listen to us, at least do something with that stewing. Stew with useful lines of thought while you make breakfast if you have to. You can multitask, right?

Think. Until you decide to tell someone all of what's happened in this house, it's up to you to make sense of Rodney's circumstances.

"Resonance of the Synapse" starts playing.

> WHY WAS HE ANNOUNCED AS "GRADUATED?"
... Because whatever his fate is, the adults know it.

> WHY DIDN'T ANYBODY CONTACT HIS HOUSE?
... Because if your parents were alive, they would already know.

> WHY IS NOBODY MISSING YOUR PARENTS?
... Because they weren't in contact with anyone much at all, to begin with?

> PARENTS WEREN'T IN CONTACT, TO BEGIN WITH

> THE TRUTH WOULD HAVE GOTTEN TO YOUR PARENTS

... Wait, what?

Clive... who were your parents? There's a contradiction here, and I don't like it. Either something screwy's up with this house, or the actual answer to one of these questions is much less "reasonable" than I first assumed.
>>
No. 1038099 ID: e51896

B. middle ground. self improvement and help starts small... Clive doesn't feel he deserves a shower, and sitting there miserable isn't going to solve anything. Best to start slow and practice patience

...

maybe take that 100 grand bar with you... Temmie might want it... or Roger might want it to give it to Temmie. Justify it as not deserving something that good and giving it to someone more deserving... but in reality, you don't realize you're going to make someone happy and want to potentially help you after raising your bond with them
>>
No. 1038101 ID: 8483cf

Of course we can stew in our misery. In fact, we've stewed in our misery long enough. That's what we've done: built some nice big cauldron-shaped walls around us and set the heat nice and high.

Obviously it doesn't feel good. Maybe Clive deserves it. Clive obviously feels he does. But what if he doesn't?

I think Clive can obviously agree that he's fallible. Otherwise, lots of bad things might not have happened.

So let's start there. Clive, you're fallible. Accept it. With that as the starting point...

So is everyone else.

And that isn't so bad.

Choose A for Accept and move forward as best we can.
>>
No. 1038118 ID: 84cd4c

Failing A, B. A good shower cots time and money, but this could also be one of your last chances to take advantage of it.
At the very least, it'll help you look a bit more presentable when it comes to the inevitable socialization (ugh, right?) which could help when asking for some kind of... help.

Since now is a good time to gather thoughts...
Shower thoughts (or shower stewing, your choice)

A certain logic seeking tunnelvision spiky hair guy might be thinking about what exactly you said to Rodney. Not to ask the impossible, of course, but it might reveal some sort of clue as to where he went, but... at worst, it might just deepen your regret if you do remember.

You aren't your brother, but it wouldn't be out of the question to remember some of the people he talked fondly or negatively of, maybe who he usually goes to or not...
I mean, you clearly remember Abel's from... then. Yeah.

...Actually, Abel's a name we've only heard only, what, once before? Point of interest. Maybe a visit is in order later. Even if it's... extremely awkward, and potentially raises suspicion.
>>
No. 1038126 ID: a70a13

It's gonna be annoying to hear, but A is the right thing. Getting out of your misery can suck big time but you need to take that first step. A shower can be the hardest move but just getting clean can help, trust me.
>>
No. 1038743 ID: 629f2e

rolled 1, 2 = 3

>>
No. 1038990 ID: 629f2e
File 165860322718.png - (1.18MB , 1000x1000 , 143.png )
1038990

A shower would do you well. It’s been a while, you’re probably starting to stink...

You’ve been skipping out on full meals as well, settling for whatever took the least time to prepare. Unfortunately, Nothing is a tough competitor to beat. Granola bars, chips, and cereal straight from the box were close contenders at least.

It used to be easier to keep up with those routines. But once it became just you and Rodney, you started needing to force yourself to do it. Most days you needed you brother to nag you into doing it, so without him... You’ve lost a lot of motivation.

...You should do it. Treating yourself well will make you feel better, you know it will. Your effort will directly result in an improved mood. There’s no doubt in your mind.

...So why does it feel Insurmountable?

Maybe it’s because you didn’t immediately act on the thought, giving you time to overthink it. Going upstairs, undressing, getting in, cleaning yourself, drying off, re-dressing, and then after all of that you were expecting to cook for yourself!?

There are just so many steps, so much you have to do, it’s Too Much!

The thoughts eat away at you. These are such small tasks, things other people do every single day, but you’re too incapable to even start doing them. It’s Pathetic.

In the end, you decide to skip out on the shower and focus on breakfast. That shortened the list, and made it a bit more bearable. Soon enough, you’re scraping scrambled eggs and toast onto a plate. You don’t bother cleaning the pan, but at least fill it with water to soak.

The meal is... nice. Even with your brain refusing to drop its grievances against you for all of your failings, you find some peace in the dish and quickly clean your plate.

Clive slept poorly, gaining 5 Fear from nightmares about his brother
Clive’s self loathing caused him to gain 2 points of Fear
However! Clive lost a point of Fear for taking care and making a nice meal

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 46/100]

You’re probably wondering why Clive ignored part of your directions, despite agreeing with you.

...Actually, it’s probably obvious what went wrong.

Clive is depressed. It’s hard for him to muster up the energy to take care of himself at times. You asked for a lot, and it was too much for him to handle. That stressed him out, and resulted in mild Fear gain.

Do you remember how Albert was able to reject your wills last thread because his will was strong enough? When guiding Clive, any suggestions that seem daunting will have a chance of failing due, solely because Clive can’t muster the will to act on them. You will never be told the odds for this happening, but you may be warned when the possibility exists. There may also be Fear gain whenever Clive fails to act on a suggestion.

If you need certainty or are worried about Clive’s growing Fear, then keep your suggestions lighter and easier to achieve. Controlling Clive will be a balancing act of weighing what you want against what he is capable of.

Clive is trying his best. So just... try to meet him halfway.

>>
No. 1038991 ID: 629f2e
File 165860331427.png - (0.97MB , 1000x1000 , 144.png )
1038991

As you’re eating, you find yourself reflecting on mom and dad. All the happy memories you have of them have been tainted by their deaths, but you’ve had to lock down everything you know about them to keep suspicion off yourself and Rodney. Going over the basics won’t hurt you.

Dad was a Security Guard for the high school, and mom supposedly taught there. You aren’t sure how true that is anymore, given what you’ve learned about the establishment, but you think it’s safe to say that mom did something for them. They both worked evenings for the most part, so you only really saw them in the morning before you left for school, and for a couple hours after you made it back. Most weeknights you’d be left with a sitter. That was how you came to know ‘Bec.

Unfortunately, you weren’t very sure about their relationships outside of the family. The amount of people who had started asking about them after the incident was very limited. Their workplace tried to check in of course, so you had to mail back forged resignations to shut them up. You’ve made excuses for your teachers and landlord when they asked about them, but otherwise very few adults even brought them up to you.

Maybe they weren’t very social, just like you. No clue where Rodney got his nature from then.

Whatever. Your breakfast is finished, and it’s time to head to school. You grab your Discoveries from the library to show the others, but pause as you’re about to head out the door.

You almost forgot, but some of the Food that you had here was for Albert. He did say to leave it here, but you get the feeling he’ll be skipping a meal if you don’t pack him anything.

It didn’t take a genius to reach that deduction. It was obvious, given that most of his purchases were pragmatic. Protein bars, beef jerky, all foods that were Filling first and foremost. That told you more about The Genius than you needed to know, so you try to ignore this unwanted discovery.

You grab a few random items and shove them in your bag, before heading out the door. The sooner you reach school, the sooner you can sit at your desk and zone out.

Unfortunately, life isn’t that easy. You run into someone leaving their house that you can’t exactly ignore like the rest of your classmates. He’s one of the kids who hangs around Albert and his friends. The name eludes you, as you never bothered remembering it. He’s the one who draws, The Artist.

It’s tempting to just continue walking, as you would have to deal with him during lunch already. Best to put the matter off ‘til then, right?

Here’s the issue: This kid is Terrified of you.

Normally, that’s convenient, as it would keep him away. Now that you are actually trying to deal with him however, his fear is more troublesome than helpful now. This kid is trembling just from being close to you. How are you supposed to work with him if just standing nearby is enough to spook him?

You get the feeling he’s going to run away if you don’t say something. Is it worth it?

Will you say anything to The Artist?

A: Talk to him
-What would you even say? (Suggest something)
B: Walk away
-You don’t have to deal with this now
C: Stand still and let him decide
-He’ll just flee. That won’t feel good
D: Other
-Do something else

>>
No. 1038994 ID: 7b75ea

A, but keep it simple: "Hi, Roger. I don't want to walk to school alone; can we go together?"

It's brief, yet shows that your request is innocent/vulnerable in nature. If Roger - That's his name, by the way; hooray for spirits helping you cheat at remembering! - wants to keep talking as you walk, you should respond, even if it's only a grunt to let him know you're acknowledging him.
>>
No. 1038997 ID: e51896

Probably don't need to do much except
D and (optional)A. Grab the 100 Grand Candy Bar from your inventory, and hand it to him. Don't even need to say a word, or at the least, just say "For you" if you have the strength for those two words. Then just walk away. He'll know what to do with it and might warm up to you a tiny bit. (he's supposed to give it to Temmie at some point, like she wanted)
>>
No. 1038998 ID: e51896

>>1038997
Oh wait, I probably read it wrong. when he said food, he probably meant the food Bec delivered, not the candy on the floor. whoops. I don't know if he took the bar or not. Probably not since its Rodney's

I'll rethink my suggestion for a bit.
>>
No. 1038999 ID: e51896

A and B. Just say "Hi Roger" or "Hello Roger" and then walk away. a slow start, yes, but a start nonetheless that is to Clive's comfort speed. Best be patient about this.
>>
No. 1039026 ID: 398700

>>1038999
agreed with this. Just a polite hello.
>>
No. 1039031 ID: afe7de

>>1038999
Yeah this, don't like try to force a smile or anything or even try to force eye contact if you feel it's too much. Subtle acknowledgement and then continue on, if he tries to talk to you though, that's on you how you wanna react.
>>
No. 1039056 ID: 8483cf

>>1038999
I'll one-up this.

Just "Hi."

That's, like, 1000% improvement for Clive. Roger's mind will be blown.
>>
No. 1039090 ID: 84cd4c

D: Something completely out of character for Clive, such as "Last one to school owes a favor!"
But in all seriousness, probably just something like...

A: "Hi."
"..."
"Want to walk together?"
>>
No. 1039186 ID: 10a721

"Hey.
Any news on my brother and the missing kids?"
>>
No. 1040323 ID: 629f2e
File 165993553227.png - (805.11KB , 1000x1000 , 164.png )
1040323

Keep it simple.

Clive: “...Hi.”
The Artist: “...H-Hey?”
Clive: “...”

...You keep walking, having nothing else to say to him. He races past you shortly afterwards, not running, just fast-walking. It was clear that he didn’t want to be around you, an opinion which you shared.

You’re by yourself for the rest of the walk. A few kids pass you by, but none stop to chat. That’s preferable.

If not for all the things on your mind, it would be a nice day so far.
>>
No. 1040324 ID: 629f2e
File 165993563159.png - (1.02MB , 1000x1000 , 165.png )
1040324

...

JoJo didn’t show up to class today.

You expected to hear the worst, but she’s just Sick according to your teacher. Aside from her absence, everyone else was present to your knowledge. No graduations, no missing children, for the first time in days there were no strange disappearances. It made things a little less tense, if only briefly.

No news about Lemmy’s whereabouts though. Chamberlane warns us again that if he doesn’t show up soon, there are going to be some Safety Protocols set up under the assumption that he was Kidnapped. You don’t have a clue where that boy got off to, so you couldn’t rat him out if you wanted to.

The rest of class goes by painfully slow. It ends, after what feels like an eternity, and at lunch you’re dragged over by Albert to a table with his friends yet again. That includes, unfortunately, The Artist. He doesn’t seem any more comfortable with your presence than he did before.

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

Party Suspicion Levels:
[Clive: 55/100] (+2 for being around others)
[Albert: 21/100] (+2 for being around you)
[Franklin: 35/100] (+2 for being around you)
[Lillian: 5/100] (+2 for being around you)
[Enid: 10/100] (+2 for being around you)
[The Artist: 5/100] (+2 for being around you)

[Those who had pleasant dreams lost Fear.]

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 46/100]
[Albert: 43/100] (A little better than yesterday)
[Franklin: 44/100] (What happened there?)
[Lillian: 15/100] (Probably from her fight with Albert)
[Enid: 0/100] (Looking a lot better than yesterday)
[The Artist: 6/100] (Seems fine)


...You have to stare down at the table to avoid The Artist’s burning gaze. It’s uncomfortable

The Artist: “Okay, so... Yesterday did anybody…”
The Artist: “ ...I’m just gonna ask it: Why is Clive here? Did I miss something?”
Albert: “I invited him yesterday. He was already investigating on his own, so it made sense to combine our efforts.”
Lillian: “Oh yeah, you missed that because you were out playing baseball, didn’tcha? How was that?”
The Artist: “Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”
The Artist: “I could spend the rest of lunch just complaining about it. Don’t get me started.”
Enid: “...There weren’t any problems yesterday, right?”

Albert and Lillian share a look, both clearly thinking of the same incident.

Albert: “...None involving Clive, if that’s what you’re asking.”
The Artist: “Wait, why did you specify that?”
Enid: “...If that’s the case, then it’s fine if Clive is here. If he didn’t do anything bad yesterday, I don’t think he will today either. Don’t you think so, Roger?”
The Artist: “H-Huh? Well…”

Oh, so that was his name. Try not to forget it this time, it’ll be annoying having to pick it up again.

Roger: “...I guess if everyone else is okay with it.”

It was a begrudging acceptance, but you’ll take it if it means you don’t have to fight to stay around people you barely want to be with. It’s easier like this.

As the others start to eat, you slide Albert the items you brought from home. He accepts it quickly and eats with... fewer table manners than you would have expected. You get through your own sandwich quickly.

As the others finish eating and giving Roger and Enid a summary of yesterday’s investigation, the discussion starts on a sticking point from yesterday.

Roger: “The Cattenom Nuclear Plant?
Lillian: “Have you heard of it?”
Roger: “Nope, never. This town has been all about recycling for as long as I can remember.”
Enid: “I also haven’t heard of one before. Though, I didn’t know much about the Recycling Center either to be honest. Daddy never mentioned either of them much.”
Clive: “...Hey, Alien. You said it sounded familiar yesterday. Remember anything?”

He rubs his head in thought, mumbling to himself as he does.

Franklin: “...Hmmmmm... Nuclear plant... When was it that…?”
Franklin: “...”
Franklin: “...Nope, I don’t have it. Sorry. I probably heard it a long time ago, but it’s all fuzzy back there.”

You’d be disappointed if you expected anything to change. It’d be nice, but you don’t need his memory to investigate the plant.

Clive: “...I Found something about it.”
Albert: “You did!?”
Clive: “Yesterday. After we split up.”

You pull a newspaper out of your bag and pass it to him. He quickly begins flipping through it, reading quickly.

Albert: “This was at the library?”
Clive: “...They had some old newspapers in the back.”

That you weren’t meant to be in the back didn’t need to be said. Albert seemed to understand just fine.

Roger: “Hey, mind sharing with the rest of the class? What does it say?”
Albert: “It’s the front page article that’s relevant. Here, I’ll read it out…”

“Cattenom Goes Nuclear!”

“Civilians celebrated the opening of Cattenom’s Nuclear Power Plant this morning with much revelry. With the plant going into operation, this marks the first Nuclear Plant in the whole of North Carolina, and the fifth ever to be completed in the states. This government funded facility has opened the doors to many new jobs, and will introduce a surplus of funds to be spent on the town. While many are on board, some oppose the plant, citing concerns over radiation…”

Albert: “It goes on from there. It’s the headlining article.”
Lillian: “So there really was a nuclear plant? Huh. How come we never heard about it until now?”
Roger: “...When is that paper dated?”
Albert: “June 15th, 1959.
Roger: “It opened at the tail end of the 1950s…?”
Enid: “That’s less than 10 Years Ago! How long does it take to replace something that big?”
Lillian: “They had to notice something was wrong with it first. If it didn’t go wrong immediately, it could have taken even less time than that.”
Enid: “And the recycling plant had to be finished before any of us were alive to hear about it…”
Clive: “...That’s a tight timeline.”

The dates don’t seem to add up on the surface. There’s something you’re missing, some angle where all of this could happen naturally in just a few years time.

Roger: “Some of the middle schoolers might have been alive while the nuclear plant was around. I guess we could ask Carol and Barry, maybe John?”
Clive: “‘Bec could know something. Though it’ll cost us if we want her to talk.”
Albert: “Or, we could check it out ourselves.”

Everyone turns to look at Albert, who passes the article over to Enid beside him. He sits with a smug grin, as if daring you to ask for clarification. It’s irritating.

Roger: “What?”
Albert: “This article gives us a strong clue as to the plant’s location. It’s further in, listen:”

“Several attended the opening ceremonies, just South of town, where city councilman Robert Butler and plant manager Leopold Stiff both spoke about the opportunities it will bring to Cattenom.”

Enid: “It’s to the south? But, how far away will it be?”
Roger: “...It’s going to be just past the Death Forest, isn’t it?”

The others all pause to consider his suggestion. It made sense to you, and most of the party seemed to feel similarly judging by the nods. There was one outlier of course.

Enid: “I... don’t know what that is yet.”
Albert: “You live in the good houses on the Southern part of town, right? Have you seen the forest close to there? The one that doesn’t lead to the field I mean.”
Enid: “Yeah?”
Lillian: “Well it’s totally off-limits to everyone. Nobody plays there, ‘cuz of the Corpses.
Clive: “That’s just a rumor.”
Roger: “I heard that they had a strand of poison ivy so bad it’d kill you if you even touched it there.”
Lillian: “Nah, that ain’t it. The place is covered in landmines from an old war, so nobody’s been able to go out there and collect the bodies, out of fear of blowing up.”
Franklin: “...Jhonen told me he discovered a big-footmoth-woman at the forest’s edge once.”
Roger: “He did say that, but Jhonen also believed that garden gnomes were a conspiracy to give real gnome’s camouflage in our yards, as part of a plot to break into our homes and steal all our batteries.”
Franklin: “...Are they?”
Roger: “Franklin, no.”
Enid: “There are a lot of different rumors. So, what’s the actual reason nobody’s allowed to go?”

Albert taps the newspaper in her hands.

Albert: “I’m willing to bet that it’s because of This. The adults don’t want us finding the nuclear plant beyond it perhaps.”
Lillian: “Yeah, that’d track.”
Roger: “You never see adults head towards it, right? It’s probably abandoned. If that’s the case, maybe we really could take a look for ourselves.”
Lillian: “Hold on, that’s true, but is that really how we want to spend today?”
Roger: “Huh? Did you have something else in mind already?”
Lillian: “...C’mon, it’s obvious isn’t it?”
Lillian: “We should go spring Phillip and the others from that high school prison already! We know it’s shady, why do we need to dig up proof it’s even shadier?”

...She had a point. A good point. One you completely agreed with.

You know where Rodney is, and you know that he shouldn’t be there. Why should you waste more time investigating the why of him being there?

Would it change anything? What if while you’re searching an abandoned power plant for clues, he’s being tortured?

There were still lingering questions about the nuclear plant, granted. Why did it matter if anybody found out about the nuclear plant? Why did Cattenom switch away from it in the first place? And how did it happen so quickly? But would any of those questions change anything about how you go about saving your little brother?

Roger: “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Not yet, I mean.”
Albert: “Ditto.”
Franklin: “I’d love to go hang out with Jhonen at the high school too, but I can’t.”
Lillian: “Whaaaat, even you’re against it, Franklin? I really thought I’d have you on my side here.”
Franklin: “...Huh? Oh, I agree with you. I want to get Jhonen, and Phillip, and Rodney back already, but I can’t. Just like how I can’t go to the nuclear plant either.”
Roger: “Wait really? Why not?”
Franklin: “I have a Playdate with Temmie after school.”

...The conversation shifts drastically to discussing that, so you take a minute to gather all your thoughts.

Two of them voted to go to the nuclear plant, and two of them voted for the school. Enid hasn’t given her own opinion yet, so right now the vote is tied. If you want to say something, you’d better say it right as the topic of where to investigate comes back. Go with the flow and choose the nuclear plant, or go against the grain and suggest checking out the school, so that you can get outvoted and go to the nuclear plant anyways?

Nothing like the illusion of choice, right?

Are you okay with investigating the Nuclear Plant?

A: Clive: “...”
-Hold your tongue and investigate what’s left of the Cattenom Nuclear Plant
-This seems like a waste of time...
B: Clive: “I vote for high school.”
-Try to sway the group towards investigating the high school building instead
-As if you could persuade anyone...
C: Clive: “Those both suck.”
-Suggest something else.
-What else even is there?

>>
No. 1040333 ID: 8483cf

>>1040332
Hard disagree on splitting up. That ended up getting Albert punched, or close to it. We stick together.

Clive wants to go to the High School, but the nuclear plant keeps on coming up again again and again. This has to have something to do with what the adults are trying to cover up. Plus, since no adults go through the Dead Forest, we can do it without arousing too much suspicion, whereas the High School is obviously much more active.

Choose A and tug the string on the knot of lies. The adults have secrets they want to protect. Let's check 'em out.
>>
No. 1040349 ID: e51896

B. Even if it's inevitable that we'd go to the nuclear power plant, It is still very important to get your opinion out there. Even if you'll get shot down, they'll understand you're feelings a bit better.

Just say "I'm really worried about my brother being tortured while we're at the plant"... or "I fear it might be too late to save my brother if we go to the plant".

That's all that needs to be said. If anything, if the vote stays going to the plant, somebody might reassure him, or might understand his feelings better as we continue on as a group if we go to the plant regardless... but who knows, maybe they'll decide to go to the school after hearing our opinion?

Also, I've been thinking about the possibility that the Recycling center might actually be the power plant, just refurbished or something so that not much deconstruction needed to take place, though then again, they did say none of the adults go southward... hmmm...
>>
No. 1040366 ID: 7b75ea

>>1040349
I'd say B, for the same reason.

Also, perhaps offer a thought about the tight timeline, if you feel up for it: "About the timeline... We don't necessarily know what year it Actually is, do we?" "I mean... why else would there be No Calendars, unless the reason is to Hide what year we're really in?"

It could make a decent argument for why investigating the power plant is unnecessary if that's the answer they're going to find either way.
>>
No. 1040372 ID: 0838d6

You want to, nay, need to go to the high school, this is an incredibly important thing to you to find your dear brother, however, you're already on the radar of others.

People know your brother graduated, and vaguely know that you're in deep shit of a life situation. Going to the high school with your companions is likely a pretty big red flag considering no one's allowed inside right?

Whereas the power plant is just not talked about, called a recycling plant, and you have the key card passcode for it. This one has a higher likelihood of successful info-gathering, and might even be where you could get more info before doing the very risky thing of going to the high school.

This isn't something you can do alone, as much as you'd like to, what if what happens at the hospital with your anxiety happens again, no, you need to be with everyone when you go there because it's not just you that wants a friend back, others do too.

As much as it sucks, doing A will let you get just a little bit closer to your companions, maybe even let you see how working with Roger would be, and use it as a trial run.

tldr. Vote A
You obviously want to do B, and it might even be the cathartic thing to do right now, but do you think you'd be able to keep your composure, to work with everyone in the room without just rushing in the moment you see your brother.

You're stressed as hell and even if it hurts need to consider what you might be overlooking
>>
No. 1040379 ID: 84cd4c

A, but stress that you want to do B sooner than later, and not to just 'forget about it'.
Your voice needs to be heard for people to get a read on you.

It might be harsh to hear, but if you say nothing, they might not know or even think that you care about your brother.

Alternatively...
Your option C would be whatever's... past the High School , by Franklin's. Unless somebody knows what it is.
Maybe Bec does?
>>
No. 1040398 ID: 398700

>>1040324
Radiation. Please someone bring up the risk of radiation, we shouldn't be going up there without geiger counters or a lead bodysuit. there's probably SOMETHING juicy up there, but if it's so recently abandoned there's no telling why.
>>
No. 1040419 ID: a2d88b

C) Don't go obviously casing the high school. Try to see if you can find any maps of the school first. Like, at the city hall or library.
>>
No. 1040894 ID: 629f2e
File 166053478765.png - (1.13MB , 1000x1000 , 173.png )
1040894

After a round of indecision, you decide to keep your opinions to yourself. Why waste the breath on a pointless fight? Accepting your lack of influence over this group will save you unnecessary stress in the long run. If they want to bumble around an old power plant instead of actually going and rescuing their friends, then it’s not your fault their priorities are backwards.

It may be your fault for continuing to associate with them, but unfortunately you can only do so much on your own.

Avoiding confrontation makes Clive feel a little better, -2 Fear

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 44/100]
[Albert: 43/100]
[Franklin: 44/100]
[Lillian: 15/100]
[Enid: 0/100]
[Roger: 6/100]


The others are still talking about Franklin and his playdate with Temmie. It’s utterly irrelevant, and you’re starting to suspect there isn’t anything of substance waiting on the other side of this topic.

If that’s the case, then there’s no point staying. You’d wanted to leave since the moment you sat down, and finally you act on that desire. Nobody notices you go.

Evacuating yourself to the hallway immediately makes you feel better. The noise level of the empty hall was far lower than the room full of children. Unfortunately, you know this isn’t a place to hang around. The teachers would send you back in if they saw you just standing out here. You start walking with the illusion of purpose towards… something. You haven’t decided what.

Where do you go wind down?

A: The Bathroom
-Stalls provide decent isolation
-You won’t be completely alone in there

B: The Classroom
-Nobody else will be there
-You aren’t supposed to be there now

C: Outside
-Fresh air
-Longest walk, highest odds of running into someone

>>
No. 1040898 ID: 8483cf

B stands for B a rebel
>>
No. 1040903 ID: 84cd4c

B? A doesn't sound bad either.

B has the potential for some good info, surprisingly, and you can always make up an excuse if you need to. You forgot something in your desk, like some sort of keepsake or notes.
>>
No. 1040908 ID: e51896

Eh, C.
>>
No. 1040987 ID: 2ca3ce

C, outside sounds nice, you may bump into someone, but you can like... ignore them.
>>
No. 1041542 ID: 8a236d

I'm going with C
>>
No. 1041679 ID: 629f2e
File 166132136885.png - (954.94KB , 1000x1000 , 178.png )
1041679

...You can’t decide between the classroom or stepping outside. The indecision paralyzes you, and in the end you decide to go to the Bathroom instead, foregoing your original choices.

The room stinks of cleaning chemicals and pee, and as predicted you aren’t alone. On the plus side though, you don’t expect that anyone will bother you. Once you’re in a stall, it’s like you don’t exist. Even as kids come and go, you can take the moment to enjoy solitude.

There’s been so much on your mind. Rodney, high school, mom and dad, Albert... So much to think about, so many things you kept having to deal with. You just needed a break from all of it.

And for a few peaceful minutes, you’re able to stop thinking altogether. A blissful period of nothing.

...

It’s Peaceful.

Taking a minute to decompress alleviates some of your worries, -2 Fear

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 42/100]


...You can’t stay here forever, as much as you’d like to. All those things you hated to think about weren’t just going to go away. You have to keep going.

Having wasted more than enough time, you wait for the room to be empty before finally leaving the stall. Despite not doing anything, you start washing your hands out of habit.

Despite everything, you felt okay. If just for a moment. Dare you even say “fine”.
>>
No. 1041680 ID: 629f2e
File 166132138918.png - (753.46KB , 1000x1000 , 179.png )
1041680

...And then you look up, being met with your own reflection.
>>
No. 1041682 ID: 629f2e
File 166132142157.png - (840.72KB , 1000x1000 , 180.png )
1041682

>>
No. 1041683 ID: 629f2e
File 166132143365.png - (761.48KB , 1000x1000 , 181.png )
1041683

>>
No. 1041684 ID: 629f2e
File 166132148125.png - (782.60KB , 1000x1000 , 182.png )
1041684

...It didn’t match what you were feeling before, but it appropriately described your mood after staring at it for a few miserable seconds.

It was the same as always. Lips curled into a frown, lifeless eyes, brows tensed... The Frozen face you’ve always worn.

The medical term is: Restricted Affect. As far back as you can remember, you’ve always been like this. Your expression doesn’t match your mood, save for when you feel miserable. And when you do, nobody can even tell the difference. Nobody but Rodney at least. He always could read you like an open book... But he’s not here, not right now.

...You decide to leave before the temptation to break the mirror gets too high.
>>
No. 1041685 ID: 629f2e
File 166132153482.png - (849.66KB , 1000x1000 , 183.png )
1041685

On the way back, you reflect on the conversation that had been taking place in the lunch hall. Of all parts, your mind drifted to the Dates. One of the less impactful elements, and one you’d had plenty of time to dwell on beforehand if you’d wanted to. You didn’t before, but something had caught your attention now.

1959 was, according to the others, less than 10 Years Ago.

The date... sounds right. You honestly couldn’t tell the exact year if asked, as you haven’t had anything to remind you. You only need the month and day for homework assignments, and you’ve never gotten into a conversation with Rodney where either of you brought up the year. It just doesn’t come up anywhere in your life. It’s not like you have anything to plan ahead for years down the line. You feel lucky just to live another day.

It’s the 60s. Probably mid to late you’d guess, but that really is just a guess. You don’t know, and to be honest you shouldn’t really care. If you ever need to know, you can always just Ask Someone Else.

It’s a stupid thing to dwell on. ...So why can’t your brain let go of it already?

???: “Hold on a moment, Clive dearie!”

You freeze. The voice was too old to be a child’s, making it all the easier to recognize. When you turn around, your teacher Mrs. Chamberlane is smiling back at you. You keep your eyes low, never meeting her gaze.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a couple of days now, but I just never seemed to catch you at a good time. Have you been avoiding me?”
Clive: “...No.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “I didn’t think so. Bad luck I suppose.”

...Why is she talking to you? What does she want?

Mrs. Chamberlane: “How have you been feeling recently?
Clive: “...Fine.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Really? Are you sure about that? You don’t have to lie to me.”
Clive: “Why wouldn’t I be?”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Well, not to pick at a scab, but Rodney’s graduation was only some days ago.”

Your whole body tenses.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “I know that the two of you were rather close, and this may all seem rather sudden. Have you been handling it well?”
Clive: “...”

It’s questions like these that make you wish you could really level a scowl at others when needed.

Clive: “...Fine.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Ah, I see...”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “It’s only natural for you to miss your little brother, but these things happen sometimes.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “You understand, don’t you? Why some kids have to graduate early?”

You have some pretty compelling theories if what the other kids have told you can be trusted. None you’re going to share with her of course.

Clive: “...”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Clive? I asked if you Understand or not.”

The way she asks that question the second time stays in your ear. You aren’t able to put a finger on it at first, but it quickly becomes clear that there’s a hidden layer to this question. It’s a Test. She wants something from you. Your response is going to be examined closely. There might even be a wrong answer.

Why is she asking this? Is it about something you’ve recently Done? Is it about your Parents? Or could it have something to do with Rodney? She did approach you to talk about him, but you can’t prove that that’s her true intention.

What is the right answer? What are you supposed to say?

A: Clive: “I do.”
B: Clive: “I don’t.”
C: Clive: “...”

>>
No. 1041687 ID: 398700

>>1041685
no. we must express innocence and worry. for a moment, our inexpressive face gives us a leg up.
>>
No. 1041688 ID: e5709d

>Clive.exe has stopped functioning
CURVEBALL
"Can I suck your chest?"
Why yes, this is inappropriate. But Clive has, for all intents and purposes, shambled past the borders of sanity due to the 'graduation' of his brother.
>>
No. 1041692 ID: e51896

I feel this is a trick question, so I'm thinking A, "I do: because he was selected".

That's the answer Lilian was given when she asked the adults why Philip graduated early after all: https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/1010078.html#1010311 so that's the same answer Clive must give. We'll have to assume she thinks our parents told us why, and that's the explanation we were given.

If we choose B, she might wonder why our parents didn't tell us why and might do some investigating on our parents (which is bad as we are trying to keep what happened to them a secret)

if we choose C, our silence will cause suspicion that we know something we shouldn't.
>>
No. 1041696 ID: 625638

>>1041692
Good idea! Seconding this.
>>
No. 1041697 ID: 84cd4c

>>1041692
I also agree with this.

...Although, I feel like that's not the "true" answer, but rather the "correct" one expected of us. I dunno, is that... just a misconception?
>>
No. 1041734 ID: 7b75ea

>>1041697
I think the fact that it's the "Correct" answer expected of us and not the truth is the point. Though I suspect you're referring to the fact that Rodney likely Wasn't "selected" like the others, right?

I'm actually in favor of modifying B in the same way others have voted to modify A: "I was told he was Selected. I dunno if I really understand what they mean by that, though."

This is a direct confrontation between two adversaries; the adults are not the only faction who can glean new information from it.
>>
No. 1041735 ID: 2ca3ce

>>1041692
Thirding for similar reasons as above
>>
No. 1041737 ID: 8483cf

>>1041692
Fourthing!
>>
No. 1042726 ID: 629f2e
File 166218971335.png - (1.16MB , 1000x1000 , 187.png )
1042726

You decide that the safest response is the one they’ve tried to make other kids believe.

Clive: “I understand. He was Selected... for some reason.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “That’s right! And do you know why that is?”
Clive: “...No.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Really? Haven’t your Parents told you anything?”

She lowers herself down to your level as she asks that painful question. Her face is only a few short inches away from yours, and you can feel each calm breath she takes. You stare at her shoes, refusing to look her in the eyes.

Slowly, you see her hand come up to your chin, gently pushing it up against your will. You don’t fight it, not wanting to give her more reasons to suspect you, and you’re soon forced to meet her gaze. She’s studying you. Her eyes cut straight into your soul, and you have to force yourself not to look away.

Clive: “...”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Have they said anything about Rodney recently?”
Clive: “...I haven’t been talking to them.”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Really? Is that the truth?”
Clive: “Why would I lie?”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “...Why indeed.”

She lets go of me, rising back to her full height.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “Well you really should. I’m sure your parents would love it if you checked in with them. It’s good to let them know how you’re feeling...”

She goes on. You tune her out, keeping your gaze straight down until she eventually pats your shoulder and starts to walk away. Then suddenly, she pauses.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “Oh, one more thing. I noticed that you’ve been spending more time with Albert and his friends recently.”
Clive: “Yeah?”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Glad to see you’re making new friends! However...”
Mrs. Chamberlane: “Be careful with Albert. He has enough health issues as is. I don’t think he’ll survive if you treat him the way you did Jolene.
Clive: “...”
>>
No. 1042727 ID: 629f2e
File 166218974345.png - (1.29MB , 1000x1000 , 188.png )
1042727

The bell rings.

Mrs. Chamberlane: “Well, looks like it’s time for recess. Enjoy yourself!”
Clive: “...”

She walks away. You don’t even get a minute to process how you feel before a girl closer to your age approaches you.

Clive: “...How long were you there?”
Enid: “Just a minute or two. Franklin pointed out that you’d left, and I wanted to see where you went.”

She looks past you, staring at Chamberlane’s back as the older woman walks away.

Enid: “...She’s scary.”
Clive: “Yeah.”
Enid: “How do you stay so calm, even with her right in your face like that?”
Clive: “...”

You don’t.

You were barely able to keep your cool throughout that conversation, +5 Fear

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 47/100]

>>
No. 1042733 ID: 629f2e
File 166219244310.png - (342.65KB , 1000x1000 , 189.png )
1042733

...You hide out in the bathroom for the rest of recess, trying to calm yourself back down. No matter how hard you try, you can’t relax at all. The best you can feel is Stable. It’ll have to be enough.

The rest of school goes by quickly. You meet up with the others outside of the building, where you’re then informed that Franklin and Lillian will be leaving for their own activities. He mentioned having his own conflict earlier, but why Lillian is following is a mystery. You don’t care enough to ask. You watch them walk off into the woods.

Albert: “Hopefully she can get some answers out of him.
Clive: “Hm?”
Albert: “Don’t worry about it. Unrelated concerns.”
Roger: “Um, guys? Why don’t we move somewhere else before we start discussing anything.”
Enid: “Talking about this stuff close to school does feel like tempting fate.”
Roger: “I need to head home anyway to set out a costume for Franklin. Let’s walk and talk?”
Albert: “As long as you’re not setting the pace. I can’t exactly run to keep up with your impressive stride right now.”

Albert taps the ground twice with his cane to emphasize his point, before walking forward and leading the way. The rest of you follow behind him.

Everyone agreed that the Nuclear Power Plant would be the best place to visit, so that was how you’d all be spending today. Ignore the facts you already know, like how the high school doesn’t fulfill its intended purpose since kids never leave, or that all the adults in town are in on a conspiracy to keep its true nature hidden. Apparently that isn’t a good enough reason to sneak in and save your brother and their friends yet. Why would it be?

You can’t complain though, because you kept your mouth shut. Even when it wasn’t decided, and you could have said something, you didn’t. Assuming you even counted for their vote...

This is such a waste of time... Mostly.

There was an argument in favor of this. It just wasn’t one you liked. Without knowing the specifics of What is happening at the high school or Why it is, you might run into unexpected problems. And you can’t really speculate on just what kind of problems they would be, because they wouldn’t be unknown if you had that information.

Maybe wanting to break into the high school building immediately is just another way that you’re being Selfish. You don’t want to do this right, you just want Rodney back so that you can finally feel better. Even if that recklessness gets you both sent right back there.

Suddenly, you’re shaken out of your thoughts when Roger speaks up.

Roger: “So, we aren’t just going straight to the plant, are we? Don’t we need a plan?”
Albert: “We can only do so much planning with the limited data we have available. I believe the most significant matter we need to consider will be Equipment.
Roger: “What do you have in mind?”
Albert: “Let’s see... First and foremost, we’ll need to Find A Way Inside. Let’s assume there will be no first-floor windows to break through.”
Albert: “Even if there were, that would leave a rather clear trail of evidence.”
Enid: “So, we need a Key?
Albert: “Something to that effect. Then there’s also the matter of Light.
Roger: “That’s right. If the plant is abandoned, then there won’t be power for the lights. And if it’s anything like the recycling center, there won’t be many windows either.”
Enid: “Then we need to bring a Flashlight?
Roger: “Maybe two, just in case something happens to the first. It could run out of batteries or get dropped, and we’d be left in the dark if that happened.”
Albert: “Ideally we’d each have one, but I agree that two is an acceptable minimum.”
Enid: “Should we bring any Food or Water? We won’t be able to stop and have a snack anywhere else, since we’ll be out of town.”
Roger: “That’s a good point.”
Albert: “It’s less vital, since we’ll have to return home before it gets too late anyways, but it wouldn’t harm us to bring any.”

You stay silent for the most part, not having anything to add that they don’t come up with themselves. It’s only when they start getting into Where they would get these things that you consider adding your own suggestions

[NOTE: The choices you make in this section will have serious consequences on how the rest of this thread plays out]

How will you get a key to get inside the Nuclear Power Plant?


Enid: “Albert, you said that your Dad worked there. Does he maybe have a key at home you can borrow?
Albert: “It wouldn’t hurt to check I suppose. Not with him in the hospital at least...

A: Agree
-Albert will check his apartment for a key
-Will his mom be home?

B: Suggest an alternative
-Suggest purchasing a key from ‘Bec
-Even if she can’t get her hands on one, you can still ask her to pick the lock
-You’re broke. Either someone else pays, or you would need to steal a wallet

C: Something else
-Speak up, but suggest something else (How else can you get inside)


Where will you get Flashlights? (Pick at least 2)


Roger: “I might have one at home we can use. I might have stolen its batteries for a toy though.”
Roger: “We’re stopping there anyways, so I’ll just check while I go to get Lemmy’s disguise.”
Enid: “I’m... not sure if the Foster’s have one or not. And if they do, I don’t know where I’d even start looking.”
Enid: “I can definitely buy one from the store though. Mr. Giovanni might even give me a discount.”

1: Agree
-Roger bring a flashlight from his house. Enid will buy one
-Roger’s searches both have a chance to fail
-Will their parents be home?

2: Add-on
-Agree with 1, but suggest more ways you might get torches. Specify:
-You could buy a few from ‘Bec
-You could also suggest the others borrow from other school friends
-Or maybe you could ask Enid to buy multiple

3: Suggest an alternative
-Disagree with some or all of the others’ suggested plans, and suggest alternatives
-You need at least TWO flashlights before you can go, and not all options are guaranteed to succeed



Food and drink?


Enid: “My house is on the other side of town, and I’m already going to the store. I don’t think I’ll have time to make anything unless we don’t mind waiting.”
Enid: “We’ll pass it on our way out, so I could take a few water bottles when we do.”
Roger: “I could make some sandwiches here, though mom’s probably home right now. I think if I run around doing the flashlights, dragging my costume out, and then making a lot of food...”
Roger: “At some point she’ll just have to ask me what’s going on.”
Albert: “Well, as I said food isn’t of great importance. Water will be enough.”

I: Agree
-Enid will bring water bottles from home
-You will take no food with you

II: Show some generosity
-Suggest that you could bring a few items from home
-Dig into your own food rations to keep the group fed

III: Suggest an alternative
-Suggest purchasing snacks from ‘Bec
-You’re broke. Either someone else pays, or you would need to steal a wallet


Anything else?
(Suggest any other items the group could bring.)
-Crowbar?
-Binoculars?
-Map/Compass?
-Toys?
-Etc.

>>
No. 1042735 ID: 84cd4c

KEY: C: Send Roger ahead of the others to check on the Power Plant before assuming things. Roger's in good shape, he should be able to get there the fastest.
Also, sending Albert home would probably take extra time and be bad for his health.

This is actually just a sneaky way for me to buy time on this specific choice, if I'm being honest, though.

Flashlights: 1 / 2 (Bec probably wouldn't ask questions about the flashlight. Safe choice.)

Food/Drink: II (This will be hard to convince Clive, I think, but it would do him some social favors.)

ETC:
Crowbar: Where would they even get one? Also bad, leaves evidence.
Binoculars: Potentially useless indoor, but may be necessary for scouting purposes (hey roger)
Map: An actual map may exist, but a piece of paper/notebook and pencil is much easier.
Compass: A definitely good idea, but also hard to find probably. I bet you can get one with less eyebrows raised than a crowbar, though.
Toys?: Might help for an alibi/easing fear- if someone asks what you're grabbing all this for, it's for a test of fear party in a safe space.

ETC 2:
First Aid: We don't know what will happen, it'd be a good idea to bring something like this along.
String: Helpful for when someone gets lost/marking locations.
Small Mirror?: This... doesn't have an obvious use, but I'm sure it could theoretically be helpful for something. Like checking around corners? Maybe?
>>
No. 1042737 ID: 8483cf

B, 1 (and a bit of 2), II.

Albert’s mom is bad news. He ate some food yesterday he shouldn’t have, so he’s on thin ice. So A is out. Where will we get a key?

As much as I hate to do it, it’s time for Roger to sell the Dotti drawing. Clive can haggle ‘Bec, knowing its actual offered value from Barry and Carol ($1.75). Lillian will ABSOLUTELY haggle too, as the Dotti drawing is incalculably valuable as nerd blackmail, should it ever get out into the wild. That’ll easily buy a key, plus a drink and/or food, or at the very least ‘Bec picking the lock on the Plant.

Buy torches from ‘Bec if the Dotti pic is worth enough, but ideally we can find some flashlights.

Clive is shaken by Chamberlane, so perhaps he’s out of his rut enough to accept that Rodney is gone for now, and share some food.

Binoculars are great for scouting ahead and seeing if there is anything moving in specific rooms of the Plant. There is no need for a map/compass since Cattenom is by the ocean, so that’s easy orientation. However, I recommend grabbing a sharp stick in the forest to mark your way inside the plant by scraping signs on the floor.

Bring a stuffed animal for Enid.
>>
No. 1043089 ID: 0838d6

C: Get a crowbar, if the place is old and abandoned, a key will help you get in, but it won't help you go deep inside where you likely will need to go if you need to find something.

As for funds, you can either *steal* as you need to do that today, anyway, or ask someone else to pay, because you'll be providing something else in the third section

2: Gamble on your friends having them at home, but see about getting one from Bec if they're out since you need a crowbar anyway. If they have it, great, if not, then maybe someone should get batteries.

II: And then your contribution, dig into your food rations, the best way to anothers heart is through their gut, you've been alone for a while, sharing food will break the ice slightly. Maybe when you're home you can also look for a backpack or bag, and, I think most importantly, a First-Aid kit If you have one, get it, as most houses keep one anyway, if not, maybe suggest that someone see if they have one, just in case.

also I kind of like the idea of Roger going and scouting the plant since he can run fast, but I also don't like him going alone, so I abstain on pushing for that.
>>
No. 1043106 ID: 84cd4c

This sudden bit being tacked on might seem out of the blue, but I think if Clive does go home for supplies, he should have someone come with him- at least until he gets there.

I dunno why, but...
I've got a gut feeling someone might be there? Could be really bad, could be good. My examples being either Rodney, or ...prying adults.

Could just be paranoia.
>>
No. 1043306 ID: 3120d8

I believe Rodney looking for flashlights and Enid using her money to pay Rebecca for a keycard would be the better choice, along with Clive sharing some of his food.

They will have to ask Enid how much money she has so we can plan wjat other supplies to buy or whether we should really steal a wallet to get extra supplies.

And yes, maybe selling the Dotti drawing would be good, but Clive doesn't know about it. Does Rodney have other drawings he hasn't sold yet?
>>
No. 1043387 ID: e51896

for the most part, I agree with Donut's plan

B. I agree with Donut, sell the Dotti pic. I think we're at that point where we'll need to be sacrifices if we're going to be careful.

1 and/or 2. For sure, Enid can buy a flashlight. But if we have enough to buy a torch instead of Roger getting one, Buying torches would be good if we have enough money. If anyone asks why Enid is buying one, Enid can say she's afraid of the dark at night at her bedtime. She's new to the orphanage, so they probably don't know her all too well to be suspicious.

II. Again, sacrifices. Our meeting with our teacher has me concerned. We might need to clean up the candy and move the chair back to the dining room anyways if an adult goes snooping while we're gone.

Bring some plush toys to ease fears (Glum Plum?)

I think a crowbar would be too suspicious to carry around... against

Does clive have a first aid kit in his home? if so, he should take it with him.

Compass would be cool too so we don't get totally lost in the forest. It can fit in someone's pocket too so no one will get suspicious.
>>
No. 1044116 ID: 629f2e
File 166354647331.png - (909.56KB , 1000x1000 , 190.png )
1044116

You have some thoughts. Some might even be worth saying, as much as you’d prefer to fade into the background.

One topic at a time, starting with the biggest issue of the bunch: Getting inside the plant.

Sending Albert home... it doesn’t feel like a good idea. Not after what you saw yesterday at least. Whether his dad had a key or not, it’s a risk you don’t want to take at his expense. Thankfully, a far safer alternative comes to mind.

Clive: “...’Bec could get us in.”
Enid: “Who? I don’t recognize that name, is it a classmate?”
Roger: “She’s a middle schooler actually. I think she was... The Rebel, right?”
Clive: “Yes. ‘Bec can get her hands on whatever she needs. She can get us a key.”
Albert: “Does she even know about the nuclear plant’s existence?”

Good question. You weren’t sure.

Clive: “...It’s fine to tell her. She can keep a secret.”

Albert doesn’t fight you on that point, already knowing One of the secrets she’s kept her mouth shut about. He does ask a good question though.

Albert: “Can you Afford her services?”
Clive: “...No. I’ll need cash.”
Enid: “How much?”
Albert: “Her prices vary for keys, if I’m remembering her price sheet correctly. Assuming this will be a higher end item, and judging by her other prices...”
Albert: “I would say somewhere between Fifty Cents and Two Dollars.
Clive: “...Sounds right.”
Albert: “We could also purchase an extra flashlight while we’re there, but it all comes down to how much currency we have available.”
Albert: “And unless Clive can find the money we need...”

You just shake your head. It’s true that you steal what you have to, but that’s it. Just that much raises enough suspicion, and you don’t want to take your chances by nabbing any more.

Albert: “...Right then. I don’t have anything I can contribute here, so I’ll ask you two. How much do you both have?”
Roger: “I have a dollar.”
Enid: “I have two dollars in my pocket. But I have more at home.”
Albert: “How much more?”
Enid: “Um... Thirteen?
Roger: “Whoa!”
Albert: “That will certainly suffice!”
Enid: “Wait, sorry, there’s a problem with that...”
Enid: “I’m supposed to go and spend it with Mrs. Foster at the toy store tomorrow to replace my old things, so I think she’ll notice if any is gone.”
Roger: “Oh. Wait, then that money was... your Inheritance?
Enid: “Yes. They told me most of it is in the bank for when I’m older, but they left enough out to get back some of what I lost.”
Enid: “Sorry. She suggested it yesterday, and was really insistent about her and I doing it together. I would have tried harder to talk her out of it if I knew we’d need it.”

You frown (actively, rather than your normal passive frown). Three dollars, not counting what Enid would spend on her flashlight... Would that be enough? Even if it could get you the key, you might have to discard the idea of picking up an extra flashlight.

Enid: “...Roger, you look like you want to say something. Do you have an idea?”
Roger: “Well... I was just thinking that if I could sell...”
Roger: “...Uh, nevermind.”
Albert: “Sell what, your art?”
Roger: “...That is what I was going to say, but my main buyers are Barry and Carol. They just went through my sketchbook recently and picked up a couple drawings.”
Enid: “So you mean they spent all they had or bought all of the ones they were interested in already?”
Roger: “...Yes. That is what I mean.”

...You’re terrible at reading people, but even you can tell there’s something he doesn’t want to say.

Whatever, you’re not gonna call him out. If you all die because he’s getting stingy, at least it wasn’t your fault. Besides, if you can tell, the other two probably can too. Let them speak up.

Roger: “That still leaves us with Three Dollars. Is that enough?
Albert: “I would think a decent flashlight should run Enid about a dollar fifty.”
Enid: “Maybe less than that. Giovanni likes me, so I bet I could get a discount if I put on my sad face.”
Roger: “Can you do that on command?”
Enid: “I can turn it on, but turning it off is a little hard right now.”
Clive: “That leaves us a dollar fifty, unless Enid secures a bargain. If ‘Bec asks for a high price, we won’t be able to afford it.”
Albert: “Any chance she’ll give you a discount or take credit? You are her best customer.”

It wasn’t likely, but not impossible. ‘Bec doesn’t trade in promises, but rather cold hard cash right in her hand. Still, it’d have to do. Maybe you’ll get lucky on the price, and you’ll be able to pick up a flashlight as well.

With that discussion finished, you carry on straight into the next. Food.

Clive: “...I might be able to pick up a few snacks from home.”
Enid: “That’d be great, thank you.”
Albert: “It wouldn’t hurt to have, especially if we end up staying there for some time.”
Albert: “On that note, is there anything else you all think we should bring?”
Clive: “Maybe a first-aid kit?”
Roger: “Franklin carries one, so- oh, right, he’s not here right now.”
Enid: “He carries around a first-aid kit?”
Roger: “Well his dad is a sort of doctor, and Jhonen’s parents were the kind that actually work in the hospital. With company like that, it makes sense.”
Albert: “That, and he seems the second most likely of any of us to injure himself, falling just short of Lillian.”
Roger: “So, who else has one at home they can take?”

After a short discussion, you offer to grab the first-aid kit from your house. The conversation continues to other items.

Roger: “I can borrow a Compass from Louie, no problems. I’ll just tell him it’s for a game, and I don’t think he’ll question me too much about it.”
Enid: “If we’re all stopping at our homes at least once, then maybe we can each grab at least one Toy while we’re there.”
Clive: “I don’t have any.”
Enid: “What? Really?”
Clive: “...I don’t play much.”
Enid: “That’s... very sad.”

Not really. Even before things in your life got weird, you rarely played with toys. They didn’t interest you. You prefer reading, or playing games.

Albert: “If that’s everything, then I believe we’re good to split up. We’ll meet up by Enid’s house in about twenty minutes. Is that acceptable for all of you?”
Clive: “Yeah.”
Enid: “I think so.”
Roger: “Shouldn’t be a problem.”
Albert: “Alright. And just to be safe, I’ll suggest that we split off into pairs.”

You barely hold back a groan. It was like he’d waited until the last minute to bring it up. Was that on purpose?

Clive: “I’m fine on my own.”
Albert: “Am I wrong in my understanding that you were directly Interrogated by our teacher earlier today?”

He was not wrong, which is strange since he definitely Hadn’t been there. The only other person who was had been Enid, so how-

You side-eye Enid. She’s looking away, very intentionally.

Albert: “If the perpetrators of this plot are starting to notice our actions, then it’s imperative we play things more cautiously.”
Albert: “There’s safety in numbers, so we’ll avoid being caught alone.”

He has a point. You know he does, even if you hate to agree with it.

Clive: “Fine.”
Enid: “If we’re pairing up, then can I go with you, Albert?”
Roger: “Huh?”
Albert: “I don’t mind at all... Is there a reason you’d like to go with me in particular though?”
Enid: “Well, I went with Roger on Monday already, so I just wanted to go with someone other than him.”
Roger: “Why not Clive then? You’ve barely had a word with him so far, so wouldn’t it be better to establish some foundation with him?”
Clive: “...We haven’t talked much either.”
Roger: “Well y-yeah, but y’know... We’ve been in the same class, so it’s different really...”

...Oh, he just doesn’t want to go with you. Well that should have been obvious from the start.

Enid: “I guess that’s true...”
Roger: “What do you think, Albert?”
Albert: “Don’t drag me into this. I’m fine with whatever combination we go with.”

At this rate, if you don’t say anything, then Roger will likely get his way and you’ll go with Enid. That isn’t a bad option, if anything you’d rather be with someone willing to put up with you than a kid that’s actively avoiding your being nearby.

That said, you’ll need to deal with this sooner or later. If this keeps up, his tendency to avoid you may cause problems later. Or maybe it won’t, and you can both happily coexist away from each other. Who knows? Who cares?

Should Clive Speak Up?

A: Enid is fine
-Keep your mouth shut and go with Enid.
B: Clive: “Actually...”
-Speak up, and reject Roger’s proposal
-You’ll probably end up going with Roger if you do that

C: Get someone else to speak for you
-Nudge Enid or Albert into saying something (specify who)

>>
No. 1044117 ID: 8483cf

C. Let's get Albert on this one. Finally, a use for his blunt honesty!

Albert, it's time to lay it all out. What's better to have: a functioning team that can put up with each other, or a barely-functioning team that punches each other?

Getting punched by Lillian may have knocked some sense into him. Let's see if he agrees that harmony is for the best, even if it's a tough road to get there.
>>
No. 1044120 ID: e51896

I think Roger should go with Clive to get him to better know Clive and warm up to him a bit. Plus bringing Enid to our place might get her to raise questions about us, and raise people's suspicion of her and she's kinda mentally fragile after what happened to her during the fire.

We already know Enid doesn't want to go with Roger, so we can't nudge her

However, I think we should have Albert speak for us. Clive isn't the type of person to talk out, and we were told to be patient with Clive at the start of the thread so he can't speak out on his own. let Albert know his thoughts count in this.
>>
No. 1044121 ID: 5499f4

See, I really want to pick B, but I don't know how this will feel on Clive's end, it will certainly induce anxiety and even cause his parents to maybe see him.

Honestly I'd like Albert's opinion (c) even if B is what I think will happen in the end.
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No. 1044126 ID: 22eda9

Time sorta really is of the essence here, but...
"Hypothetically" if Roger had, say, something he could sell but didn't really want to... maybe he could do the forbidden 'tracing' technique before selling it so he could keep a physical copy.
...Just a thought.

...Something else to note is that normally Roger's the Team Leader- right now though, he feels like anything but that.
However, Albert's done a lot of heavy lifting in that area while he's been gone, and Roger really clams up whenever Clive's involved, so... it's not too strange, really.

Now, onto the choice.

Going with Enid isn't bad, but this is probably the last and only remaining opportunity to attempt to work things out between Clive and Roger. Which is kind of important, if they're to successfully work together later.
That strikes A out.
Why do I have this odd premonition of like... Roger freezing up in fear as something awful happens to Clive? In a timeline where Roger's still avoiding Clive...

Clive might be able to speak up for himself, however... I think it's better if we let someone else talk here. It's not because I expect it to be a stressful choice for him, but because speaking up yourself against Roger's suggestion means denying the 'Leader' which doesn't feel like Clive has the social points for. Not yet, anyways.
...Plus, the flavor text more or less implies that Clive doesn't really care either.

That leaves either Albert or Enid.

Right now, the majority is leaning Albert, which I think is... mostly correct.
I mean, Albert knows what Clive's going through- not to mention his recent Emotional Growth™ most likely allowing him to see clearer than he could before.
...However, he also literally just said “Don’t drag me into this. I’m fine with whatever combination we go with.”

I'm not really sure what nudging Enid to speak up would result in, but I can't imagine it would end poorly.
>>
No. 1044130 ID: 22eda9
File 166355752827.png - (149.62KB , 749x800 , Roger POV.png )
1044130

Roger's POV...
>>
No. 1044288 ID: f34855

I'm going with B of Bonding.
>>
No. 1044758 ID: 629f2e
File 166416128096.png - (1.38MB , 1000x1000 , 201.png )
1044758

You try to telepathically send your will to Albert. When that obviously doesn’t work, you just nudge him with your shoulder and hope he picks up on your meaning. He turns back and looks at you, making more eye contact than you’re comfortable with (translation: any).

Albert: “...Fine, I’ll point out the obvious.”
Albert: “Roger, could you please attempt to be less Blatant about not feeling comfortable around Clive? It makes our collaboration with him a bit awkward.”
Albert: “We aren’t going to force him upon you if you feel so strongly.”
Roger: “I-I wasn’t trying to...”

The denial dies out in his throat.

Roger: “...Alright, maybe I’m not as subtle as I hoped I was.”
Enid: “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking about what you wanted when I asked Albert-”
Roger: “No, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s okay for you to want things. Look it’s just...”

He pauses, just looking at you. It’s not a pleasant feeling, being inspected, and yet you’ve already gone through it twice today.

Roger: “...You freak me out.”
Roger: “Rodney always used to say good things about you. You’re important to him, I get that. I’m glad you treat him well.”
Roger: “But you never show any of that to us. You just sit there glaring and scaring everyone around you, and when you finally do something it’s- you nearly Killed JoJo!”
Roger: “How am I supposed to feel about that? Literally the only time you break the brooding loner character, and apparently that is the alternative.”
Clive: “...”
Roger: “...You can say something whenever you want.”
Clive: “...”

You give no retort, letting silence fill the air between you. There was nothing in his words you wished to contest.

Sharing his feelings about Clive with Clive took a fair bit of willpower from Roger, +5 Fear

Listening to someone describe him in that way shakes Clive’s confidence, +2 Fear

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 49/100]
[Albert: 43/100]
[Enid: 0/100]
[Roger: 11/100]

>>
No. 1044759 ID: 629f2e
File 166416134916.png - (1.73MB , 1000x1000 , 202.png )
1044759

Albert: “Personally, I think you’re giving Clive more credit than he deserves.”
Roger: “...You invited him, so I’m guessing you don’t mean that in the way it comes off.”
Albert: “All I mean is that you’re presuming an unbelievable quantity of malice when the far simpler answer is a more believable level of anxiety.”
Roger: “...Look, if Clive actually Wants to go with me, then I’ll do it. I don’t think he does though. And if he doesn’t want it, then I really don’t.”
Albert: “That’s acceptable. Well then, Clive?”

Their eyes land on you, waiting for an answer.

To be frank, while you don’t begrudge him for the things he said, it hardly makes you thrilled to spend time with him. He just explained all the reasons being around him will be miserable for both of you. You scare him, and being around somebody who obviously doesn’t like it isn’t much fun for you either. There’s really no other answer.

Clive: “...I don’t.”
Roger: “Then that’s how I feel about it.”
Enid: “If that’s the case, then why doesn’t Clive go with me, and Roger goes with Albert?”
Enid: “Is that okay with everyone?”
Albert: “As I said before, I’m fine with any combination.”
Roger: “I don’t mind at all.”
Clive: “...It’s fine.”

And so, the groups are formed, and you both split up with a promise on where to meet. Roger gives you a dollar in coins before heading off with Albert. You catch a bit of the other pair’s conversation as they go.

Albert: “Ah, one final note. I’d like to stop by the hospital before we all group up, Roger.”
Roger: “Oh, did you want to visit your dad?”
Albert: “Ha ha! No. I’d like to be as far away from him as physically possible actually. It’s...

...In the end, it’s just you and Enid. She looks up at you expectantly.

Enid: “Um, I don’t know where you live.”
Clive: “...It’s this way. We’re close already.”

Your house wasn’t very far from Roger’s. None of the homes in this part of town were. It’s a rather tight cluster of buildings.

You just need to pop inside and grab a few things the group can quickly eat while at the plant. Nothing that requires cook time obviously, snack foods like chips, crackers, pretzels, etc.

When you reach the door, you hesitate, considering how you want to handle your current associate.

A: Let her in.
-She’s going to ask about the candy and the chair
B: Ask her to wait out here
-You would be leaving her alone for a few minutes

>>
No. 1044761 ID: 22eda9

That didn't go too horribly. At the very least, it laid down the line...

To let Enid in or not...

A (Modified): "I don't want to explain about the candy again, so... ask Albert later. It's kind of a draining topic."
A gamble, might save some time, might not.

She's probably still going to ask why we don't take some, and... at this point, if Rodney isn't back, is it perhaps a fair point? I don't know.

Also, wouldn't like... ants and stuff get into some of it? (:I)
>>
No. 1044762 ID: 8483cf

Keep trying on the telepathy, there’s a girl you should meet who’s pretty good at it. Too bad she’s kind of weird and has a helicopter dad.

Also, please make some kind of effort to acknowledge your peers’ discomfort around you. Saying nothing is sometimes taken as an acknowledgement that their fears about you are accurate. Even saying “I’m sorry you feel that way” is better than silence. Heck, even a cocky shrug of the shoulders is better than silence. It doesn’t involve words, and it doesn’t require any change in expression. Very easy.

As for Enid, let her in (A) and make up an excuse.

“I was setting up a piñata and got lazy.”

There!
>>
No. 1044764 ID: 22eda9

>“I was setting up a piñata and got lazy.”

...I'm not sure she'd buy that, given not very long ago...
Clive: “...I don’t play much.”
Enid: “That’s... very sad.”
...And piñatas are generally associated with fun. It doesn't really... fit.

I can't think of a good additional excuse/macabre joke to layer onto the piñata one, since I think it'd just make Clive look worse(?)
>>
No. 1044765 ID: 22eda9

Maybe it's possible to bribe Enid not to ask for a portion of it.
>>
No. 1044817 ID: a2d88b

I think "don't want to explain again" will suffice. Enid doesn't seem the probing kind.
>>
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.
>>
No. 1055247 ID: 629f2e
File 167557695211.png - (353.08KB , 1000x1000 , 286.png )
1055247

Don’t panic.

Don’t panic.

...

It’s too much.


A familiar tightness grips your chest, as everything hits you at once.

Your breathing quickens, and your heart pounds so quickly that it might pop. A million thoughts rush at you, each shouting your failings at you.

I messed up.

This is too much, coming here was a mistake. Why am I even here? I’m just a kid, this is too much for me. I want to go home. I want to hug my brother and forget about everything.

...I’m going to die. They already know we’re here. That’ll be me on the floor next.

Some remnant of your consciousness tries to pierce the haze, if only to beg for information.

Am I still breathing? What are the others saying? It’s too dark, where is everyone? Do I even have my eyes open?

You clench your hands tightly. The sensation differs, and you remember that you’re holding something in the left? Something... soft.

The Doll. The one Enid bought you. You’re still holding it.

...

Something about that grounds you, if only slightly. You don’t know why, but you don’t fight it. You squeeze it tightly in your hand, focusing on the soft give of the stuffing between your fingers.

Calm down.

Get your breathing in order, that’s the most important thing. It’s too fast right now...

Calm down. Even if you’re only barely useful, acting like this will only make you a hindrance.

Just breathe... In... And out...

...
>>
No. 1055248 ID: 629f2e
File 167557698148.png - (695.00KB , 1000x1000 , 287.png )
1055248

...

As your own mind starts to calm, just enough for you to function, the clamoring of your companions can finally be processed.

‘Bec: “God– Fuck you. Fuck you all.”
Albert: “Very helpful. Because we’re the ones who are lucky you’re here, right? Truly we’re blessed to stand in your presence.”
Enid: “*whimper*”

...You feel a drop of relief in the revelation that the others didn’t seem to notice your short panic attack, but it is washed away by a gallon of dread at how quickly the tensions have broken the group.

‘Bec: “Why don’t you choke on that cane you glass-boned dipshit?”
Albert: “For the same reason you don’t refrain from saying whatever asinine thought enters your head.”
Roger: “Guys, would you please quit it!? Albert, don’t provoke her; and ‘Bec, stop cursing.”
‘Bec: “Eat shit.”
Albert: “I see cooperation isn’t your–”
Roger: “Albert–
Roger: “ ...Please. Just please don’t right now.”
Albert: “...Fine.”
Roger: “Thank you. I know this is... a lot. I get it, but we can’t lose our heads over this.”
Albert: “...Yet someone’s supposed to.

He mutters that last remark under his breath, not caring to explain what he meant.

The discovery of a rotted corpse has set off the entire party.

-Clive panics, but is able to compose himself. +6 Fear

-Albert regresses into bad habits. +7 Fear
[Albert seems more irritable than normal]

-‘Bec lashes out in her stress, finding no reprieve. +14 Fear
[‘Bec seems visibly stressed]

-Enid isn’t good with death. +15 Fear

-Roger is horrified, and the stress of his friends fighting REALLY isn’t helping. +18 Fear
[Roger has felt better]

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 55/100]
[Albert: 50/100]
[Enid: 17/100]
[Roger: 29/100]
[‘Bec: 36/100]

>>
No. 1055249 ID: 629f2e
File 167557701096.png - (42.20KB , 1000x1000 , 288.png )
1055249

Roger: “...What should we–”

Knock... Knock...

...

Click Click Click


The room falls Dead quiet.

The door knob is being twisted. Someone is trying to get in.

Mr. Sheppard.

...

Click Click...

...

It stops. Not one of you dares to speak. The others share glances over the flashlight beams, while you keep your eyes on the door. Silently, you pray to yourself.

Please go away... Please go away...
>>
No. 1055250 ID: 629f2e
File 167557702389.png - (16.95KB , 1000x1000 , 289.png )
1055250

The sound stops. There’s complete silence.

For a moment, you all let hope fill your hearts. Maybe he’ll leave? The door is locked, so maybe he won’t look deeper? We could have gone deeper into the woods, maybe left town completely. That would be worth checking for him, wouldn’t it?

Silently, you all plead for him to reach that same conclusion.

...

...It’s still quiet...
>>
No. 1055251 ID: 629f2e
File 167557707555.png - (142.25KB , 1000x1000 , 290.png )
1055251

And then, suddenly... it Isn’t.

B A N G!

The world explodes with sound.

The dark door you’d been staring at suddenly has many small opening, pinprick holes where light can pierce through. The doorknob screeches as metal Pellets crash into it. The pellets hit the floor, but they would have hit you had the angle been higher.
>>
No. 1055253 ID: 629f2e
File 167557722950.png - (241.22KB , 1000x1000 , 291.png )
1055253

As your mind struggles to catch up, the room breaks out into a cacophony of action.

The first person to move is Roger. It usually is. He books it down the Right hallway, shouting something to the rest as he does.

Enid falls down on her butt, dropping her flashlight and scrambling to pick it up.

‘Bec books it Forward down the hall, going right over the corpse in the middle of it. It’s hard to say whether she intentionally went in a different direction than Roger or not.

Albert swivels around to try and follow Roger, and almost immediately trips. His cane clatters to the floor loudly, and he lets out a pained grunt. You hear Roger stop at this, and the beam from his light stops moving.

Your mind finally snaps to attention.

Do something. NOW!

A: Stop to help Enid
-Grab Enid’s hand and run
-Which direction will you go?

B: Stop to help Albert
-Help Albert to his feet and run
-Which direction will you go?

C: Stop to help both of them
-Grab both Enid and Albert and THEN go
-This will take the longest amount of time
-Which direction will you go?

D: Just Run
-Ignore the others, get out of there
-Which direction will you go?


There is a chance that Clive picks a direction without thinking about it, regardless of the majority decision.

>>
No. 1055254 ID: 8483cf

A.

Roger sounds like he’s got Albert just fine. ‘Bec can take care of herself. Enid has a flashlight.

The choice is super obvious. That and Clive’s first instinct in a panic situation is probably “act like a big brother”
>>
No. 1055260 ID: 15c72a

>>1055253
A. Roger's got Albert.
>>
No. 1055261 ID: e51896

A. Roger is fast, he can take care of Albert and get out of there

I say either go to the left hallway, we can cover more ground that way for clues since Bec went forward, and Roger and albert are presumably going towards the right. or go where Bec is going to talk with her after the argument with Albert, and she probably doesn't have a flashlight
>>
No. 1055267 ID: f8083d

A, but also yell at Roger "You take him!" just to be sure.
Everyone who's still a team player runs right. You or Enid can take the opportunity to pick up Albert's cane if Albert and Roger don't.
>>
No. 1055343 ID: 629f2e

rolled 1 = 1

The Spirits are indecisive. The Anti-Socialite shall choose his own path.
>>
No. 1061872 ID: 629f2e
File 168212153612.png - (567.92KB , 1000x1000 , 328.png )
1061872

Enid.

Roger would come back for Albert, or he’d get up on his own. Enid’s on her own, she needs help.

She’s fumbling around the ground, knocking her light around while trying to pick it up. It’s not a hard task, but the gunshot was a major shock to the senses.

You pick the light up, and help her to her feet. As soon as you hand it back, she’s turned it off, stranding you in the darkness. The only light comes from small holes in the door.

The holes multiply, as a second shot rings out.

BANG!

You don’t wait for a third. You take Enid by the hand and book it down the hall. You remember when the lights were on that it went on for a while.

As you move, it occurs to you that you’re an idiot. You had gone in the only direction that nobody else had. Splitting up was a terrible idea, and yet here you are taking the worst available option. How on-brand for you.

It’s harder to run as you move further and further down the dark hall. The threat of running into a wall tempts you into turning the light back on, but...

BANG! Clatter!

Another gunshot gets followed by something metal hitting the ground. It’s only as you hear the door creak behind you that you realize it was the Doorknob.

You slow down to a walk, holding your hand against the wall in desperate search of a door, or something else you can hide behind. Enid trails closely behind you, still hanging on.
>>
No. 1061874 ID: 629f2e
File 168212158666.png - (84.25KB , 1000x1000 , 329.png )
1061874

A new set of footsteps sound out, silencing the rest of the world.

You don’t turn around. You already know.

He’s inside.
>>
No. 1061875 ID: 629f2e
File 168212162213.png - (614.36KB , 1000x1000 , 330.png )
1061875

Your hand feels open air, and you practically throw yourself and Enid around the corner. Anything to get out of his sightline.

Enid stops in place then, forcing you to stay as well. Halting seems to cut off adrenaline, leaving you panting for air.

Breathe.

You take a deep breath. Then another. No other sound leaves your mouth, as you listen for anything like the sound of footsteps following after you.

The farmer was inside, but what would he do after getting the door open? If he came your way, you’d have to keep moving.

What would it be?

...

...

Silence. You were safe.

Enid: “I don’t think he’s coming this way.”
Clive: “Good.”
Enid: “...Do you think he went after the others?”

That was a possibility. If it was anyone, it’d probably be Roger and Albert. They were the Loudest, due to Albert’s bad leg and cane.

Clive: “It’d be bad if he’s just waiting at the door. Then we wouldn’t be able to leave.”
Enid: “Even if that’d mean the others were safe for now too?”
Clive: “...”
Clive: “At least then we could get out. Isn’t it worse if we all die?”
Enid: “We don’t know for sure that there isn’t another way out. If everyone is safe, we can think of one together.”
Clive: “...Maybe.”
Enid: “What do you want to do now?”
Clive: “Go home.”
Enid: “Me too, even though I know we shouldn’t. If Mr. Sheppard heard anything, we might not get a chance to check here again. They could raise the security here by a lot.”
Enid: “And we need to find clues, don’t we?”
Clive: “Something like that.”

Honestly, it felt like the real reason you were here was just to put off actually acting on the knowledge you’d already picked up. There are definitely good reasons, like the fact that you don’t know how deep this conspiracy goes. What if the whole state or country was in on it? What would you do then? And then there’s the fact that you don’t really know what’s happening to graduates, or why. You know it can’t be good, else they wouldn’t need to lie so much.

There are reasons to do this, but those aren’t really the reasons why we’re here.

It’s because everyone’s Afraid.

Once you act on the things you’ve uncovered, there’s no going back. Nothing is ever going to be the same. You won’t be able to pretend everything is fine. That has everyone scared.

The only reason you aren’t as worried is because your current reality is terrible.

Enid: “Then, do you feel ready to get started.”
Clive: “...”
Enid: “Clive?”
Clive: “...Sure.”

You stand up, pushing down your worries and trucking along. Same as usual.

Enid: “...I’m really jealous of you.”
Clive: “Why?”
Enid: “You’re so Stoic. It kind of makes me feel like a wimp for being so scared.”
Clive: “...”
Enid: “It’s kind of comforting though. You being this calm makes me think that I should be too.”
Clive: “...”

You elect not to tell her the truth. It would only give her more reasons to worry.

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 68/100]
[Enid: 35/100]

>>
No. 1061876 ID: 629f2e
File 168212178126.png - (135.15KB , 1000x1000 , 331.png )
1061876

Enid turns her pink light back on, no longer having to worry about it being seen. The room you’re in is filled with various bits of Machinery, with a line of large Engine-Like things sectioned off along one wall. There wasn’t anything of note opposite to them, save for Bathrooms. Something smelled awful, but you couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. It was a similar Decaying Scent as the dead body from before, which didn’t raise your hopes very high.

Enid: “Do you know where we are?”
Clive: “I don’t have a map.”
Enid: “Right... I guess we could try to make one. You have the compass, right?”

That you did. Looking at it, it was clear that you’d gone South. Roger and Albert went North. And ‘Bec went West.

The front door had been facing West, so you center your mental map of the plant around that. Putting it all together, you had a decent idea of where everyone was. Unless you find an actual Floorplan though, it won’t be very helpful.

Enid points the light around, starting to seem a little less certain the more places she glances at.

Enid: “Um, okay... What all do we need to do again?”
Enid: “We should try to Reconnect with the others obviously.”
Clive: “We need to Uncover something about graduation. Something that can tell us what to do about Rodney and the others.”
Enid: “And we need to Escape without getting caught by anyone.”
Enid: “Do you think there’s anything around here we might find?”

You shrug. You’re no investigator. All of this is as new to you as it is to her.

Enid: “Right... Well, if you don’t think there’s anything, we could try another room.”
Clive: “...Sure.”
Enid: “I’m not just suggesting things I want you to agree with. I want your honest opinion.”

You sigh, but relent. Put some thought into it. What you should do next is...
>>
No. 1061877 ID: 629f2e
File 168212195586.png - (1.48MB , 1000x1000 , 332.png )
1061877

[MECHANISMS OF TIME SENSITIVE ACTIVITIES]

You have entered a segment of the quest where time is going to play a greater role in how you engage. Each action you suggest Clive and Enid perform will have an effect on others.

In this case, for every action Enid and Clive perform, semi-random actions will be taken by other parties within the area. This will affect their locations, what they discover, whether or not they are safe, and more. All actions taken will be logged and revealed at the end of the thread, with confidential information redacted.

There is a non-zero chance that, through bad luck, BAD THINGS or even VERY BAD THINGS will happen to other characters. You will be given one safety net for the first time this would happen, but following instances will be rolled for. The more time you spend in this location, the more chances there might be for negative outcomes. The faster you go, the less you risk children’s lives.

Clive will not be able to convince anyone to leave unless one of the following conditions is met:

1: You have found satisfactory evidence that sheds a new light on Graduation
2: Somebody other than Clive reaches 100 Fear
3: Somebody is grievously wounded or dead

The standard options for each room are as follows:

Investigate: Take a full action to search the area you’re in. Depending on the size of the room, this may take a few updates to complete. You may specify areas you want to look at, but you will generally be given the most important information by default.

Abscond: Leave for a different room. You will only be offered neighboring options while you lack a floor plan.

Look and Listen: Keep an ear out for others, potentially giving you an idea of where certain others are. You will be given the choice to hide or move away from anything that sounds nearby while using this. You will automatically perform this alongside investigation and movement, but to a reduced degree. Doing this by itself gives you a wider range and creates no noise.

Rest and Recovery: Attempt to destress and drop a few points of Fear. You can suggest specific methods that may remove more Fear. This may be done alongside another action, but you at only half the value.

As usual, Clive will sometimes overwrite your decisions due to his nature.

Finally, you should know that each member of your party will contribute a unique bonus to the group. Your current members offer the following:
- Enid: [Coercive] - Clive is less likely to ignore the Spirits when Enid is present.
- Clive: [Quiet] - Clive and those around him move silently. No noise penalty from performing standard movement actions.


Inventory:
- Flashlight (Enid) - Necessary for investigating in darker areas
- Compass - Grants better pathing and maintaining a sense of position
- Ration (1) - Lose more Fear when choosing Rest and Recovery


Clive: “Let’s...”

A: Investigate
-Any specific areas you want to look at?
B: Abscond
-Which way? (Directions are marked on your makeshift-map)
C: Look and Listen
-Anything specific you’re keeping an ear out for?
D: Rest and Recover
-You could chat with Enid while you do. Anything you’d like to talk about with her?
E: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1061878 ID: 87e33c

Abscond west, take note of anything you see that's abnormal like paperwork, bodies, bookshelves, etc, but don't physically investigate for now. You want to figure out if you're pinned in at this area or can loop around with Bec. It will also help if you find the shotgun wielding maniac in letting you know of potential escape routes.
>>
No. 1061897 ID: e51896

Go west, for these reasons:

- we may have a higher chance running into Bec
- You smell something decaying, most likely another dead body. If we investigate, we'd likely get a fear raise
- we're more likely to find something important in a enclosed room more than a large hall with machinery like this
- since you split up from the group, that means more cover for the party that you split from to find stuff, so even if we missed something, Roger, Albert, and Bec can pick up our slack
- the quicker we find our group while they are investigating, the safer we'll be since we'll have more control of the situation.

Also, if you run into any, pick up some papers off the floor on the way. You dont have to inspect them, just take them on your way westwards for later. Looks like the image has those papers on the floor
>>
No. 1061978 ID: 3de4c5

Abscond west, for the following reasons:

- The current room is an engine/machinery room. We’re not engineers. Albert is the closest thing we have to engineer, and he’s not here. We’re not getting anything done without him here.
- Clive has a bonus to silent movement. Let’s use it and hop to it ASAP.
- Mr. Shooty Bang Bang is pursuing the loudest people, so this is essentially a risk-free action we can take.

GO GO GO
>>
No. 1062024 ID: 6bbfe4

Abscond west Bec does not have a flashlight. If she did she would've brought it out as soon as she came in here. Sooner we find her the better chance we have of her not tripping and hitting herself on something sharp or metal.
>>
No. 1062050 ID: f8256b

Um, I suggest absconding to upwards in relation to the drawing. Not the bathrooms, but whatever may be past them seems worth investigating.
>>
No. 1063018 ID: 629f2e
File 168352228091.png - (545.95KB , 1000x1000 , 333.png )
1063018

Clive: “Keep moving. I don’t think there’s anything here worth checking anyways.”

The machinery means little to you, since you don’t know what it is or how it works. And judging by the awful smell, the only thing you might find here is another body to make you panic.

Enid nods in agreement, and you both start towards the West Door, her leading the way. You pause for a moment to pick up some papers scattered across the floor, catching up quickly (it’s hard not to with her short legs). You can’t read them without a light. Something to ask Enid for when you have a moment.

The door is unlocked, but there’s resistance when she tries to push it open.

Enid: “I think it’s stuck. It needs more...”

She puts her whole body into it, barely making any progress. The door cracks open once you shove your own weight against it, opening easily enough afterwards.

Enid: “Do you think that was just because it hadn’t been opened in a while?”
Clive: “I don’t know. How old is this place anyways?”
Enid: “Well, the newspaper said 1959, right?”
Clive: “Yeah.”
Enid: “So...”

She makes a motion that seems to say “You get it, right?” This doesn’t help you.

Clive: “...I haven’t really been keeping track of what year it is.”
Enid: “Seriously?”
Clive: “Not like it’s that important, right?”
Enid: “I think it’s something everyone’s supposed to know though.”
Clive: “Then what year is it?”

She opens her mouth.

...

It shuts. Her body stiffens.

Enid: “I... I don’t know.”
Enid: “I thought I did, but... I-I think it’s still the 1960s. Um... pretty late too?”
Clive: “...Do you remember when the last time you were sure about the year was?”
Enid: “I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking about it, and I just... Huh.”
Clive: “You said 1959 was less than 10 years ago before.”
Enid: “I did?”
Clive: “So didn’t you know the date.”
Enid: “...”

She doesn’t say anything, but it’s clear that the uncertainty is getting to her. You put a hand on her shoulder before she gets too distressed.

Clive: “We’ll figure it out. Something else the adults probably lied about for some reason.”
Enid: “R-Right.”

You’d have to check with the others to be sure, but talking to her about it had given you a clue. You don’t know what to make of it yet, but there’s something weird going on with the dates.

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 68/100]
[Enid: 37/100]

>>
No. 1063021 ID: 629f2e
File 168352258711.png - (577.45KB , 1000x1000 , 334.png )
1063021

The next room provides ample distraction from the prior topic. As Enid points her light around, illuminating the area, you get the impression that it’s some kind of Storage Room. There are Shelves in the center of the room lined with various large items, as well as various Drawers and Lockers that presumably hold smaller things. Further back is a space without either, a space for Massive Items. There’s some more machinery there, not connected to anything. Spares for other parts of the plant perhaps? That’s just a guess.

Enid: “There’s so much here!”
Clive: “...Let’s just go.”
Enid: “What?”
Clive: “There’s too much, we’ll never get through it all on our own.”
Enid: “We haven’t even tried though. And we already left the last room without even looking around.”
Clive: “...It’s just a waste. Even if there is something, it’s buried under everything else here.”
Enid: “Even so, we can’t just leave it, can we? I mean... with this much, it’d be weird if there wasn’t some kind of clue, right? We have to at least try”

You sigh. It wasn’t wrong, there could absolutely be something here. Ruling it out altogether is stupid. The idea of trying to find it though... It feels like it could take forever.
>>
No. 1063022 ID: 629f2e
File 168352261936.png - (1.18MB , 1000x1000 , 335.png )
1063022

Is it really worth the investment? Even if it is, is now really the time? You could always try to reconnect with the others first, and then come back when you have more hands available.

A: Investigate
-Scope the place out and get an estimate on how long it will take to search completely.
-Luck-based chance to find something.
-You will NOT find everything that is here in a single Investigation.

B: Abscond
-Which way? (Directions are marked on your makeshift-map)
C: Look and Listen
-Anything specific you’re keeping an ear out for?
D: Rest and Recover
-You could chat with Enid while you do. Anything you’d like to talk about with her?
-You could also look at those papers you picked up.

E: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1063024 ID: e51896

Not choosing yet (gotta think about it) but a thought I have concerning those massive items, we could probably put one of the heavier massive items closer to the door, so that if we need to come back here and we're being chased, we can block the door to give us time later when it's already close by the door. Though I need to think if that is worth our time or not.
>>
No. 1063029 ID: f8083d

Are any lockers unlocked? Looks liks this would be fast enough to investigate without losing too much time.
>>
No. 1063040 ID: 1823f7

>>1063021
Look for something we can use as a weapon. A crowbar, a length of pipe, hell even a handful of screws and nails we can throw as caltrops.

Failing that, check the lockers at least. Anything immediately useful to us would be there. Keys, documents, etc.
>>
No. 1063072 ID: a7f588

>>1063040
What? No, don't waste time looking for a weapon. We're against a grown-ass psychopath with a gun, fighting is never going to work out well for us no matter how well-provisioned we are.

A: Investigate. Use our light and our blessing of time (for now).
>>
No. 1063666 ID: 629f2e

rolled 5 + 3 = 8

This roll will determine how many updates away something that nobody in this building will like is to happening.
>>
No. 1064235 ID: 629f2e
File 168463125782.png - (284.45KB , 1000x1000 , 336.png )
1064235

Enid’s right. It’d be stupid not to at least look around when there’s so much here. It’s not like Mr. Sheppard is right on your tails (as far as you know).

Ugh. You’re exhausted just thinking about this.

A full search of this room isn’t on the table, not when it’s just the two of you. It’d take too long, plain and simple. If you can figure out how much is here though, maybe you can come back later? More people means a quicker search.

You only have one light, so it’s easier to search together. You start with the Massive Items, wondering if you can block the door with them.

No.

You would need every single person in the plant pushing to move these items an inch, let alone get them to the door. Whoever put these here must have used a tool, like a forklift.

Nothing else stands out about the machinery, so you move on.

There are two Shelves in the center of the room, stretching high towards the ceiling. Even with Enid’s light, you can barely make out what’s on the higher. The ones you can reach are mostly crates and barrels. You make an effort to check between them for anything else, but don’t find anything useful.

The Drawers are filled with paper, too much to look at all at once. The five pages you end up looking at are all inventory reports.

There are hundreds more.

Please find something before you have to look through all these.

That leaves the Lockers. You rattle the handles and open whichever ones you can, which seems to be the majority thankfully. Some of them are warped, making it take a few good tugs. A couple are locked. And one...

...One of the lockers that took a few tugs had a nasty surprise waiting for you when it finally gave way.

-THUMP-

Enid: “NO!”

You both jump back, as a Twisted Corpse topples out. Must have been leaning against the door. The odor comes with it, more pungent and foul than before. The sight and smell are too much, and your reaction is violent. You’re just able to run to the corner before puking your guts out.

The body was just... Wrong. He must have been in there a while, years maybe. It looked like its bones had fused in odd directions. It barely even resembled a person anymore.

Enid doesn’t comment on your gross show. Her light never shines over you, so you aren’t even sure if she noticed. It looks like she’s found her own corner to curl up in. Good, you didn’t want to share.

The twisted corpse sets you both on edge.

-Enid and Clive gain +4 Fear each

-Enid and Clive both want to leave this room

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 72/100]
[Enid: 41/100]

>>
No. 1064237 ID: 629f2e
File 168463128776.png - (412.19KB , 1000x1000 , 337.png )
1064237

Enid: “This is too much.”

You silently nod in agreement.

Enid: “Why are there dead people here anyways? What... happened?”

Good question. That was the second you’d seen, and that isn’t counting the one you suspect was stinking up the last room.

Clive: “Dunno.”
Enid: “We’re just gonna have to figure it out, won’t we?”
Clive: “...If it’ll help.”
Enid: “It might help me sleep at night at least. I’m already gonna have bad dreams for sure after this. Not like I wasn’t gonna already...”

You’d take bad dreams over insomnia any night, personally. Not that you deserve sleep when Rodney’s bunk is empty.

Your investigation was thorough enough to give you an estimate of the room. It’s as big as you thought. Checking literally EVERYTHING would take time. More than you have, especially when it’s just you and Enid. You should check this room when the others are with you or if Sheppard leaves

Since Enid and Clive both want to leave, you are locked into Absconding.

Current map can be found here: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1038059.html#1063022

A: Take the North-West Door
-You don’t know where this will lead
B: Take the North-East Door
-You don’t know where this will lead
C: Take the East Door
-This will lead you back to the Engine Room

>>
No. 1064238 ID: e51896

North-West Door

North-East door looks like it could be a small room within this storage room, and going in there would mean we'd have to come back to this room with the dead body again. and since we're coming back here again when we reunite with some of our friends, it's best to check that room again later when we come back.
>>
No. 1064239 ID: 1d6d7c

>>1064238
Agreed, this was my thought process too.

Also, take the time to let Enid calm you down. Yes, that's right. She's the one who's had a whole day out of action to calm down, she might have some good ideas.
>>
No. 1064263 ID: 0b45f1

>>1063666
Important question for the author: is this cumulative between both "forks" of the quest, or only for this thread? Thank you in advance.
>>
No. 1064264 ID: 629f2e

>>1064263

This only considers and applies to 3A.
>>
No. 1064302 ID: 0b45f1

>>1064264
thank you. followup, does this count individual posts, or is it counted as a single update even as a sequence? ie, does this count as two updates because there was two posts, or is it a single update??
>>
No. 1064696 ID: 629f2e
File 168532204727.png - (449.18KB , 1000x1000 , 338.png )
1064696

You leave. There’s no discussion or argument, only opening a door and stepping out.

The North-West door takes you out into another hallway, this one a bit wider than the last. Enid grabs your hand, before leading the way. At first, you write it off as her legs still being shorter than yours, just like before. The thought does creep into your mind that she may be getting clingy. Or maybe she’s getting attached to you.

Your mind thankfully drops that thought, reminding you of who you are. Nobody (who isn’t blood related) would make a mistake like that.

There’s nothing worth stopping for in this hallway, not like the entrance.

There are two doors this time. One to the East, towards the center of the hall; and one to the North, right at its end.

Clive: “...Do you think ‘Bec has been here?”
Enid: “Which way did she go again? Back when we were at the entrance.”
Clive: “Over the body, straight ahead.”
Enid: “Well, it’s not impossible...”

If ‘Bec was just trying to get away quickly, it makes sense to you that she might make a straight shot through whatever rooms were ahead of her. That’s just a guess though, and not even a very good one. She could have tried to hide wherever she ended up instead of running into another room, or taken another door. If she was feeling really bold, she might have even turned back around and made for the entrance when she thought Mr. Sheppard was gone.

Enid: “What about Roger and Albert?”
Clive: “They went right. North.”
Enid: “Then do you think they might have made it to the room up North yet?”
Clive: “Maybe. Do you think Sheppard’s following them?”
Enid: “I hope not...”

Currently, you don’t know where anybody is, nor what rooms each door leads to. There are no guarantees, so either work off a guess you feel good about or accept that the choice is arbitrary.
>>
No. 1064699 ID: 629f2e
File 168532223507.png - (1.84MB , 1500x900 , 339.png )
1064699

What will you do now?

Investigate
-The hall is clearly empty, there would be no point.

A: Abscond
-Which way? (Directions are marked on your makeshift-map)
B: Look and Listen
-Anything specific you’re keeping an ear out for?
C: Rest and Recover
-You could chat with Enid while you do. Anything you’d like to talk about with her?
-You could also look at those papers you picked up.

D: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1064700 ID: 629f2e

>>1064302

Every update block, not every individual post within an update.
>>
No. 1064704 ID: e51896

before I vote, question: Is it possible to do both C and B since we have Enid?

like, Clive can rest and look at the papers he got while Enid can keep a close ear for something?
Enid would want to be listening for footsteps or voices. If it's coming from North, it's most likely Albert, Roger, and The Farmer
if it's coming from the east, most likely Bec.

who knows, we might have picked up a map even.

if we cannot split the work, then I'll choose B, look and listen. I think enough time has passed to be more cautious.
>>
No. 1064705 ID: be3aea

Look and listen for any sounds from both the east and north exits. If it’s a rhythmic tapping, it’s Albrt. Adults are going to be louder, so if we hear footsteps, it’s Psycho McShooty.

There are two of you, so one of you can cover each exit. If there’s danger at one exit, flee south, and the other person can take that as a sign to also flee, so you don’t split up.
>>
No. 1064706 ID: 629f2e

>>1064702

Yes, but both parties will do so less efficiently.
>>
No. 1064708 ID: e51896

I'll pick just B then.
>>
No. 1064723 ID: f8083d

>>1064705
This. Wherever we go, we DON'T want an adult to be there.
>>
No. 1065196 ID: 629f2e
File 168593760228.png - (335.67KB , 1000x1000 , 340.png )
1065196

Enid: “Can we stop and just... listen?”

You nod, having the same thought. She was probably interested in listening for the others, but you wanted to keep an ear out for Sheppard. You don’t know where he is, or what he’s been doing so far. It’d be bad if you walked into a room, only for him to be waiting in front of the door.

Clive: “Use your light to watch the doors too.”
Enid: “Ah, good point.”

If someone came in then, you’d be able to see who it was right away, and respond appropriately.

With that settled, you both quiet down. It’s quiet all around you, as you simply take in the subtler noises.

...

...

...klak. klak.

East. The sound came from the room to the East. It wasn’t nearby, so there’s a chance it wasn’t in the very next room.

Enid: “Did you hear–”

You nod.

Enid: “What was that?”

Good question. It wasn’t loud, but it was audible. You wouldn’t have heard it if you weren’t listening.

What could have made it? One idea clearly came to mind. Especially when you limit the culprits to those you know are in the plant.

Clive: “I think that was Albert’s Cane.
Enid: “Oh! Now that you say it, I think you’re right. We’re close to them.”

You frown, unsure of whether that’s good for you or not.

Enid: “Come on, let’s go before they leave.”

Enid clearly knows what she wants. What about you though?

What will you suggest?

A: Abscond
-Towards the noise, or away from it?
-Do you ask Enid to turn off her flashlight before moving?

B: Look and Listen
-Do you want to listen for a little longer before acting?
C: Rest and Recover
-Do you want to talk about anything with just Enid before trying to bring the group back together?
-You could also look at those papers you picked up.

D: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1065197 ID: dd4f2c

Look and listen. Make sure you are really hearing Albert before actually trying to interact. It might be prudent to turn of the flashlight if you hear the noise approach.

Take a good look at your surroundings while you are at it.
>>
No. 1065202 ID: 4b4fac

>>1065197
Hard disagree to both. We already know there is nothing of note here, and waiting only gives everyone else time to move further away. We are in an out of the way section, we need to follow any lead possible to regroup.

Abscond to the East.
>>
No. 1065250 ID: 87e33c

>>1065202
Supporting this, I'm for just mapping the area as fast as possible, get who you can together, after all, if it's Albert and Roger in the next room, the Leader and Brains, they'd probably have a better idea on what to do without panicking.
>>
No. 1065266 ID: becf4c

>>1065196
splitting up only ever works out in scooby doo. Regroup, safety in numbers.
>>
No. 1065280 ID: e51896

Whoops, my bad. I should have been more specific. When I chose look and listen for sounds East and North, I assumed Clive and Enid would press their ear against the doors to get a better idea whats in the next room, not stand in the middle of the hall and listen for noises from there. I'll explain better next time. (tho I guess this could just be Clive being too nervous to do that. We were told to be patient with Clive after all. You're doing good Clive.)

That said, I remember that Albert and Roger went North earlier and the farmer most likely chased after them, but now hearing Albert is East, that might mean that they gave the farmer the slip. Farmer might very well be north while Albert and Roger somehow went East. If I were to guess, Albert and Roger hid somewhere, waited for farmer to walk past them and go to another room, decided to head back to get farther away from the farmer, and go towards the direction Bec went.

Yeah, go East. But here's an idea, before you go East, open and leave the south door open. That way, if the farmer goes down this hallway from the north, he'll figure someone went south and investigate instead of going East, like we are going. And if the farmer is actually in the east room, we'll abscond back to the hall, and run North while the farmer will get tricked and go South.

unless the south door has one of those door closer thingies installed on them which closes the door automatically after opening it, in which case, forget it and just go East.

One last thing, enter with the flashlight on. Enid's flashlight is colored pink. If they see her pink flashlight, they'll know it's us and won't run away.
>>
No. 1065581 ID: 629f2e

rolled 3 = 3

On a 6, either Clive or Enid will notice something very easy to miss in the next room.
>>
No. 1065663 ID: 629f2e
File 168652831237.png - (733.61KB , 1000x1000 , 341.png )
1065663

You decide to follow Enid’s lead. She wants to meet back up with the others, and this could be a good opportunity. Even still, you can’t shake some concerns.

You suggest she turn her light off, but she argues that it’s better to leave it on as a signal. The others might just run away if they hear the door, but if they see her Pink light then they’ll know it’s just you and her. She has a point of course, but...

To ease at least some of your nerves, you leave the South door open. If you end up getting chased back by someone unpleasant, you might at least trick your pursuer into going the wrong way.

Enid: “Ready?”

She has a hand on the door already. It’d be bad to hesitate and lose track of the others when you’re this close to catching up.

Clive: “I guess.”

You bring your hands up, and help force the door open. When she shines her light inside, you see...

The room is Massive, so much so that you can’t even see the other end of it from here, even with her light. There’s some sort of Giant Machine in the center, stretching out deep into the area. Or, maybe it’s several smaller ones that just look like one? Connected to it are smaller Cylinders, with massive Pipes hooking them to the bigger machine. There’s more, but the machinery is all Cluttered and hard to make out. Not that you have any chance of understanding what any of this does anyways. Not without some kind of manual at least.

You don’t see Albert or Roger, but they could be deeper in or hiding around the machinery. You can be Certain that they either are, or just were, in here. You heard the cane from this direction, and the room’s size rules out hearing it from a neighboring room.

Enid: “Would it be stupid to call out to them?”
Clive: “Don’t do that.
Enid: “Right, I know. It’d be bad if someone else heard.”
Clive: “Yep.”
Enid: “They aren’t coming out though... Do you think we might have missed them?”

It isn’t impossible. It’s hardly even unlikely.

You heard them moving, and that means they could have been moving out to another room. That would be unfortunate timing, but there isn’t much you can do about that.

Clive: “If they were here, I think they’d let us know.”
Enid: “But what if–”

Creak...
>>
No. 1065664 ID: 629f2e
File 168652834803.png - (665.92KB , 1000x1000 , 342.png )
1065664

You freeze. The sound had come from somewhere in the room, and there was no mistaking it.

That was a Door opening.

A few possibilities race through your head in an instant. Maybe Albert and Roger were trying to leave. Roger’s made it clear he doesn’t like you, maybe he’s actively avoiding you now?

...No, that doesn’t feel right. You may not be the best at gauging others, but that doesn’t seem like something he’d do. Not when you’re with Enid at least. And even if he was in such a bleak mood, there’s no way that Albert would put up with that kind of nonsense. He’s too much of a prick to just go along with it and make Roger comfortable. No, there’s no way it’s them.

‘Bec maybe? She could have heard the same noises we did, and came in looking for those two.

Except that doesn’t seem like it tracks either. If this room is big enough to connect to the hallway we saw at the entrance, then she’s already been here. ‘Bec isn’t much for groups, but she definitely isn’t about inefficiency. She’s not retracing her steps without a really good reason, and regrouping with kids she hardly cares about wouldn’t cut it for her.

It’s not Albert and Roger, and it’s not ‘Bec...

Who does that leave?

It’s obvious. The one person you wanted to avoid. The person you assumed could have been following Albert and Roger, and could have followed them here as well.

Even with the answer in your head, you can’t get it out fast enough to stop her. Enid points the beam of pink light towards the sound, letting it fall over a large figure.
>>
No. 1065665 ID: 629f2e
File 168652836637.png - (213.15KB , 1000x1000 , 343.png )
1065665

You see the barrel of his Shotgun before anything else. He holds it out in front of him, ready to fire at a moment’s notice.

Heavy footsteps sound out as he steps closer, staring back at you both. He’s more than 20 yards away, but it feels like he’s looming right over you.

Enid takes a step back, bumping into you. She doesn’t take her eyes off him for a second. She grips your hand tightly.

He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t ask why you’re here, how you got in, or even threaten you into silence.

Instead, he takes another step forward, and tightens his grip on the firearm.
>>
No. 1065666 ID: 629f2e
File 168652841622.png - (1.08MB , 1500x900 , 344.png )
1065666

Your mind tries to fog up, but one thought cuts through all the noise cleanly.

MOVE!

A: Go back the way you came
-Drag Enid back into the West Hallway, pick a direction, and book it!
-Do you go back to the Storage Room, or go North?

B: Run deeper into the room
-Use the machinery as cover to try and lose Sheppard
-Do you stay near Enid, making yourselves more obvious, or risk losing her in the dark?

C: Go into one of the side rooms
-There are two rooms to your immediate left and right. Pick one and run!
-Which do you go to?

D: Run at Mr. Sheppard
-Would you be trying to run for the door, or to get the gun away from him?
E: Other
-What else could you do?

>>
No. 1065667 ID: e51896

A. This is why I had the south door open in the other room, as a distraction! Then go North.

hopefully, that will lead him away from Albert and Roger, and they can investigate here without the farmer bothering them.
>>
No. 1065673 ID: e51896

>You heard them moving, and that means they could have been moving out to another room. That would be unfortunate timing, but there isn’t much you can do about that.

Actually, wait, I had another thought, there is a possibility that Albert and Roger actually escaped to the SE door, and if we go back west and north, and the farmer goes south after seeing the south door open, he'll ambush Albert and Roger.

I'm now wondering if it might be a better idea to go to the SE room, and if they're there, catch up with Roger and Albert, and tell them to go to the room EAST of the storage room room so that when the farmer enters the storage room, he'll see the other door is open leading to the west hallway, and go that way without following us eastward.

right now, my choices are either go to the SE door and hope that we'll regroup with Roger and Albert and take them Eastwards while the farmer takes the distraction, or go back to the West hallway and go north while the farmer goes south while hoping Albert and Roger aren't in or going into the storage room.

I wanna hear others' thoughts before I make my final decision of doing A, north, or C, South door.
>>
No. 1065674 ID: 5e3c95

First things first, turn out the flashlight RIGHT NOW. Easy target, and if we don’t do it now, he’ll know exactly where we go.

I vote A, then slam the door closed and go Northwest, and leave that door open. That’ll leave northwest and southwest open.

This ensures we drag Enid back the same direction as us, which is the most important thing in this situation: DON’T split up. Thankfully she doesn’t have the highest FEAR in the group, so we can hopefully trust her not to freak out and make things more complicated than they have to be.

We’ll go Northwest because it’ll force Sheppard to decide which way to go, and he won’t have the flashlight or noise to follow us with.
>>
No. 1065694 ID: f8083d

A first, then I think South is the way least likely to get you cornered.
>>
No. 1065995 ID: e51896

>>1065673
I've decided to just vote to go to the SE door. i really think that albert and Roger went that way, and I don't want to accidentally have the farmer ambush them if we go back into the hall and he takes the distraction (tho if im too late to make my final decision, that's fine)
>>
No. 1066130 ID: 38349b

A, head back the way you came, but don't turn it off until you turn the corner, as weird as it is to say, him noticing you and following you would probably save Albert and Roger, the heat will be on you, but you also have a clear route back to the entrance.

No one wants to be bait, thats why you should do it, from a siiiigniiificant distance away from the gun, though it'll mean your searching will be put on hold while you hope others do it
>>
No. 1066131 ID: e51896

>>1066130
changing vote to this
>>
No. 1066193 ID: 629f2e
File 168713337179.png - (366.64KB , 1000x1000 , 359.png )
1066193

Your legs, miraculously, don’t freeze up. You drag Enid back through the door you entered from, throwing it shut behind you.

Despite your initial plan to use the South door as a diversion, you find yourself sprinting towards it. It was the smarter option honestly. You don’t know where the North door leads, or how many exits it has, but the South door has at least two. Plus, it’s already open, so you can get through it quicker.

You hear something from behind you, right as you’re crossing through it. You don’t turn back, you already know it’s him.

The lights go off, and you suddenly realize that Enid had the flashlight on this whole time. There’s no doubt Sheppard saw it! He’s going to be right on your tail!

You slam the door shut to slow him down, and quickly make a decision on what to do next.
>>
No. 1066194 ID: 629f2e
File 168713340314.png - (1.04MB , 1000x1000 , 360.png )
1066194

You’re back in the Storage Room, and there are quite a few places you could hide. Without putting too much thought into it:
You can fit in one of the Lockers, but you’d be trapped if you’re caught.
You can hide by the Massive Items easily, but you’d be easier to find if he starts looking
Finding a good gap space to hide in on the Shelves could be tough, but you’d be well-camouflaged among the rest of its contents.

Is it better to run, or to hide now? You’ll have to lose Sheppard eventually, as you can’t keep running forever. Hiding is a risk, but so is running. Adrenaline won’t keep you going forever, especially while you’re dragging Enid along.

A: Hide!
-Pick an area to hide.
-Do you have Enid hide with you, and risk standing out more, or hide separately?

B: Keep Moving!
-Which direction will you go?
C: Ambush!
-How do you prepare?
D: Other?
-What else could you do?

>>
No. 1066200 ID: 904993

Lockers are loud, those are a no-go and terrible if caught. Don’t split up, the whole point of all this is to reunite with people.

I say we should maximize our chances of running into friendly dudes while we know where Sheppard is, or at least his general direction.

B: go EAST.

also known as going B EAST mode
>>
No. 1066201 ID: 38349b

B go east, but slam a locker shut as you run past it, if the flashlight is off, and you know where you're going, there's at least a potential chance that he pauses and investigates a locker while you continue fleeing
>>
No. 1066241 ID: f8083d

>>1066201
Seconding this.
>>
No. 1066397 ID: 629f2e

rolled 8 = 8

On a one or a two, slamming the locker will give Sheppard enough time to catch up, guaranteeing he'll still be on your tails next update.

On anything else, the misdirect will be executed successfully, and how Sheppard responds will be rolled for in secret.
>>
No. 1066441 ID: 629f2e
File 168741698691.png - (306.30KB , 1000x1000 , 361.png )
1066441

You decided to run. Building distance was more important after all, and hiding was too much of a gamble. If he found you, there wouldn’t be any escape. At least if he stays on your tail, you can keep running. Sooner or later you might lose him in the darkness.

Hmm... Darkness... He didn’t have a flashlight on, so he’s relying on sound right now.

Thinking quickly, you run over to the lockers you’d opened before, and slam it shut. Enid flinches in your grip at the sound. It’s loud and impossible for him to miss.

You then rush out the door, taking you back to the room of engines.

Enid: “Now what–?”
Clive: “Shh!

No obvious sounds. If you give away your position now, he won’t stop his pursuit. The diversion will have only lost you time.

In his position, you can only imagine two possibilities. The first is obvious, he’d check each of the lockers to try and find you in one. The second, is that he’d stop and listen, trying to hear for any indication of where we went, or if we were still in the room. After all, this running around could leave us breathless and panting for air.

This room only had two main places you could think to hide: The Bathrooms or behind one of the various Engines. Hiding carries the same risks as before, but running would be the loudest option. You could interrupt his search if you’re too loud, or simply be heard if he paused to listen.

Maybe you could walk away? That wouldn’t be too loud, but you’d be busted in seconds if he gets it in his head to peek into here before checking anything. Just because you didn’t see his flashlight doesn’t mean he didn’t have one, and a flash into the room would reveal you immediately.

So, what is it going to be?

A: Hide!
-Pick an area to hide.
-Do you have Enid hide with you, and risk standing out more, or hide separately?

B: Keep Running!
-Book it down the East Hallway
-You’re starting to get tired...

C: Walk?
-Walk down to the East Hallway without making much noise
D: Ambush!
-How do you prepare?
E: Other?
-What else could you do?

>>
No. 1066442 ID: f8083d

Hide with the engines. He's alone, so you can circle the engines while he looks for you.
>>
No. 1066453 ID: e51896

Don't forget:
>>1061877
>Clive: [Quiet] - Clive and those around him move silently. No noise penalty when moving.

I don't think we have to worry about making noises when moving since our quiet bonus makes it so we have no noise penalty when moving.

B, lets run one more time to the east hallway. our quiet bonus will keep us safe from making noises while running, and I'd argue much safer than walking if he decides to peek or enter in here. We can rest after.
>>
No. 1066458 ID: b6ec4d

>>1066453

Ah, you've caught me on misinformation right there. What that really should say is:

Clive: [Quiet] - Clive and those around him move silently. No noise penalty when performing standard movement actions.

What this is meant to apply to would be actions like walking between rooms, moving around inside of one, climbing a staircase or ladder, or even doing these things with a naturally more noisy character such as Albert. It is not meant to apply to interacting with potentially noisy objects, or performing explicitly louder actions such as running. Sorry for the confusion.

Will have a mod correct that attribute later. Regarding this choice however, I will give you a boon to make up for the confusion: Sheppard's next action roll will be done publicly, and with disadvantage. AKA two dice will be rolled, and he'll take the outcome that's worst for him based on what you guys do.
>>
No. 1066494 ID: c49846

C: walk to the East hallway, take advantage of the silent movement. Again, our goal is to meet up with the other team, hiding interferes with that.
>>
No. 1066559 ID: 38349b

B, tired is better than perforated!
>>
No. 1066590 ID: 629f2e
File 168773939918.png - (509.89KB , 1000x1000 , 362.png )
1066590

Distance. The more you could place between you and Sheppard, the better.

Clive: “Keep moving.”

You tighten your grip on her hand, and continue running. Your lungs and legs are starting to disagree with you, but you’re able to push their warnings aside and sprint all the way across the room. You’d almost forgotten just how long the area was.

There’s only one path you can take. With no other options, you turn down the East Hallway. Maybe if you keep retracing your steps like this, eventually you’ll just go home and put this whole thing behind you.

Not the time for jokes, you know. It helps to not think about the danger though.

You drag a hand along the wall as you run, though it’s not completely needed this time. You’re running towards the light of the opened door, so there aren’t any worries about crashing into a wall. At least not unless you go past it.

This hall is a dangerous place to stay. If your diversion doesn’t keep Sheppard off your tails, then this is just about the last place you’d want him to catch you. It’s straight with no place to hide, and has some small amount of natural lighting, due to the exit door. Nobody could miss a shot with conditions like that.

Enid: “Stop!”

You’re broken out of your sprint only part of the way towards the hall’s center by Enid tugging you back.

Clive: “We can’t stop here–”
Enid: “There’s a door.”
Clive: “Wh– What?”
Enid: “Feel it!”

She drags your arm back against the wall, and you suddenly feel out the wood grain texture of it. It was surprisingly flush with the wall, with only a very minimal border separating them. Without light, it’s no wonder you managed to miss it. Doesn’t help that both times you’ve been here, you were running for your life.

Enid: “Help me pull it.”

Like some of the other doors you’d found, this one was stuck. Two clean yanks though, and it opens right up into a new room.

And THAT leaves you with a decision to make.
>>
No. 1066594 ID: 629f2e
File 168773959220.png - (1.26MB , 1500x900 , 363.png )
1066594

What will you do next?

A: Enter this room
-Sheppard will be likely to miss this room for similar reasons as you
-If Sheppard does notice the door, it’s the most likely place he’ll look

B: Keep moving down the hall
-Which way are you going?
-Leave the door open? It may bait Sheppard into checking that room
-You’re REALLY getting tired. Wherever you go, you’re going to need to take a rest action afterwards.

C: Look and Listen
-Stop and check if Sheppard really is following you or not.
-If he is, you’ll automatically go into the room to avoid being in the hall with him. You will lose some ground that you’d gained.

D: Something Else
-What else could you do from here?

(Until you perform a Look and Listen action and confirm that Sheppard isn’t on your tails, you will assume that you are still in chase.)

>>
No. 1066596 ID: e51896

A Get in there! It's a secret room, so it HAS to have something related to graduation

and NOW it's a standard movement, so the silent bonus will work. going inside will mean he won't hear you entered in here from the other room. plus, he'll either still be in the storage room, or in that previous room you were in, or in the bathroom.
>>
No. 1066601 ID: 73f2e9

The fact that the door was jammed (and hard to find) is a guarantee that none of our friends are inside. I'm going to recommend sticking to our strategy of "keep moving until we regroup."

B, north. Leave the door open, so Sheppard might get distracted. Leave the flashlight off so he doesn't have a clear shot if he followed us into the hallway, plus we move quietly.

Resting in the northeast room is as far as we can physically be from Sheppard, so this is also the safest option.
>>
No. 1066602 ID: 22eda9

Although I do agree that it's better to cover more ground and meet up with the others sooner, being out in the open while fatigued and disoriented seems worse. Plus, if Clive's fatigued, Enid's doing worse.

C + A : Get in, close the door partway, keep an ear out, and close the door sooner or later, regardless if the coast's clear.
>>
No. 1066624 ID: 77626a

>>1066594
A, THEN C. in that order.
>>
No. 1066727 ID: e51896

>>1066596
Just thought I'd make more of may case for A,

I only want to do A and nothing else because I remember asking if we can do two actions, and being answered that doing two actions means they won't be as effective as doing one. I think we'll have a better chance at avoiding the farmer if we just did A and not take risks, and then C next update if we have to.

the thing I worry about doing B and using the door as a distraction for the farmer to enter is that since he probably doesn't know about the room, he might find some stuff that he'll take for himself or destroy to prevent us from discovering something about graduation. Also, we might not be able to enter this room for awhile once he enters.
>>
No. 1066733 ID: 48c015

I recommend entering the room (we might learn something new and very important) and then taking a rest there (we will need the extra energy for what is about to come).
>>
No. 1066795 ID: f99f83
File 168800548356.jpg - (1.34MB , 3024x4032 , 364.jpg )
1066795

You can't keep this up. You NEED to stop, and you aren't going to get another opportunity like this.

Clive: "In here!"

You throw yourselves inside, and close the door as quietly and quickly as you can. You slump over, ready to finally relax.

But!

You can't yet. Not until you Know that you're out of the woods.

You hold a breath, as you press your ear to the door behind you, listening closely.

There's silence, just for a moment. And then…

Footsteps. The same thundering footsteps that chased you this far. They weren't passing right by the door though. In fact, they hadn't even reached it. The noise was coming from the South. Seems you'd managed to at least slow him down a little bit, even if you haven't yet shaked him.

You heard Sheppard at the corner edge of the building. You don't doubt that he'll dash through the hall next, but what of the door? Does he know it's here somehow? Could he find it like you did?

You want to keep moving, but… you can't. Your lungs and your legs reject you. You've done too much, and you need to rest.

You aren't entirely out of options though, as you aren't alone. Enid is right there with you, and she's not as winded. While she's still tired from running with such small legs, you've been helping carry her weight by dragging her with you. If you hadn't, she'd never have been able to keep up.

Enid can still move. Should she though?

A: Rest
-Tell Enid to sit down and rest. This'll be good if you need to run again soon.
-Neither of you will be ready if the door behind you opens.

B: Do something
-What should she do? She could try to block the door, turn on her flashlight and start looking around, keep listening for Sheppard, etc.
-Certain actions might make noise, which could give away your position

C: Say nothing
-Let Enid choose for herself.
-Clive may recover a touch more Fear if he picks this.

>>
No. 1066798 ID: 44a1c5

A. Just rest quietly. This door was pretty hard to find and open, and there could have been 3 other known direction shepherd would have to guess where we went even if he found this door. We cant risk having the flashlight on or he'd see the light through the crack of the door, and we shouldnt make any noise like we would by choosing b or c.
>>
No. 1066806 ID: a6000d

>>1066798
A: Agree w/ Above Awesome Analysis
>>
No. 1066847 ID: 22eda9

A.
If you gotta, rest your back against the door.
>>
No. 1067493 ID: 4481aa
File 168895122562.png - (580.93KB , 1000x1000 , 365.png )
1067493

No. You may have been helping her along, but she has to be tired too. Short legs and long distances aren’t a nice combo. If you’re going to rest, you may as well do it together. Not like anything you’d ask her to do would really make you that much safer.

Clive: “Sit down and wait.”

She accepts without much argument. The door was to your backs, so if Sheppard enters, that’ll be it.

After a few seconds, you hear him. Footsteps charging down the hall behind you, not hesitating for even an instant. They get closer and closer, your breath quickening as they do. This is the moment of truth!

It’s right behind you, the heavy steps so near that you can feel it in the ground...

...And they keep going. Growing footsteps turn into dying ones, as they get further and further, quieter and quieter... Until you can’t even hear them anymore.

Sheppard had finally lost your scent.

The air in the room softens, as relief washes over you in waves. Fear comes with it, as the adrenaline that had been carrying you wears off, but it’s ultimately a positive feeling.

Sheppard pointed a firearm at you back there. If that situation had played out differently...

-Enid and Clive gain +15 Fear each

-Enid and Clive lose 3 Fear from resting, and then 6 more from out of sheer relief that you got away

-Clive REALLY isn’t doing too hot

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 78/100]
[Enid: 47/100]

>>
No. 1067495 ID: 4481aa
File 168895127762.png - (104.32KB , 1000x1000 , 366.png )
1067495

You give it another minute at least before you’re both confident he isn’t coming back. Once you’re sure, Enid turns her light back on, giving you a better look at where you’d ended up.

It seems like this is some sort of Break Room. There are Tables to sit at, Cabinets and a Fridge for storing food, and a few simple Appliances. You feel a bit stupid sitting on the floor in a room with chairs, but there’s no changing the past.

There’s a Door against the other wall, to the West. If you had to guess, it probably leads back to that massive room you were in before the chase. You can’t be entirely certain though, given that you couldn’t make out where the back wall of it was when you were there.

Enid stares at it for a few seconds, before turning back to you.

Enid: “...Do you think Albert and Roger might... I mean, if they were there before?”
Clive: “Maybe. If it connects to the hallway in front of the entrance, then Sheppard might be there again.”

You aren’t too eager to chase after anyone else, given that doing so is what led you to Sheppard. Still, what are the chances that they already attracted his attention again?

...Higher than you’d like at least.

Still, What should you do now?

A: Investigate
-Any specific areas you want to look at?
B: Abscond
-Which way? West into an unknown room (probably the massive one from earlier), or East back out into the hall (hopefully Sheppard isn’t still there)?
C: Look and Listen
-Anything specific you’re keeping an ear out for?
D: Rest and Recover
-You could chat with Enid while you do. Anything you’d like to talk about with her?
-You could also look at those papers you picked up.

E: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1067500 ID: e51896

>Clive REALLY isn’t doing too hot

in that case, D: Rest and Recover
go sit at the table, rest for a bit with Enid. you went through so much scary stuff just then and could have died, you earned a small break.

read those papers you got with Enid too.

and chat with Enid... maybe ask why she's been interested in speaking to or hanging out with you when most other kids are scared of you, for good reason too.

one last thing, eat your ration with enid to help lose more fear. You deserve it.
>>
No. 1067502 ID: e51896

One last thing, before we leave this room at some point, we should check around the area like the cabinets and see if there is a kitchen knife, in case we need to protect ourself, or save someone from Shepherd with. (not now tho, just a future update, we need rest)
>>
No. 1067512 ID: 7ebf00

D, and look at the papers. Also look for a first aid kit; break rooms are usually where these are kept.
>>
No. 1067974 ID: 4481aa
File 168954535376.png - (371.55KB , 1000x1000 , 367.png )
1067974

You’ve been pushing yourself this whole time, but the drop in adrenaline is finally enough to make you stop. You aren’t currently in danger, and you don’t think you will be anytime soon. It may be selfish, but you’re taking a break. If the others get into trouble while you’re resting, then it’s their fault. You distracted Sheppard. They should have gotten away or hidden.

Limply, you drag yourself to one of the tables and take a seat. It’s not very comfortable, but it’s a lot better than the floor at least. Enid joins you.

Enid: “It’s good that we got away.”
Clive: “Uh-huh.”
Enid: “...Um, thank you for not running ahead and leaving me behind?”
Clive: “Uh-huh.”

You don’t really feel like conversation, but Enid isn’t taking the hint. She keeps throwing out prodding statements and questions to try and get a real response out of you. Giving her what she wants would be easier, but you just aren’t feeling it right now.

Eventually she stops. It seems like a victory for silence, until she starts shaking your arm obnoxiously.

Ignoring her was now officially too much effort.

Clive: “What do you want?”
Enid: “To talk to you.”
Clive: “Why?”
Enid: “What else are we going to do? It’s just you and me, and I don’t like the silence.”
Clive: “...Fine.”

If you weren’t going to have a choice in whether or not to talk, then you’d at least get to choose the conversation topic.

Clive: “You’ve been weirdly Clingy. Why is that?”
Enid: “What do you mean?”
Clive: “You’re holding my hand a lot, even when you don’t need to. You’re talking to me more than necessary.”
Enid: “I think I’ve just been holding your hand because you were there. I wanted to hold somebody’s, and you’ve been near me all day, so it was yours.”
Clive: “That makes sense.”
Enid: “And what’s weird about talking to you? I’m just trying to be friendly. That isn’t weird.”
Clive: “With me it is.”
Enid: “That’s what the others said too, but you’re just another kid like us, aren’t you? Even if you... did things.”

She goes a bit quiet at that. You take the moment to dig through your pockets and pull out your Ration, a granola bar. Quick to eat, good protein, and a nice flavor. You couldn’t have picked better. You can feel yourself calming down as you eat it.

Enid: “So, did you really almost kill JoJo?”

You inhale an unhealthy amount of granola, and spend the next few seconds coughing it back up. When you’re finished, you glare at her.

Enid: “...Did you?”
Clive: “Yes.”
Enid: “Why?”
Clive: “Who cares?”
Enid: “I do. That’s why I asked.”
Clive: “You barely know her, so what’s it matter? Are you feeling sorry for her?”
Enid: “A little? I don’t know. I know that I don’t really know JoJo, but I kind of know you, so I wanted to know what the truth was about all those rumors I heard.”
Clive: “I attacked her, and only stopped because I was forcefully removed. That is all.”

Her head tilts down a bit.

Enid: “That’s still just what happened. I don’t understand why it did.”
Clive: “It doesn’t matter.”
Enid: “Yes it does. If you just did it for no good reason, then what’s to stop you from doing it again? It doesn’t feel like you will, but if you didn’t have a reason...”
Clive: “I had a reason. You haven’t given me one. Yet.”
Enid: “That isn’t very reassuring.”
Clive: “...”
Enid: “You’re not going to tell me, are you?”
Clive: “I don’t want to think about it.”
Enid: “Because you feel guilty?”
Clive: “It just wasn’t a good time for me. I was dealing with... a lot.”

That was putting it lightly. It was only the night prior that you’d been up late digging Graves in your backyard.

Just... don’t think about it.

You take another bite of your granola bar, savoring the flavor.

Despite the troubling topic, you manage to calm yourself down somewhat.

-Enid loses 4 Fear from resting and the conversation

-Clive loses 3 Fear from resting, as well as an additional 5 Fear from enjoying his snack.

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 70/100]
[Enid: 43/100]

>>
No. 1067976 ID: 4481aa
File 168954554878.png - (490.99KB , 1000x1000 , 368.png )
1067976

With the conversation clearly over, the only other thing you had to occupy time were the Papers you’d picked up on the floor of the Engine Room.

Clive: “Let me borrow your flashlight.”

Instead of just passing it over, she stands up and walks around the table, pointing it down at the pages.

You had two of them, and their contents were identical.

Clive: “These are Maps.
Enid: “It looks like they only cover the ground floor, but look!”

She points to the small room you hadn’t gone into, which connected to the Storage Room.

Enid: “There are staircases. That means there’s either a floor above this one, or a basement.”
Clive: “Yeah, you’re right. We need to try and check those out soon.”

You should have checked these sooner. You could have progressed a lot smoother if you’d known the layout of the floor. If you’d known about the staircase, you could have tried to lose Sheppard on another floor.

Then again, would you? Once you leave this floor, you would be running blindly. Would you have taken that risk, or would you have come here just like you did without it? Knowing you, probably the option that felt safest.

Enid: “...Do you think Mr. Sheppard has one of these?”
Clive: “Huh?”
Enid: “It’s just... He didn’t check this room at all. He didn’t even slow down and think about it. I don’t think he knew this room was here.”
Enid: “Also, remember what he did at the entrance? He had to shoot the lock open, because he didn’t have a key.”
Clive: “...Of course.”

You drag a hand down your face. Why hadn’t you realized it sooner?

Clive: “He’s a Farmer. Even when this place was operational, he would have never have worked here. His land has probably been in the family for a couple generations.”
Enid: “He probably only knows as much about this building’s layout as we do.”
Enid: “That makes this a huge advantage over him!”

Your optimism isn’t on her level, but you agree that you’ll have a more significant advantage with this.

Ground Floor Map Updated!
>>
No. 1067978 ID: 4481aa
File 168954568550.png - (14.90KB , 880x680 , 369.png )
1067978

You’re feeling better than you did before. It’s still awful, but less so. Although you wouldn’t mind hanging around here for a while longer, there’s plenty you could do.

So what’s the plan?

A: Investigate
-Any specific areas you want to look at?
-(The kitchen will be investigated simultaneously)

B: Abscond
-Do you go West into the Turbine Room?
-Or do you go East into the East Hallway?

C: Look and Listen
-Anything specific you’re keeping an ear out for?
D: Rest and Recover
-You could chat with Enid while you do. Anything you’d like to talk about with her?
E: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1067979 ID: e51896

Did... you just see Enid's eyes for a moment? hmmmmm...

A. Investigate. Yeah, there probably isn't anything much related to graduation in here, but that's not just what we're looking for.

If there is a kitchen, there's bound to be silverware and other kitchen utensils. And if there's utensils, there most likely must be a a knife for us to protect ourselves and the others with. It'll suck if Clive will have to use it against Shepherd, but considering he has a gun, it'll be safer to have one than to not have one and have anyone get shot.

What else to investigate? check for food, like in the fridge or cabinets. Yeah, their expired, but we're not eating them.

What I want to check is the Expiration date on the packaging, that way, we can get a better idea on around WHEN this place was closed down. We already know when it was opened (1959) maybe we'll get more info on the timeline if we find out around what year it closed down. Be sure to look at multiple ones as different foods expire faster.
>>
No. 1067980 ID: 8c944f

>>1067979
A. Agree with this, and also check the manufacturers' labels for the appliances. They'll have warranty info and where/when they were manufactured.
>>
No. 1067981 ID: 38349b

I feel like D

We should figure out if you want to either try to find a way upstairs and see if you can find something while Sheppard is chasing everyone, or if we should try to team up with another group and hand off one of the maps.

You could also do it while investigating this room, look for posters about workplace safety or about required labor laws, a *nuclear power plant* would definitely have something like that in it's breakroom even if it's a *big warning* about what not to do, heck it might even help to point you towards where to go/avoid since you now have a map
>>
No. 1068209 ID: f8083d

A-Investigate the room.
If/when you B-Leave the room, I think that left staircase would be a good destination. The most direct path would be through the turbine room, but be prepared to take the long way around if there's hostiles in there.
>>
No. 1068993 ID: 48c015

Time is of the essence. I recommend grabbing something sharp for protection and going into the basement. We might not find as many documents down there but we will certainly find visual clues as to what happened to make everyone crazy.
>>
No. 1069135 ID: 4481aa
File 169053063159.png - (731.36KB , 1000x1000 , 370.png )
1069135

You both agree that it’d be a good idea to check this room out before you leave. You move to the kitchen first, while Enid starts digging through cabinets.

The kitchen is rather small, but it has most of the appliances you imagine people would want. A fridge, a sink, a microwave, a toaster, and even a dishwasher. The only thing it lacked was a stove top, but it was probably more than enough for employees to heat up their lunches.

Curiosity draws you to the fridge first. Opening it winds up being an awful mistake however. The Stench may not have been lethal in the way rotting corpses were, but it was still coming from a sort of death. There was no light when you opened the fridge, nor cold air. The fridge wasn’t powered, and the food inside was Rotten.

You close it fast, but the smell lingers in the air. Would it have killed somebody to clean this out?

...That’s a stupid question, isn’t it? This plant didn’t just stop operating. There wouldn’t be corpses all over the place if that were the case. Something happened here, and this just proves that whatever it was, it left the plant Unsalvageable. Or at the very least, nobody was around to try and make something of what was left. There was no effort to maintain the building or what was inside of it.

Something happened here, and multiple people died as a result. Their bodies were never collected, and the plant was completely abandoned afterwards.

You have the broad scope, but you still need the What and Why of it all.

Something to worry about later. You continue searching. None of the other appliances are housing food, thankfully. In a moment of clever thinking, you get it in your head to check the manufacturer labels for the appliances. The thought that it might help solve your date conundrum occurs to you.

No dice. They’re all from or before 1959. Seems none of them had to be replaced for as long as the plant was active. That, or they came used, so the information was outdated.

Aside from that, there’s only one area of note. When checking the dishwasher, you notice that it had a load sitting inside. No stench, so it must have been run before whatever happened, thankfully. However, among the silverware, one item stands out to you.

It’s small, and has clear rust from being left to sit while wet, but it’s clearly a Steak Knife.

You gulp, reaching into your pocket and gripping your plush toy tightly.

This is a weapon. Even for self-defense, the main purpose of this tool will be to hurt someone. Possibly even...

...

With significant hesitation, you decide to hold onto it for now.
>>
No. 1069137 ID: 4481aa
File 169053186462.png - (627.64KB , 1000x1000 , 371.png )
1069137

You help Enid check the remainder of the break room afterwards, as it’s a larger space with more to examine. It doesn’t seem like there will be anything of note, unfortunately. Much like with the warranties, you run into the same issue when checking the posted required labor law poster sitting above a counter. The information is outdated. It’s not a good source for the latest date the plant has been in operation.

However, it isn’t a total loss. It seems the company did have to update the posters at least once, while the plant was still operation. The latest poster is dated February 4th, 1963.

So the plant was open for almost four years at the bare minimum. You should run that by the others at some point, and see what they think about it.

Enid: “I don’t think there’s anything else in here we need to look at. And if we go out the back, it at least seems... unlikely that we’ll run into Mr. Sheppard again.”
Enid: “I really hope he didn’t just go back there right after we stopped listening.”
Clive: “Same. If we see him, I should be able to run again.”
Enid: “We also have a better map, so maybe we can use that to get away more easily!”
Clive: “Maybe.”

You’re about to place your hand on the door, when the knob twists. Your heart leaps into your throat, expecting the worst. Instead...

Roger: “Hey! You’re okay!”
Albert: “I believe that could have been inferred by the fact that we didn’t hear the sound of any gunshots after they left.”
Roger: “You never know. They could have been strangled or punched out or something.”

...You were face-to-face with two of your missing allies.

Enid: “Roger! It’s so good to see you again.”
Roger: “Same! I really was worried about you. I don’t know if you saw us, but we were hiding in that big room when Mr. Sheppard came in.”
Albert: “It certainly was frustrating. We were present when he found you, yet unable to act without surely sacrificing our own lives. All because of that accursed firearm.”
Clive: “...We got away. It doesn’t matter.”

It would be hypocritical to be upset with them for abandoning you, knowing you’d do the same in their situation. Albert isn’t wrong. Trying to stop Sheppard without a plan really would have been a death sentence for them. Considering the outcome you reached saw nobody die, it’s better for everyone that they left things as they were.

Roger: “I’d like to sit down and share information, but we may want to leave.”
Albert: “That’s right. Somebody was making quite the racket in the Eastern Hallway, and seeing as you two are here...”
Enid: “I don’t think he’ll be able to find this room from the hall though.”

As she explains about the hard to notice door, you consider what meeting up with these two means for you.

- Roger: [Considerate] - Roger is good at keeping the peace, and monitoring everyone’s status. You’ll be made aware what other members of your party want more often while Roger is around
- Albert: [Logical] - While traveling with Albert, you’re more likely to be told the likely outcomes of your options (based on the information you have).
- Enid: [Coercive] - Clive is less likely to ignore the Spirits when Enid is present.
- Clive: [Quiet] - Clive and those around him move silently. No noise penalty from performing standard movement actions.

Inventory:
- Flashlight (Enid) - Necessary for investigating in darker areas
- Flashlight (Roger) - Necessary for investigating in darker areas
- Compass - Grants better pathing and maintaining a sense of position
- Ration (3) (Roger) - Lose more Fear when choosing Rest and Recovery
- First-Aid Kit (Albert) - Allows you to treat mild to moderate injuries
- Ground Floor Map - A map of the Nuclear Plant’s ground floor, found in the Break Room
- Steak Knife - A small rusted knife that you can use for self-defense


You still need to find ‘Bec, and gather enough evidence to convince the other’s you’ve found more than enough before you can leave. For now, what should you do?

A: Abscond
-Nobody wants to go East, so the only acceptable direction is West into the Turbine Room
-Is there a specific location you would like to go to?
-Enid wants to go upstairs to get further away from Sheppard

B: Look and Listen
-Anything specific you’re keeping an ear out for?
-Albert wants to monitor the situation in the East Hall, to track where Sheppard moves next

C: Rest and Recover
-This would give you the chance to catch Roger and Albert up on what you’ve found so far
-You get the feeling that Roger wants to hear about your investigation

D: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1069139 ID: f8083d

A: Let's investigate upstairs.
>>
No. 1069147 ID: e51896

Oh hey, looks like they found us instead of us finding them. That was a nice surprise and a relief. Good for all of us.

I'm not fully sure, might change vote, but my gut tells me to go with Albert's option of B right now, there is activity going on in the east hallway for some reason, and it's kinda strange Shepherd would come back to the east hallway after we heard his footsteps run far away from here. I'm wondering what that is about and it might be best to do B to understand what the situation is.

Best case, it's Bec, and she is probably taking this opportunity to leave the power plant
bad case, it's Shepherd again for some reason, though silver lining we can figure out where he's going in that case and stay off his trail.
Terrible case: it's Bec getting chased by Shepherd and she's leading him to the east hallway.
worst case: it's more adults entering the power plant.

though my second choice will be A to sneak away from whatever it is in the east. the staircase southward near the storage room is probably the safest route since if we go towards any of the northern staircases, whatever is to the east hallway might see us when we walk past that hall leading to the east hallway.
>>
No. 1069154 ID: 87e33c

I'm torn between C and A

Basically I want us to give them one of the maps and recap that you've only found a corpse and a bunch of papers in the previous rooms.

Albert will get use out of the maps and Roger will likely have a good idea of where to go on this floor for either clues or to snag the others.

I think you and Enid (or if Albert/Roger has another idea) should head upstairs when you can, though. Both to listen to Enid, but also because there might be *light* up there if this place is as fucked up, maybe broken windows, maybe offices, stuff that basic employees wouldn't need to access?
>>
No. 1069237 ID: 4ccaad

>>1069137
Note to everyone, we are past 8 updates.

Something else is wrong here now, something that affects everyone in the building. I suspect it's related to why they didn't come back for the corpses.

Radiation?
sci fi hijinks?
Some kind of spooky monster that goes a bloogy woogy woo?

I'd rather not like to find out, and we should consider coming back for more information later.
>>
No. 1069247 ID: 1eda7d

As much as I want Albert to do the big brain thinking for us, we are nearly OUT OF TIME. We’ll have to get out soon if we don’t want bad things to happen. We can show Albert the map later, and he can piece things together.

Abscond upstairs. A.
>>
No. 1071052 ID: 4481aa
File 169319253687.png - (358.66KB , 1000x1000 , 372.png )
1071052

Clive: “Talk later. We should go, before we’re found.”
Roger: “Go where?”
Enid: “Upstairs. Mr. Sheppard hasn’t left this floor yet, so we shouldn’t have to worry about bumping into him there. Not for a while at least.”
Albert: “Hmm, it would be a risky option for him. Leaving the floor makes it significantly easier for us to escape outside of his notice.”
Albert: “What would really be best for him would be to wait at the door, so that there’s no chance of us getting past him.”
Clive: “Yeah. Be thankful he’s not doing that.”

Enid pulls up her map, showing it to the others.

Roger: “The stairs in the laundry room are the closest, but...”
Enid: “It’s also the closest to where Mr. Sheppard might still be.”
Clive: “Then let’s use this one.”

You point to the top-left corner of the map, at the stairwell between storage and the turbines.

Albert: “That does seem to be our best choice. It’s hardly a short walk though.”

He isn’t wrong. Given that you aren’t running (hardly an option with Albert using a cane), traveling that far will take 2 Updates worth of time (assuming you aren’t interrupted).

[ A/N: When traveling longer distances, if nothing notable happens, we’ll skip past unnecessary updates and simply note the time spent ]

Considering that, it would be good to acquire a Second Floor Map sooner rather than later.

Roger: “If we’re going, then let’s go. We can talk and walk, and I think we’d all prefer to put some distance between us and the gun toting farmer.”

The others agree, and so you start moving. After slowly pushing open the door to the Turbine Room, listening for just a moment, you march in the darkness, flashlights off. You know that the door we’re looking for is against the wall, so you just have to keep a hand against it and feel our way there. Nobody wants a repeat of Sheppard walking in while you’re lighting the room up, especially with all the different entrances.

Albert: “There’s machinery up ahead, go around it.”

Albert was in the front again, naturally. You’d probably abandon him otherwise, given his slow pace. You all take the warning, feeling in front of you to get around the metal object, before reattaching to the wall.

It’s hard to keep track of how long you’ve been going for. Without seeing the path ahead, it feels like your understanding of distance has taken a leave of absence. You only recognize that you’ve arrived, because Albert’s cane stops tapping the ground. You hear a door open, and let out a quiet sigh of relief.

Tap... Tap...

It was quiet and far away, and yet it sounded like it had been right next to you.

Footsteps. Somebody had entered the room, from one of the Northern entrances.

You quickly slip through the door with the others, and make sure it shuts behind you as quietly as possible.
>>
No. 1071053 ID: 4481aa
File 169319256176.png - (847.64KB , 1000x1000 , 373.png )
1071053

Enid and Roger turn their lights on, confirming that you’re in a Stairwell. There are two doors, the one you came in from and one that leads to the Storage Room; then of course the stairs. There seem to be two sets going up on opposite ends of the room, but it seems likely that they both end in basically the same place.

Albert doesn’t waste time, starting up the closest set of stairs, steadying himself against the wall. You all follow his lead.

Roger: “Hey, Enid, did either of you guys see ‘Bec earlier? After we all split up?”
Enid: “No, I don’t think so. You?”
Roger: “Nope. Think she’s up here somewhere?”
Enid: “That would make sense.”
Roger: “Hmm... Maybe we should prioritize finding her then? I mean, it’s important to make sure she’s safe, obviously, but we could also rely on her investigations.”
Albert: “Excellent point, Roger. We need not waste time examining areas she’s already searched, unless of course we doubt her thoroughness. While I wouldn’t rule that out–”
Clive: “‘Bec is reliable.”
Albert: “Hmm... Well she certainly hides it well, behind that thuggish simpleton persona.”
Roger: “Hey, don’t start with that again. She helped us get in here, remember?”
Albert: “And then cast blame upon us and fled on her own once the unexpected happened.”
Albert: “Frankly, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that she’s already left.”
Roger: “Aw come on, you don’t really think she’d just ditch us, do you?”
Clive: “...”
Albert: “...Your silence rings quite loudly on this point, Clive.

It didn’t seem quite right for you to speak ill of someone else for potentially abandoning everyone, when you considered doing the same. More than that, it did seem like something she might do. Enid seems to catch your hesitance there.

Enid: “Even if it’s something she might consider, when would she ever make it to the front door without running into one of us first?”
Enid: “Unless she turned around immediately after fleeing, which doesn’t seem likely. Because... Mr. Sheppard could have been coming after her. So she would have kept running.”

It wasn’t air-tight, but she seemed satisfied with it. Roger picks up right where she’d left off.

Roger: “We went North, and they went South. She couldn’t have gone down either of those paths without bumping into us.”
Roger: “And she couldn’t have found the Break Room, because she didn’t have a flashlight. Plus, it was against the wall that she was probably running away from.”
Albert: “She could have used the wall to guide herself while running though. In which case, it’s quite possible.”
Roger: “Maybe, but I don’t think she would. Even if she wanted to use one of the walls to flee, she wouldn’t feel her way to the sides when she was in a hurry, would she?”

Albert clicks his tongue, not having a strong rebuttal.

Albert: “Fine.”
Roger: “Let’s not assume the worst of her when we don’t need to. She’s on our side. Our only enemy right now is Mr. Sheppard.”
Albert: “A salient point.”
>>
No. 1071054 ID: 4481aa
File 169319257536.png - (323.02KB , 1000x1000 , 374.png )
1071054

You reach the top floor, and step out into another hallway. There are no immediate doors in sight, but three different directions you can go down.

Clive: “What are we doing?”
Roger: “Like I said before, I’d prioritize finding ‘Bec before anything else. It’d save us some trouble.”
Enid: “Should we all stay together for that? It’d be easier if we went in different directions, wouldn’t it?”
Roger: “That’s true, but we’d be more at risk then, right?”
Albert: “I’m not sure about that. As a collective, I’d think we make more noise and have a harder time going unnoticed than we did in pairs.”
Roger: “Do we really want to split up again though? We only just caught up with each other.”
Enid: “Hmm...”
Albert: “...”

You don’t want to waste any more time than necessary on this choice.

Should you split up?

A: Stay together
-Stick together as a group of 4
-This may cause difficulties if you ever need to hide or flee
-Roger seems to be leaning towards this

B: Split up to cover more ground
-Split up into two pairs
-Do you keep the same groupings as before, or do you want to go with someone else?
-It seems like Albert wants this

C: Stay silent
-Stay out of the decision
-You will recover a bit of Fear for not forcing yourself to choose


Whether or not you do, what do you want to do next?

1: Abscond
-You don’t currently know which way each path leads
-It will be assumed that if you split up, any other groups will go in a separate direction

2: Look and Listen
-Anything specific you’re keeping an ear out for?
3: Rest and Recover
-Any other groups will rest with you, giving you time to catch up on what Roger and Albert have been up to
4: Other
-What else might you do?

>>
No. 1071055 ID: 22eda9

I'd say Split, but have at least one person (if not a whole pair) keep an eye on the stairwell. It's important to know if someone comes up after everyone else, regardless of if it's 'Bec or Sheppard.

It might also be good to agree on some kind of sound or signal to identify "I am here" or "Sheppard is here." while (almost) everyone's still grouped together.
>>
No. 1071056 ID: e51896

A, stick together.

If the decision is to split up, stick with Albert so that you can cancel his noise, and go East with him. Roger and Enid can go south. Not north because there is another stairway there, and we don't want to get ambush. Tell them to meet back here in like, around 10 updates time.

If we leave, go south together.

3. Since we had Clive choose, lets also give him a rest to recover more fear, and get an update on everything now that we're somewhere safer(?) and update them on stuff. Maybe Albert and Roger discovered something.

I want to point out to them the loading area on the map, and how there is a big opening over there which MIGHT be an alternate exit if we can't exit through the east. I'm thinking it's a large garage door for vehicles to exit and enter. The question would be how we could open it. Also, we should tell them about how we found another dead body in the lockers of the storage room. Makes me wonder why they were hiding, and from what. but whatever threat that was in here, it was something that people were not only running from, but hiding from too. Albert might have some better conclusions over this.

or

2. Listen for any noises from up here. If Bec is anywhere, we might hear her since Shepherd isn't up here yet.

lastly, a thought, if there were noises down east of the break room like Albert claims there was, and we heard someone enter from the north of the turbine room just now, then that could mean that someone MAY have entered the plant if that wasn't Bec making a racket in the east.
>>
No. 1071062 ID: 3be852

Stick together and rest. We just spend like ten billion updates trying to get most of us back together, this eliminates most uncertainty with the tappy tap tap cane and oh no is it a shotgun man or a spiky haired asshole.

Plus if we’re all together we get to utilize all the benefits of people, for example Clive is silent and Enid is a diabolical mastermind who forces us to obey, which is great for Albert and his stubbornness. Stack the buffs!

Tell Albert about the body and use his big brain for something other than insults.
>>
No. 1071076 ID: f8083d

Stick together and start exploring, hugging the north wall.
>>
No. 1071124 ID: 918cdb

Don't you know, you never split the party,
Enid at the back, keep the runners hale and hearty,
Albert right in the middle, where he can give insights,
And you shouldn't have let Becky out of sight.

Staying together and resting for a while in order to catch up with each other would be the best idea.

Afterwards, we should move east, since that's the direction with the direction that has the most rooms.
>>
No. 1087070 ID: 0ce5cf
File 171134635486.png - (467.70KB , 1000x1000 , 379.png )
1087070

Roger: “Let’s just stay together for now, okay?”

Enid nods, while Albert reluctantly agrees.

Albert: “We can at least take a moment to trade information then.”
Enid: “Why don’t we sit down here and talk? That way if someone comes up, we’ll hear them since we’re by the door.”
Roger: “Good call. Here, I have everyone’s snacks too. Let’s eat up while we’re together.”

You watch as everyone settles in, taking seats while Roger passes out snacks. He’s very deliberate about handing Albert a bag of pretzels, as he apparently had multiple food allergies to consider.

You sit right in front of the stairwell, only half-listening to the discussion so that you can keep an ear out for footsteps. There isn’t anything worth hearing anyways.

Roger: “...and if you hadn’t come in when you did, I think we might have lost him. Sorry about that, we weren’t trying to tag you in or anything.”
Enid: “Don’t worry, I get it. You didn’t have any other options, and you didn’t know we’d be there.”
Albert: “I’ll have to be more careful about attracting unwanted attention. Although it’s difficult when my options are not making noise or being able to walk.”

Those two had very little to report. They’d been chased through each room by Sheppard, until we took the heat off of them. After that they rested up and began exploring the Turbine Room. They found you both shortly afterwards, having discovered the door.

Your own discoveries hadn’t been much better.

Enid: “...and when we got it open… a dead body fell out.”
Albert: “Another one?”
Roger: “Jeez… What happened here?”
Enid: “It’s bad enough that they were dead, but why in a locker? The body was all twisted and… and just awful to look at! And the smell was enough that Clive vomited.”
Roger: “Really?”

He looks at you, like you’re some kind of spectacle. “The amazing boy who doesn’t do well with corpses” or something. After a few seconds, you glare back to make him look away.

Albert: “The body in the locker, could they have been Hiding from something?”
Enid: “Something?”
Albert: “The simplest explanation would be another person, although I doubt some would-be mass murderer could just waltz straight in without being caught by security.”
Roger: “Maybe it was another employee then? Something happened, and they just started killing people.”
Roger: “Security is usually meant to keep people out, so an employee already inside could probably get a few kills in before they catch up.”
Enid: “And they just left the bodies?”
Albert: “It has to have something to do with the plant shutting down, otherwise they’d have to be removed to continue operating.”

It wasn’t clear yet, but some of the elements are starting to come together. It’s a step in the right direction.

Sitting down and talking has helped you all calm down some.

- Clive loses 5 Fear from resting and staying out of the conversation

- Albert, Enid, and Roger loses 4 Fear from resting, and an additional 5 Fear from enjoying their snacks

Party Fear Levels:
[Clive: 65/100]
[Albert: 58/100]
[Enid: 34/100]
[Roger: 35/100]

>>
No. 1087071 ID: 0ce5cf
File 171134638207.png - (536.34KB , 1000x1000 , 380.png )
1087071

As the conversation dwindles, and it seems time to leave, Albert speaks up.

Albert: “So, what are we going to do about the gun-toting farmer chasing after us?”
Roger: “What do you mean?”
Albert: “Avoiding him has made sense so far, but that isn’t an acceptable long-term strategy.”
Albert: “Even if we get out without running into him again, I would argue that we’d only be delaying the inevitable.”
Enid: “Why is that?”
Albert: “Because he’s seen us now. Or more accurately: You and Clive.

THAT gets your attention.

Clive: “What?”
Albert: “Sorry, did you forget the part where you pointed a flashlight right at him back in the Turbine Room?”
Albert: “Did you think you wouldn’t be illuminated while holding onto it? If you saw him, he almost certainly saw you.”
Roger: “...Oh my goodness, I never thought about that.”
Albert: “He was always a room behind us for our chase, so we haven’t been seen. It would have been fine if he only knew that some kids were here, but not which ones.”
Albert: “But that isn’t the case anymore. Now, even if we leave, I don’t see any reason Sheppard won’t just come into town and identify you there.”

The group falls silent, the other two clearly stunned by the revelation. You clench your hands into fists, hoping it’ll stop them from shaking from nerves. It doesn’t.

Clive: “...What can we do?”
Roger: “I… I don’t know.”
Enid: “Maybe we could change our appearances? You could straighten out your hair, and I could ask the Fosters to cut mine. Maybe we could wear different clothes–”
Albert: “Or we could Kill him.

Your breath hitches, as Enid and Roger stare at Albert in befuddlement.

Albert: “...Why leave any uncertainty on the table? A corpse wouldn’t be able to tattle on us.”
Roger: “Albert you can’t be serious. We can’t– why would you even think that!?”
Albert: “What, because it’s immoral? It isn’t like he hasn’t been chasing us around with a firearm.”
Roger: “That’s– This is Aiden’s dad we’re talking about! And we don’t even know if he really saw anything, this is all a big ‘maybe’.”
Roger: “You guys ran away really quickly, and he was in the dark before you pointed your light at him. His eyes might not have adjusted to the light before then.”

A salient point that might have shut down the topic, if not for the severity of the worst case scenario. With the stakes as high as they are however, neither Roger nor Enid seemed entirely swayed by the idea.

Enid: “...Do you think he’d kill us?”
Albert: “He’s certainly equipped for the task.”
Roger: “H-He could have just brought that to get through the door. Or maybe he didn’t know we were just kids? ‘Bec was with us, and she’s taller.”
Enid: “Even if you’re right, does it even matter if he’d still tell everyone we were here? We still don’t know what Graduation really means.”
Enid: “If graduating means dying, then he’s still a killer. And if it’s him or us…”
Roger: “We… We almost never see Aiden’s dad. If we went with Enid’s idea, he wouldn’t be able to recognize them.”
Albert: “Perhaps, but his descriptions could still give them away. Either way, it would still be putting Clive and Enid’s fates up to chance.”
Enid: “...Clive, what do you think?”

Their eyes land on you, finally noticing your silence.

Albert isn’t wrong. You don’t disagree with him at all, and you hardly share Roger’s sympathies for the man, considering his likely shared culpability in the town’s conspiracies (He wouldn’t be trying to chase you all out if he didn’t want to hide what was here). Sheppard deserved death.

You could say that. It would be easy, and from what Enid said she may agree, forming a clear majority opinion. Roger may have misgivings, but you don’t think he’ll fight the group if you’re all of the same mind.

But Albert is the one who brought this up. Albert probably has opinions on how to, or more importantly, Who should do the deed.

He obviously can’t, not with his condition. Enid is too small and Roger is too compassionate. Short of finding ‘Bec, there was only one obvious choice. The only person who claimed to have experience.

Albert: “...Did you have something to do with it?”
Clive: “...Yeah.”
Clive: “I did it.”


It’s your own fault. You told him he was right to make him stop digging, and now he expects you to play the role of experienced killer.
>>
No. 1087072 ID: 0ce5cf
File 171134639584.png - (526.47KB , 1000x1000 , 381.png )
1087072

Enid: “Clive?”

You open your mouth to say something, when you hear a muffled sound behind you.

Tap.. Tap.. Tap..

Behind you, through the door. The sound is coming from the Stairwell.

Someone is coming!

Which way do you go?

A: North
-You can’t tell from here if there are any good rooms you can duck into, which could get you shot if it’s all a straightaway
-Impossible to lose anyone, flashlights or not

B: South
-Seems to be the same hallway that goes North, but you’re much closer to the end on this side
-There are rooms to duck into and hallways you can run down, but without flashlights on there’s a 1 in 3 chance somebody gets separated from the group

C: East
-A middle-ground between North and South’s benefits and downsides. Somewhat long hall with a few rooms you can duck into.
-With flashlights off, 1 in 6 chance somebody gets separated

D: Stay put and ambush them
-You have the initiative, will you really get a better opportunity to strike than now? If you can disarm Sheppard, he becomes far less of an issue.
-There is a chance you get shot and die if this is Sheppard, which isn’t great.
-Chance varies greatly depending on how many other kids participate in the ambush. Currently, you don’t have time to take opinions or encourage participation
-’Bec has yet to be accounted for, so this could be her. Jumping your friends is considered rude.


Also, does Clive give any directions regarding flashlights (or anything else you might want him to quickly say), or does he let the others decide themselves?

>>
No. 1087073 ID: e2839f

D stand by the staircase and get ready to tackle

Have someone flash the lights as soon as they round the stairs, best case scenario it's bec and she's annoyed, worst case scenario you try to knock the guy off his feet and make him drop the gun, maybe struggle for it.

It's either you go for an escape or hope he didn't see you.

Plus, if they flash whoever climbs up the stairs, it'll distract them so you don't get shot. Might be good to reccomend whoever flashes the light hide behind something.

So you should probably point to someone with a light and tell them to flash the light on the stairs from "over there" a spot with some cover, and get in tackle position on the dark side of wherever it lands and hope for the best
>>
No. 1087076 ID: 7c55ad

I say B south,

and keep the flashlights on. It should be the safest route to have our flashlights on in fact because the shine from the light won't be seen and obstructed by the wall going that way, as the farmer will have to move west and look south in order to spot you. in contrast, If we had the light shine while going North or East, he would immediately see it by simply turning his head to his right, or catch a glimpse of the light in the hallway leading north in front of him after entering.

Going south with the flashlight should give us a window of a chance, but only a small one if he decides to go West immediately. So be sure you all enter the first door you all see as fast as you can.
>>
No. 1087100 ID: d36f4c

B- south. Ambushing is madness, even with a steak knife and two flashlights. We won’t be able to get everyone on board with the ambush without some serious convincing, and neither Albert nor Clive are great at that. Enid or Roger would need to push the others to join in, and they haven’t thrown their weight behind that idea. We’re not gonna have the greatest odds for success, which is what we’d need to take on Sheppard with this crew of kids. He could easily solo us if we have no prep.

B, but have Enid flash her flashlight every 30 seconds to keep the group together. Don’t keep it on constantly. Roger and Albert have experience staying together, so give them that brief light to follow so they stay with us.
>>
No. 1087113 ID: b3eab7

I wanted to agree with >>1087073, but since there are now contradictory opinions, let's not. Indecision is fatal here.

B-South.
>>1087100
This seems a good strat to go with it.
>>
No. 1087428 ID: 056492

rolled 3 = 3

"Periodically flash your light instead of just keeping it on" is a rather complex direction to give in such a limited window. As such, we're going to make a few rolls now.

The first, and possibly last, is to determine if Clive successfully relays that information. If he succeeds, no further rolls will be necessary.

On a 3, Clive successfully gets his point across. 1 and 2 means he fails.
>>
No. 1087490 ID: 056492
File 171185820309.png - (358.26KB , 1000x1000 , 382.png )
1087490

Clive: “Someone’s coming.”

The hushed warning puts everyone at attention. It’s time to go, now!

Roger and Enid pick up their flashlights, and for a split second you can feel the internal debates they’re having. Light or no light? You don’t know the area and would prefer to see where you’re going, but you don’t want to give away your location…

Perhaps the suddenness of the danger muted your normal anxieties, because in that moment you managed to give out an order. You grab Enid’s hand, and she turns to face you.

Clive: “Enid, flicker your light on and off periodically.”
Enid: “O-Okay.”

There was no argument. Roger lowered his own light, focusing on helping Albert move quickly. Despite everything, you can’t help but feel a twinge of pride in yourself.

-1 Fear [Clive: 64/100]
>>
No. 1087491 ID: 056492
File 171185823779.png - (1.35MB , 1000x1000 , 383.png )
1087491

You start running, taking a left and heading down the Southern path. It doesn’t go far, and in seconds you’re swamped with choices.

Two halls lined with Box-like rooms greet you, going down further than you can see. They don’t have doors or roofs, which doesn’t make them seem like ideal hiding places.

To your right, you see Bathrooms for both sexes available. Those have doors, though you can’t tell if they’re single-use like the ones at home or some stores, or have multiple stalls like the ones in school.

As you’re processing the options, one additional door stands out, sending shivers up your spine for a moment. You realize that you’d seen the door before, when you’d reached the top of the Stairwell. It was another entrance.

AKA, another potential exit.

Before you can warn anyone, you hear the creaking sound of a door opening. Your heart rate rises, before a hit of relief fills you. The door you’d noticed was still shut.

The relief lasts but a moment, as you’ll be exposed in seconds if you don’t move from where you’re standing.

Where will you go?

A: Hide in a cubicle
-They don’t feel very secure
-There are many of them, so a pursuer probably wouldn’t check them all
-Which one? (Numbered on the map)

B: Hide in the bathroom
-These feel more secure, as they at least have doors
-If a pursuer goes into the wrong one, you have a chance to escape
-Which one (Numbered on the map, 1 is the Men’s 2 is the Women’s)

C: Go into the stairwell
-It’s the most unlikely place for a pursuer to check
-It’s a bit far. You’ll have to either dash for it (noise risk), or risk being seen if a pursuer comes this way

D: Keep going down one of the halls
-Put distance between yourself and any pursuers
-Your location will be given up to anyone nearby performing a Look/Listen action

E: Turn your light off and stay still
-Without a light, a pursuer won’t perceive you unless they move closer
-If caught, you will be very much out in the open

>>
No. 1087501 ID: 7c55ad

Pretty hard to investigate with Shepard possibly up here. Might have to find a way to deal with this soon...

I'm not voting just yet, but for now, I do have some kind of plan right now and want other people's thoughts: This... looks like it might actually be good place for setting up a trap, or to see if this is 'Bec

My idea: Enter A2 or A3 cubicle. but before you do, place Enid's light on the floor in front of the entrance to the cubicle, and facing west with the light on.

afterwards, after you enter one of those cubicles, get your knife ready and wait at inside by the entrance of the cubicle in the darkness. If whoever is up here comes this way, they will easily see the colored light from the flashlight, focus their attention on it, and most likely head towards it to pick it up. The light of the flashlight should be able to give you an idea of who shows up to investigate. If it's Bec, we'll greet her. If it's Sheppard, he will likely grab the flashlight before doing anything else as he is wandering in the darkness right now and will need a flashlight to help him. In that moment, charge at him with the knife and stab him while he is focused on the flashlight and picking it up. He won't have time to react...

the reason why I chose Enid's flashlight: I think Bec would be more likely to come this way to a colored flashlight because she most likely will know it's us because of it being colored and won't run away.

Again, I'm not voting, only want to hear what others think if this is a good idea. Otherwise, I'll pick a location to hide later.
>>
No. 1087508 ID: 75b262

We don’t have a lot of time, and Albert isn’t the most mobile with his cane, so C is out.

E gives up the initiative, and only benefits us if time is on our side, which it isn’t. E is out.

This leaves the choices to hiding, or moving. We have NOT seen Sheppard use a flashlight, so unless he changes tactics, he will be relying on sound to chase us. Noise is bad- the more noise we make, over a longer period of time, gives him the best odds of finding us.

Regarding the likelihood of Sheppard using a flashlight: it’s low. If Sheppard changes tactics and uses a flashlight (which we haven’t seen), he gives away his position and likely can’t use his shotgun for a bit, since he would need both hands to use his shotgun, AND would need to wait for his eyes to readjust to the darkness. This would be a terrible move on his part, and would make him vulnerable to ambush.

That means, counterintuitively, the best way to hide from Sheppard is to go the shortest distance (making the least noise) and pick a place to hide that (1) would need visual inspection to find us in, and (2) makes the least noise to hide in.

That means bathrooms, which have doors, FEEL secure but are actually LESS secure.

The best choice by a mile is to hide in the cubicles. This benefits from our relatively low FEAR except for Clive, but he’s a trooper and we’ll just have to trust him not to panic.

So, which cubicle? Sheppard will be expecting us to escape, which is what a bunch of panicked kids would do. So once he figures out we aren’t running for the stairwell or running down the halls, he’ll LISTEN and find nothing- which means we’re hiding. He’ll probably check the bathrooms (since panicked kids would hide there), or the cubicle closest to the exit. Then, he’ll find nothing, since we’ll actually be hiding in cubicle A1 on the other side. With Sheppard finding nothing and hearing nothing, he’ll have no leads to go on. He’ll have no choice but to wait a long time and listen, and he’s hyped up on adrenaline having shot at us. I doubt he’s patient enough to wait us out thanks to the fact that there’s ‘Bec around here somewhere and he’ll also be listening for her. Finally, he’ll be making more noise than we will be, Mr. Tap Tap Tap, so as long as our FEAR levels are okay we’ll know when he moves on.

The closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm. I wholeheartedly vote A1.
>>
No. 1087571 ID: 96112b

Poltergeist's suggestion seems sound, though I would like to add the following:

Have all the kids except Rodney hide in room A3 while Rodney, being the fastest, puts Enid's flashlight on farthest hallway (D1), just turning the corner, with the light pointing upwards at the corridor. That way Rodney can see who is coming while peeking from the door of room A2.
>>
No. 1087572 ID: 056492

>>1087571

I'm gonna assume you mean Roger, lol.
>>
No. 1087583 ID: 7c55ad

>>1087508
Finally gonna vote. I'll go with Donut's plan (without doing the flashlight plan)
>>
No. 1087670 ID: 8f9bc4

Sheppard is just lonely. All will be forgiven if you go up to him and all give him a big group hug, and remind everyone what day this is.
>>
No. 1088359 ID: 056492
File 171264262742.png - (669.74KB , 1000x1000 , 384.png )
1088359

You don’t have time to overthink this. You run into the nearest cubicle, and the others follow suit.

Enid turns off her light, and the world goes dark. The only sound you hear for a moment is your own breath. The others settle in, pushing themselves further into the darkness of the space. You stay by the door, wanting the best vantage point to hear if anyone approaches.

From the silence… footsteps. Small repetitive taps, echoing closer and closer with each repetition.

One… two… three… Tap… Tap… Tap…

They stop, neither close nor far from your hiding place. For what feels like a full minute, it’s quiet.

With only a quiet noise of shuffling as warning, the world lights back up. Your eyes go wide, as a beam passes through the doorway.

They’d turned on a Flashlight.

The beam gets brighter as it approaches. It doesn’t stay fixated on the cubicle, moving back and forth as the person moves, as though they were examining their surroundings. The sound, however, is consistent. It only gets closer and closer with each step.

Tap… Tap… Tap…

The footfalls play through your head, as you come to a harrowing conclusion.

This isn’t ‘Bec.

Tap… Tap…

Your heart rate picks up. The sounds of unfamiliar breath fills your ears, as the figure draws nearer. They could be on you in seconds.

They might stop. Turn around, head in a different direction… Or they won’t. By the time you know which they choose, it’ll be too late.

Tap.
>>
No. 1088360 ID: 056492
File 171264265271.png - (907.70KB , 1000x1000 , 385.png )
1088360

They’re in front of your cubicle. Decide now.

A: Act now
-What will you do?
B: Wait
-They’ll turn around… They HAVE to

>>
No. 1088363 ID: 75b262

A: Act.

The action is… be prepared for one of Clive’s companions to grab his hand for reassurance. It might be Enid, or even Roger. You never know who with high FEAR turns to the biggest, scariest kid for help.

Don’t do anything but be ready for a kid with high FEAR to do something that might spook you, Clive!
>>
No. 1088365 ID: 273c18

>>1088360
Holding a flashlight means not holding a shotgun.
A: rush them. Tackle, trip, delay, steal the flashlight and shine it in their eyes. Buy time for everyone else to exit the cubicle so that you can all escape. Or you could all just mob the adult and beat the living shit out of them.
>>
No. 1088481 ID: 8cda8e

Just some thoughts

I really dont think this person is Sheppard. Sheppard never was shown to have a flashlight, and I think the thing that has happened that nobody in the building will like after 8 updates >>1063666 is actually whoever this new person might be.

After all, a little after around 8 updates happened, Albert mentoned hearing some noises in the east hallway when we reunited with him. And we didnt really make any noises in the east hallway. On the 8th update, we literally just entered the cafeteria. Perhaps that noise alber heard was somebody logging into the nuclear power plant, and they may have spotted Sheppard (What coincidental timing that was if true)

Now heres my other thoughts in what is going on in this latest update.

>The only sound you hear for a moment is your own breath. 

Clive's breathing is probably causing noise

>They stop, neither close nor far from your hiding place. For what feels like a full minute, it’s quiet.

They are stopping to listen for us.

>The beam gets brighter as it approaches. It doesn’t stay fixated on the cubicle, moving back and forth as the person moves, as though they were examining their surroundings. The sound, however, is consistent. It only gets closer and closer with each step.

They heard you breathing heavily and are heading in the direction, examining where they heard the sound.

Considering whoever this is is somebody neither us or Sheppard wants in here, they could be pretty dangerous and we might need to be ready to act, especially since Clive knows this isn't Bec.

A. Quietly stand up and get the knife ready (try not to show the others if you can help it, but dont worry if you cant) and be ready to charge at whoever enters this cubicle with the knife as soon as they enter. You should have the advantage of having the sneak attack once they enter as they wont be prepared for you attacking from around the corner. They probably would have time to react however if you just run out of the cubicle and charge at them as they have the flashlight around your direction.

If they dont enter however, you can rest easy (though that would mean they are actually going somewhere with a purpose, in which case we might have to take note of where they are heading and what they are trying to get up here)
>>
No. 1088482 ID: 8cda8e

>>1088365
>Or you could all just mob the adult and beat the living shit out of them.

Just remember, Clive has trouble conveying his ideas to others. He might not be able to tell everyone his plan to attack the person together.
>>
No. 1088490 ID: 382635

I think you should [ ACT ] and prepare a kick to whoever walks by, if they walk by, you'll get them in the shins/ankles.

It's safe to say that if it's not bec, and everyone else is here, that it'll be no good if they see you. If they drop the flashlight, you can followup with taking it and running, if they don't then I guess you'll have to commit to tackling them and hope the others help.

It's not a great feeling to have to be the one to take a stand, you can only hope the others don't lock up in fear.

Maybe grip Enid's hand before you do it as a reflex?
>>
No. 1088554 ID: 056492

rolled 1, 3, 2 = 6

Get ready, we're about to engage in some serious die rolling.

You have chosen to ambush the unfamiliar figure, and we are going to determine now how that goes for you. Before we can have you square off to see who rolls bigger though, we have to determine a few bonuses and penalties that may or may not be working in Clive's favor.

Will Roger help? (+3)

If Roger notices Clive preparing to strike first, he may choose to assist. He has some reservations on hurting people though, and he's generally just scared of Clive. Especially in such a small window to act, he has a lower chance of gathering his nerves to support. 1/3 chance of success, this roll will succeed on a 5 or 6.

Will Enid help? (+3)

Enid has tucked herself away under a desk a bit far from the door, so even if she notices you getting ready to act, she may not reach you in time. Also, she's small, so the amount of help she can offer is limited. Absolutely no qualms about fighting though, so Enid will at least try. 1/6 chance of success, this roll will succeed on a 6.

Does Clive have the nerve? (+0, -2, -4)

Due to adrenaline, and the brief window not giving Clive the chance to overthink this, you're going to be spared Clive failing to perform your suggestion. On a low roll however, his nerves will get to him, and his chances of success will drop. It would be a plain 50/50, but thanks to Enid's [Coercive] buff, Clive is a bit more in control of himself. 4/6 chance Clive avoids a penalty. On a 2, Clive gets a -2 penalty. On a 1, Clive gets a -4 penalty.

We will apply whatever bonuses or penalties we roll here to the following roll-off.
>>
No. 1088555 ID: 056492

rolled 3, 9 = 12

Yikes. Looks like Roger and Enid won't be any help, and Clive's taking a -2 from nerves. This isn't looking great, but the dice may still pull through for you in the end. Let's compare buffs with your challenger. Let's start with Clive's:

- Your ambush is going to catch the unknown individual off-guard. +3
- Clive's steak knife, while a bit small and unsuited for combat, is still a lot better than fighting bare-handed. +3
- Penalty from Clive's nerves. -2

Total: +4 for Clive

Now for the challenger:

- Size advantage. Clive is about to charge at an adult, and success will not come easy. +5
- The unknown adult is holding a flashlight. It isn't a metal military-grade one or anything, but it can still be used as a bludgeoning tool. +1

Total: +6 for the adult.

Alright, with all of that set-up done, let's talk outcomes. So long as Clive's total is bigger than the challenger's, Clive will succeed, full-stop. If Clive shoots under his opponent though, then we're going to look at one additional threshold.

If the adult wins by 1-4, they'll achieve a Mild Success.
If the adult wins by 5+, they'll achieve a Major Success. This will come with additional Bad Things that you do NOT want.

If Clive and the adult tie, then the next update is gonna be a little awkward. Let's hope for a more firm result one way or the other.

With all of that said: Let's roll two d10s to determine our victor. Remember: (because I won't be able to add them automatically without doing a separate post) Clive gets +4 and the Challenger gets +6. The first number will be Clive's, and the second will be his Opponent's

Do you feel lucky?
>>
No. 1088556 ID: 056492

Clive: 3 + 4 = 7
Opponent: 9 + 6 = 15

Your opponent has scored a Major Success. Consequences will be revealed next update.
>>
No. 1088573 ID: eb0a9c

>Crit Fail
Suddenly, Clive began uncontrollably dancing!
>>
No. 1089281 ID: 9f0264
File 171366338526.png - (179.39KB , 700x1300 , 386.png )
1089281

Your grip tightens around the steak knife in your pocket, as you silently rise to a standing position. You aren’t just going to sit around and let whatever happens happen. Whoever this is, they’re not going to get the jump on you. Not if you strike first.

You… You’ll even Kill them if you have to.

That’s something you can do, right? It’s something you have to, whether you’re ready or not. After this person, it’s Sheppard next, right?

Somebody has to do it, and you can’t expect the others to take up the slack. You forced that role onto Rodney too many times, and now there’s nobody left to lean on. You’re going to have to do your own dirty work.

Tap.

Your heart beats at a million miles a minute. The grip of the knife feels nonexistent in your palms, as though you’d dropped it. You have to glance down to confirm it’s still there.

Tap.

You don’t want to do this.

TAP.

A shoe crosses the boundary into the cubicle. You can see a hand holding a flashlight start to peek through the doorway as well.

In a rush of adrenaline, you charge forward and whip your knife ahead, slashing the air.

You miss. An early swing means the air is all that you cut.

In that instant, before your would-be-victim responds, your eyes hover up their body. The clothes, the hair, there was something all too familiar about it. Who was this person again? You know you saw them…

Ah, the Toy shop owner, that was it. You’d seen him just a couple hours ago. No wonder you recognized him.

He has no firearm, blade, or other sort of weapon. The man isn’t holding anything but a flashlight.

So naturally, that’s what he hits you with.

THUNK!

The metal crashes into your skull. There’s a splash when it happens, surely a cut to accompany the bump. Your body barely registers the pain. A numb sensation spreads from your head down your body, eventually reaching your legs. They give out under you, making you fall back on your butt.

There’s talking. People are screaming, others are trying to say things to you, but the sounds are too far away to hear. Your ears feel like they’re miles away from you.

…You failed.

Not like it’s a surprise, it was inevitable. Your mistake was trying in the first place. What were you hoping to achieve, anyways? To protect yourself and the others? That’s not you.

Always the Burden, never the shield… That’s how it’s always been.
>>
No. 1089284 ID: 9f0264
File 171366350311.png - (104.86KB , 1000x1000 , 387.png )
1089284



If not for the red staining everything, you could honestly believe they were only sleeping. A peaceful slumber that you would have no reason to intrude upon.

No… that wasn’t entirely right either. The hilt of the knife sticking up from your father’s chest would have given it away too. You wonder if you should take it out or not.

It’s not the first question that came to mind, but it was one you could imagine finding an answer to. The larger questions hanging over the scene felt impossible to explain.

Why?

You hear Rodney sniffle. He’d been crying since before he’d woken you up.

You aren’t sure why he bothered. What were you supposed to do about this? You’re his older brother, and you always try to watch out for him where you can, but this?

This was so far beyond anything you’d even seen in your worst nightmares. What were you supposed to do?

Clive: “Why?”

The word comes out roughly from your dry throat. You needed a drink, but anything you try to put down now would come right back up. Your dinner had already found its way to the floor, it hardly needed siblings.

Why? Why what? Why did this happen? Why were your parents dead? Why now?

No, there was only one version you’d meant.

You step backwards through the doorway, unwilling to take your eyes off the scene. You glance down at Rodney, sniffling in front of the door’s frame, unable to look inside.

Clive: “...Why did you do this?”

>>
No. 1089286 ID: 9f0264
File 171366355626.png - (57.57KB , 1000x1000 , 388.png )
1089286

He peeks up at you, terrified eyes meeting yours. He has to wipe them on his sleeve. His hands… were red.

Rodney: “...I didn’t want to lose you.”



>>
No. 1089287 ID: 9f0264
File 171366357992.png - (261.44KB , 1000x1000 , 389.png )
1089287

Your head throbs with pain, as you fade back into consciousness. The first sight you’re met with are a pair of glasses, which you realize to be Albert’s. It takes you a moment to realize that he’s wrapping something around your head, either a cloth or a bandage. It makes sense that he of all people would know what to do about a head injury, given his being on the receiving end of one all-to recently.

There’s noise. People were talking– yelling? What is the commotion, and why aren’t the others trying to stay quiet?

You try to sit up, only for Albert to push your head back down. He says something, probably telling you to sit down and let him finish. You still try to twist your head around for a better angle.

The owner of the toy shop, he’s still there. He’s saying something to Enid, and she’s talking back. Neither of them seem happy. Roger seems to be hovering towards the sides. He’s shaking, and trying to get a word in, but every time he speaks the man seems to shout him down. You try to focus on what they’re saying. It’s quiet, but you can sort of make it out…

Man: “–quiet! You don’t know what you’re asking!”
Enid: “Then tell us! What’s here? Why shouldn’t we be here?”
Man: “Stop. Digging. You already know more than you should, do you want them to take you?”
Enid: “Do you? That’s why you came, isn’t it? To check if I needed to graduate too?”
Man: “Wh– No! I-I wouldn’t– Fred never wanted…”

He groans, running a hand down his face in frustration. It’s not the usual exasperation you’d expect from an adult having to deal with kids he doesn’t care about. It’s… more desperate and fearful.

Man: “W-We can’t stay here. Sheppard already knows you’re here, you know that? If he finds you, I can’t– he’ll kill you.”
Enid: “No, not until Clive is better. Then we’ll decide if–”
Man: “We’re going, now.

You know what he’s going to do before it happens, but you’re too slow to stop it.

His hand shoots forward and clasps around Enid’s arm, dragging her towards the cubicle’s exit. She’s shocked, and clearly tries to fight back. Her attempts are pitiful.

He’s trying to take Enid away, and if you don’t do anything, he might succeed.

What do you do?

A: Shout at him
-What do you say?
-Are you trying to distract him, convince him not to leave, call out to ‘Bec for help, etc.?

B: Get up, and force him to let her go
-If nothing else, you feel more confident that the others would help you this time
-You don’t know where your steak knife landed, but Albert’s cane is right beside you if you really need a weapon

C: Get Roger or Albert to stop him
-Who do you talk to?
-Albert’s right beside you, whereas Roger’s a few steps away. You either have to shout to Roger, costing you valuable seconds, or rush to his side to whisper a command

D: Nothing
-It’s what you’re best at
-Your head hurts
-One of them will do something. Probably Roger, once he wipes that dumb look of shock off his face


…Oh, and one more thing.

Failure at this junction will result in your one Safety Net being used up, to prevent an unwinnable scenario from occurring. If Enid is dragged out of sight by this man, that will count as failure.

>>
No. 1089289 ID: 382635

You're being tended to right now and likely have a concussion, so likely anything you do will just be fucked up, so do what you're good at other than nothing, making a scalding remark.

"Yeah, sure, let the guy who runs the toy store take the girl away, that will end well."

This should be loud enough that either Roger hears it, or Albert hears it and then says something anyway
>>
No. 1089291 ID: fc100b

D. Rest and recover, diplomacy isn't Clive's strong point.

A will probably draw Sheppard to us... but it might spook this guy, who clearly doesn't want Sheppard here. Still, I don't like risking it. That would just encourage him to drag Enid away over our objections. So DO NOT PICK A.

Also, violence or struggling will also reinforce his position, and make Clive more tired. So D is the best option.

C is bad because we're on bad terms with Roger, and Albert is terrible with diplomacy too.
>>
No. 1089295 ID: 2fe86a

Considering the two points mentioned before and after our options (If nothing is done Enid is taken away, and Enid being taken away means failure), I can't fully get behind the idea of "Doing Nothing."

There's too many potential points to consider. How and why is Giovanni here? Did he put a tracking device inside one or more of the toys? Even though he and Sheppard are in theory not of aligned interest, it's still a failure either way if Enid is caught by either, which is weird to me.
One choice is death- is it the same for the other, as well?

In my head, B is the option that would be chosen if we didn't exist; a necessary use of violence.
-Albert might stop Clive again (he's injured, it's not a smart choice)
-It could either show Clive cares about Enid, or instead just further prove the misconceptions people have of him
-Overall, a time loss

I don't know what to expect with C, other than maybe being a faster choice than D.

My flawed suggestion is to go with some variation of A;
"And you think he won't kill you too?"

This doesn't necessarily have to be yelled, and it'll probably still make him double guess himself- Giovanni clearly knows more than we do, but that doesn't change the fact that Sheppard's got a gun and no way to see what he's shooting at- if he even cares. He's probably shooting anyone he sees on sight, no questions asked.

Depending on how this is spun, dick move or not, we might be able to temporarily force him to work with us, which might be worth the various risks- losing time, revealing our location, him betraying us later, etc.
>>
No. 1089313 ID: b3eab7

E) Follow.
Wherever he's going, it's away from Sheppard.
>>
No. 1089768 ID: c5529d

(edited)
A. I actually thought of something

Mr. Snyder highly respected Enid's father, and seems very protective of Enid in particular, enough to not let her get graduated like what happened to Jhonen when he went snooping and instead just try to get her to safety, as evident when he fearfully said “Wh– No! I-I wouldn’t– Fred never wanted…". I think he is trying to protect Enid from the other adults' watchful eye, and from letting her fall into getting graduated from doing anything suspicious like snooping which we are right now.

we also know that from the memo Franklin read to Albert and Clive that “Frederick Anderson’s death has publicly been ruled an accident. His daughter, Enid, is now staying with the Fosters. Enid Foster will be enrolled in Jennfier’s class as she was always meant to be."

Albert pointed out his death was only publicly ruled as accidental, which could be murder. His death is further proved to be murder when Franklin inspected Fred's dead body and found a knife wound and broken skull, further proving it's a murder (tho clive wouldn't know this. But Albert thinking otherwise could be enough to believe it's murder).
And if she was always meant to be in the school and Fredrick was preventing it, it could be that someone took matters into their own hands to ensure Enid was attending the school.

In a way, Snyder might just be on our side, but is too protective to not let us investigate and potentially let us graduate, and can't help us directly as it could result in him getting murdered too. Perhaps maybe if we shout out our guess as to why Fredrick Anderson died, it might just distract him enough to give Enid an opening to convince him not to leave or maybe even give us an answer to Fred's mysterious death if that doesn't work. She is pretty manipulative after all. She just needs an opening especially since she doesn't know her father was murdered yet

Shout out: "Is Enid's homeschooling why her father was murdered?"

Hopefully Albert can help back our claim. Clive can't speak longer than that, he's not social.

And if Snyder doesn't know that Fred was murdered and thinks it was accidental, he might need to know the truth too.
>>
No. 1090036 ID: 6abcc8

I don't know why I was focusing so much on "time loss", I'm pretty sure that's outside of my judgement for factoring things in- all of these things will take time, it's just a matter of who can get through fastest- which, who knows.

>>1089768
This doesn't sound bad either, although I don't know if us knowing is enough for Clive to think it.
Either way, what we need is for sir-toysalot to falter.
I'd hope for Clive to do this without full-on shouting since that'll no doubt alert Sheppard, but considering Enid being taken is considered a Guaranteed Fail first and foremost, we'll take what we can get.
>>
No. 1090255 ID: 92c262
File 171479122424.png - (466.85KB , 1000x1000 , 390.png )
1090255

Clive: “S… Stop…

Albert doesn’t stop you from sitting up this time, too busy trying to stand himself. The toy shop owner doesn’t turn around at your weak cry, but Enid is slowing him. She’s keeping a death grip on the cubicle’s edge.

Man: “Let go! We have to leave.”
Enid: “I won’t go with you!”
Man: “Please, I’m not– I’m trying to help you.”
Enid: “Let go of me.”
Man: “Do you want to die? Is that it?”
Clive: “Do you?

Your words come out clearly, despite your nerves. His head finally tilts in your direction. You have his attention.

Don’t choke now.

Clive: “...You think he won’t kill you too, when you try to walk out with her?”
Clive: “You’d be a traitor, right?”

It may be coincidence, or maybe your words hit exactly how you wanted them to, but Enid breaks free of his grip at that moment. She runs into Roger, who puts his arms over her protectively.

Man: “C-Come back. Please…”
Roger: “Clive is right, isn’t he? The other adults wouldn’t agree with what you’re doing.”
Roger: “...Mr. Sheppard wants us dead, and they’d agree. Wouldn’t they?”
Man: “...”

You consider saying something about how Sheppard saw her already. Maybe he’d do your dirty work for you and take care of him then. How far is he willing to go to keep Enid safe?

Honestly though, you wouldn’t bet on him if he were to pick a fight with Sheppard. Weapons aside, he’s just too scrawny. And that’s still a big “if” in the first place.

Instead, another line enters your head. Memories of yesterday’s investigation spring up, slotting perfectly into place.

Frederick Anderson’s death has publicly been ruled an accident.

Clive: “Betrayal... What could he have done?”
Albert: “It could have something to do with Enid never attending school. She was outside of the system, which means she never would have graduated if things stayed that way.”

Franklin: “She thought it was weird that they said his death was publicly ruled an accident, because that makes it sound like it was privately something else. Like... On purpose?”
Albert: “It could have been Intentional.


They were just theories, but… With the way he seems focused on Enid, they might just get to him if you’re right.

Clive: “He’d definitely kill you. That’s the punishment for traitors here, isn’t it?”
Man: “W-What do you–”
Clive: “Enid’s father was killed because he was homeschooling Enid, wasn’t he?

He flinches, his flashlight clattering to the ground.

Got him.

Enid: “...I knew it.”

Did she? You hadn’t really talked about it with her.

Man: “How… Who told you? Why do you know so much?”

His voice is weak. He makes no moves to pick up his flashlight, or try to take Enid away again. Whatever threat he posed before, it looks like you were able to shut him down for the moment.

You take a breath, as your body calms down. Your mind begins processing things that it hadn’t been ‘til now.

First point: That scuffle you just had probably caused a lot of Noise. That’s a problem, as Sheppard is still out there somewhere. Best case scenario, he was far enough away that he didn’t hear anything. With all the shouting and complete failure to keep your voices down though, you think he’d hear at least something if he stopped to listen for even a second during all that. Still, if he was far, he may not know your exact location at least. You’ll have to keep an ear out for him.

The safest move for avoiding the farmer would be to leave now, but you aren’t sure how this guy will react if you try. It would be best to resolve things with him first if you can, while keeping an ear open for sounds of approach. You aren’t worried about him saying anything to Sheppard, but as things stand you don’t want him to leave the plant knowing that you know things.

More importantly: This is a rare opportunity to get answers from someone who knows what’s going on. You’ll need to be delicate though. If you come on too strong, he may get antsy about betraying the other adults, and clam up. Focusing on Enid should definitely keep him talking.

…Ugh. Talking…

What should Clive say? Suggest questions he can ask, or ways he can ensure the toy shop owner won’t snitch on the non-Enid members of your group

Clive will NOT ask every question suggested, only the one or two that receive the most support

>>
No. 1090256 ID: fc100b

Why are you risking your life for us?
>>
No. 1090257 ID: eb0a9c

"What happened to the world? Why are our sacrifices so important to it? We're just pathetic, spoiled, angry little brats! Why are we suddenly existential supervillains to you?! Well?!"
>>
No. 1090262 ID: feecf0

>>1090255
Why was Alberts father also targeted?
>>
No. 1090268 ID: 382635

I think Clive should gesture for Albert to say something, and to go watch the stairs or listen to the stairs, preferably with a flashlight to go calm his nerves, leave the actual questions to someone else since he's kind of going a little too hard and also *scared af that they were heard*
>>
No. 1090269 ID: 6f5b5c

I doubt he'd be willing to tell us what's here, or in the other places we were planning on searching- that and so many other things, might be *interesting* to see how he reacts to hearing, but I doubt it would give us much to work with.

So instead, I think I'll go for the social engineering angle again- but I don't know if the way I'd go about it meshes well with Clive right now, but... it's worth putting the idea there.

"The one thing we-"
"...that you all can agree on is that we should keep Enid safe. But taking her away from here like you were going to doesn't solve the core problem. We need answers. Answers that Adults can't, or won't give us. Why do you think we came here? Did you think this is the only place we'd search?"

(Bitterly;) "...Why does graduation have to be this way?"


>>1090268
This also potentially makes for a good, pre-readied "after" action.

I'd like to say that I have a fair deal of faith in him. He already knows the situation he's in- far better than any of us do. And yet he still came to try and... rescue? Enid- he even showed some visible hesitation in knocking Clive out.


I think it should be put to a vote whether we tell him that Sheppard's already seen and identified Enid- because ultimately, "If you're here to help Enid, we have to do something about Sheppard."
>>
No. 1090277 ID: c5529d

It's okay, you're doing good, Clive. Before you continue, grab your plush toy close, and tight. it'll keep you comforted as you talk to him... It might even win you some brownie points with the toy guy too to see you using one of his toys.

I too also agree that he won't tell us about anything direct like graduation or Albert's father, and it might make him too nervous to answer us and try to leave with Enid again.

As it was said, talking about things related to Enid will keep him from becoming too antsy, so she and her father should be the focus, because he was a real good friend of her father, enough to rescue her instead of ratting her out. One of the best ways to keep him from ratting us out, and maybe be a little more willing to help us a little is to talk about things that relate to both Clive and Snyder.

Remember earlier from the first post:

>It was a miracle that you continued to live here, a kindness you hadn’t expected but deeply appreciated from Mr. Anderson. By all accounts, you should be mourning the death of a good man, but you’re too self-centered for that.

It's probably about time to start mourning him now. both Snyder and Clive was also never bothered by Fred to pay his dues, but if there's something the two can relate to, he might be more sympathetic to us. And while Clive doesn't know about how Snyder being in the same poverty situation as Clive, Snyder at least hearing about how his friend Fred was protecting Clive to would make him more openhearted to us.

first, ask Snyder this: "Fred is against the whole system on how this town is run, like graduation, and not just on Enid, isn't he?"

If Mr. Anderson is totally against graduation not just for Enid, but everyone, it might remind Snyder what Anderson truly stands for and make him more willing to take a stand against the system, for Anderson's sake.

after that, you should follow that by telling him how Anderson helped your family a great deal when bills couldn't be paid anymore, and after he died, you want to pay Mr. Anderson back anyway you could for letting you and your brother stay in your home despite the family not being able to pay bills, by trying to protect Enid from the risk of graduation like her father wanted, even if it means finding the truth.

>I think it should be put to a vote whether we tell him that Sheppard's already seen and identified Enid- because ultimately, "If you're here to help Enid, we have to do something about Sheppard."

I think that is something we will have to do, once we win Snyder's trust. As things stand, even if we manage to keep him from ratting Clive, Albert, and Roger out, he still might leave with Enid, which is still considered a failure. And it will be very bad for him and Enid down the line if he is protecting Enid and the town tries to graduate her later once word gets out. Just remind him what Fredrick stood for.
>>
No. 1090284 ID: b3eab7

We must all move. Together, and now. Owner included. Find a quieter area before resuming the chat.
>>
No. 1090304 ID: 258134

>>1090262
This sounds like a very good question, and I also want to add the obvious "What happened here? What killed everyone?"

We should indeed tell everyone we've probably alerted Shepard and we should talk elsewhere, but I'm not sure whether before or after asking those questions.
>>
No. 1091276 ID: c6ae21
File 171609692864.png - (855.68KB , 1000x1000 , 391.png )
1091276

You’re still thinking on what to say, when Enid speaks up first.

Enid: “Daddy didn’t die in an accident, did he?”
Man: “I wasn’t there when–”
Enid: “But you know who did it, don’t you?”
Man: “...No. I– The dirty work could have been done by anyone.”
Roger: “But why did it happen now?”
Man: “Huh?”
Roger: “Enid’s been homeschooled all her life, right? Did they really only just find out it was happening?”
Albert: “He’s right. That rumor has been circulating for years now. What level of constant inebriation are the adults functioning at that they could miss such a thing?”

They had a point. Even you’d heard a word or two about the homeschooled kid living in the Anderson house from Rodney. You’re sure he wanted to befriend her, but the opportunity just never showed itself.

He might have forced it, but you told him to stay away from the Andersons. Too much possibility he’d ask questions about your parents, given the reduced rent payments.

Roger: “It’s not that crazy. My parents don’t listen to me, and I feel like that’s pretty common. Even if they did, they may not have believed us.”
Man: “...I always tell them their kids are smarter than they think, but they don’t listen.”
Albert: “Don’t ignore the question. What changed? Who leaked the truth, and why did the adults finally listen?”

The man swallows, stammering softly over unintelligible words.

Enid: “Well?”
Man: “There was– I– it was the girl. She just– I don’t know why– why now?”
Man: “I’m sure she knew, but then– and me, th-they came and asked, a-and–”
Albert: “Would you cease this blathering and speak clearly!?”

He actually takes a step back at the outburst, as if Albert was any actual threat to him.

Man: “I-It was the school Principal’s daughter. I don’t know why, but she told them.”
Albert: “Temmie?
Enid: “Who… Wait, that was Franklin’s friend, right?”
Man: “She isn’t supposed to have friends…”

Albert looks at you, the same thought clearly going through his head. You talked about this yesterday.

Albert: “Temmie might be a Snitch.

Clive: “...You don’t think that she might be telling the adults-”
Albert: “Don’t jump to the worst conclusion just yet. It’s questionable what information she’s choosing to share.”

Albert: “All she would have to do is deny that any child they ask about is aware of anything. Perhaps she could reveal one or two who are likely to get caught on their own, just to keep the illusion up that she’s actually working with them.”


Temmie had been feeding the adults information, that much is undeniable. If you’re right about her playing double agent though, then outing Frederick Anderson fits that theory well. That secret was never going to last, not when every kid in town had already heard the rumors. She may have sped things up, but it’s unlikely she caused anything that wasn’t already going to happen.

…Not only that, but it set things up for Enid to start attending school at the same time that kids were starting to get suspicious. On her first day, she immediately got dragged into investigating kids she hadn’t even heard about.

How much of what played out was Temmie actually intending? If it were anyone else, you wouldn’t think to ask, but Temmie…

Rodney: “I don’t think she’s just playing around.”
Clive: “Why not?”
Rodney: “Can’t you tell? When she’s acting and having fun, her energy is a lot more playful.”
Rodney: “But then, when she starts giving predictions, everything about her shifts. It’s like… when you’re eating pudding, but then you feel a weird crunch.”
Rodney: “Plus, she’s always acting like she’s innocent and doesn’t know things. She wouldn’t have to do that unless it wasn’t true.”
Clive: “Doesn’t she say her powers are real?”
Rodney: “Yeah, but it’s the -way- she says it, you know? You’re not supposed to believe it.”
Clive: “...Do you think she can predict the future then?”
Rodney: “Hmm… It’s definitely something, but probably not that.”


…You don’t know what she’s capable of.

Roger: “...And?”
Man: “A-And what?”
Roger: “That’s not the whole story. You wouldn’t have been so nervous if it was. Temmie’s not your daughter, you had nothing to do with her revealing that.”
Roger: “Actually, would you even have known they got it from Temmie if you weren’t involved?”
Man: “I-I…”
Enid: “...Giovanni. What did you do?”

You weren’t the best at reading emotions, due to rarely ever wanting to look people in the eyes. Still, even you could tell what he was feeling.

Guilt.

Giovanni: “...They asked me if it was true.”
Giovanni: “They were going to find out, so it wouldn’t have changed anything. They were just checking if I was still loyal, or if I needed to go too.”
Enid: “You… told them the truth?”
Giovanni: “...”
Enid: “Daddy trusted you.”
Giovanni: “...It’s not my fault.”

The room goes silent, left to sit with his pitiful defense.

…The worst thing is, you don’t know that you’d do any better if you were in his shoes.
>>
No. 1091277 ID: c6ae21
File 171609695399.png - (347.08KB , 1000x1000 , 392.png )
1091277

The extended pause gives you a chance to speak up yourself. It felt a bit awkward, having to follow up that, but a question did finally come to mind.

Clive: “...Albert’s father, he used to work here, right?”

Albert’s head whips back to stare at you. You intentionally look away.

Clive: “Is that why he was attacked?”
Giovanni: “...Probably. I don’t think… Someone was probably just fed up.”
Albert: “Who?”
Giovanni: “I don’t know.”
Roger: “Why him then? What did he do?”
Giovanni: “...He’s Alive.
Albert: “If that were enough to beat him to near-death, I would have finished him off before I even learned to walk.”
Albert: “I know he worked here in some capacity. What vile act did he commit to earn the ire of the town?”
Giovanni: “There isn’t anything else. He lived. That was enough.”

Lived? Past-tense? He’s still alive, sure, but that might mean something. Maybe…

Clive: “...Is it because he survived whatever happened here?

That provokes him. He stomps the ground, letting out a small growl.

Giovanni: “Yes! There weren’t supposed to be survivors. All of them… They all deserved to die. Every last person involved with this awful place.”
Giovanni: “It was supposed to put our town on the map, but they killed us! They sold away our futures for profit, and guaranteed the death of Cattenom.”
Roger: “B-But… we’re still here?”
Giovanni: “For now.

He sighs, collecting himself slightly. You hadn’t expected that topic to set him off, but it apparently goes deeper than you believed.

Giovanni: “...They made sure there was no future for anyone here, so they don’t get to live in our present anymore.”
Giovanni: “That’s all we have, Now. Enjoy it for however long it lasts…”

The way he said that just now… There’s something there, but you don’t have what you need to understand it.

Giovanni: “I’ve said too many things already. No more questions.”
Enid: “Then what? Are you going to try to take me away again? Leave everyone else to die?”
Giovanni: “I promised Fred I’d look out for you. It’s all I can do for him now…”
Roger: “So, you really don’t care what happens to the rest of us?”
Giovanni: “...You weren’t a bad kid Roger, but you should have known better than to come here.”
Giovanni: “I don’t care what happens to Neddy’s kid or Clive.”
Enid: “I care. Shouldn’t that be enough?”
Giovanni: “You’ve only known them for two days, and they’ve already put you in serious danger!”


You don’t like the direction this is going. You managed to get some answers out of Giovanni, but he’s recovering from his shock. If he decides he doesn’t want to play along, you don’t know that you’ll be able to keep him from taking Enid and leaving. You can try, but even four on one (well, three and Albert against one), there’s no way of knowing what’d happen.

What you are sure of, is that it’d make even more noise. It’s a blessing that you haven’t been discovered by Sheppard already, but you don’t know how long your luck will last.

What should you do?

A: Convince him to keep his mouth shut
-Present an argument to Giovanni that you can be sure will silence him
-You could also push one of the other kids into convincing him. If you do, no arguments provided by suggestors will be taken into account
-Enid and Roger probably have the best chance

B: Listen for danger
-Have everyone hush up, to take a moment to listen for trouble
-Reminding Giovanni that Sheppard could be around might shake his resolve
-If ‘Bec is on her way, she’ll lose the element of surprise against Giovanni

C: Convince the group to move
-You can keep discussing things, just do it somewhere else
-Refer to previous map for directions you can travel
-Giovanni could try to use the move to make a getaway with Enid

D: The knife should still be around here somewhere…
-4 on 1 aren’t unwinnable odds. If you try and jump him, you’re certain everyone will join in
-This will make a lot of noise, and it may take more than one update
-If you roll badly enough, you will end up expending your Safety Net

E: Other
-Do something else
-If you label your suggestion as this when it’s really a previous letter with slight alterations, Clive will get a paper cut

>>
No. 1091278 ID: c5529d

A

I will just reuse what I said here as an argument in my previous suggestion: >>1090277

we also have to let him know about Sheppard spotting Enid if we manage to convince him to be on our side too.
>>
No. 1091280 ID: c5529d

to add, remember that Snyder feels guilt for revealing what Temmie said was the truth and got Enid in that situation. There's still a chance he can atone for that by helping us so that Enid doesn't have to be kept in that situation she is now in. Simply pretending she never went here at the power plant and letting her continue taking the paths and roles that the adults wants is actually everything against what Fred wants for Enid, Not simply pretending she never went and continuing letting this happen to Enid. If Snyder was Fred's friend, he should try do everything he can to have courage to fight against it for Enid's sake as doing what the other adults want is not good for Enid.

And as someone that Fred helped immensely, you too want to do what you can for Enid and can help Snyder do that.
>>
No. 1091281 ID: 3e5b92

A. Tell him to leave now, while Shepardhasn't seen him.
Taking Enid away now would just force her right into the other adults' hands and he won't be abl to keep her safe anymore. He can help her when it matters if no one knows he came here.
>>
No. 1091291 ID: f7dc70

A. In addition to the other suggestions, point out that we are literally Catternom’s future. We’re worth protecting!
>>
No. 1092368 ID: 471d74

It's almost definitely too late to ask questions, but... this is probably the last safe moment before it gets thrown out the window entirely.

"...What year is it?"

>>1091291
I don't think this exact line of thought will work, since he's already claimed there is no future. Maybe a bit literal of a way to put it, but with what little we have to work with, I think it would be wiser to throw it back at him in the context of Enid. The way I see it, "You threw away her future like they threw away yours. They don't have a chance to pay you back, but you do. What's it going to be, Giovanni?"


...I can feel that we're getting closer to finally understanding the meaning behind the word Perpetuity, and what it has to do with Cattenom.
It almost certainly has something to do with the Recycling Center and its "Waste-Free-Energy".
Where does that energy come from?
...Or so I say, but Temmie's noncommittal response about the recycling center makes it seem... not so important. At least, in the "grand scheme of things" she has planned out, us checking in the High School is a necessary act in comparison, which apparently requires as many of the kids as possible available, with a minimum of 6.
>>
No. 1092731 ID: c6ae21

rolled 1 = 1

Okay, so here's the situation: Y'all did NOT get your stories straight. Everyone presented a different argument, with no crossover or support between them. The only unanimous point was that nobody suggested to let Enid or Roger handle convincing Sheppard, everyone wanted Clive to do so.

I am going to be generous, and factor in every argument given. With that in mind, I'm going to roll a d8. I'm breaking each of the 4 arguments provided down into 2 points. Ineffective arguments are two failures, partially effective are 1 success and 1 failure, wholly effective ones are 2 points of success.

Your overall score was 2 success points, 5 failure points, and 1 CRITICAL failure point.

On an 8 or 7, Clive will say something persuasive. On a 2-6, Clive will make as many points as he can, and they will be utterly ineffective. On a 1, Clive will stumble into the wrongest possible thing to say, and I will have to roll another die to determine if you'll be losing a Safety Net or not.

Let's see what the dice have to say...
>>
No. 1092733 ID: c6ae21

rolled 1, 2 = 3

Yikes. That could have gone a lot better...

Alright, we are now going to roll to determine if you're going to need a Safety Net here or not. The determining factor is if one of two characters, Clive or somebody else, decide to intervene.

If the other person intervenes naturally, this situation will resolve with no major consequences beyond making more noise. If the first die rolled is a 3, this person will act.

There is a decent chance that Clive can silence his anxieties, and respond to the developing situation quickly. This would not be good for Clive's Fear AT ALL, but it would save Enid. If the second die lands on a 2 or 3, Clive will silence his emotions. This will not happen if the first die lands on a 3.

If neither of these happen, your Safety Net will be used to retcon the first die as landing on a 3.

Good luck...
>>
No. 1092734 ID: c6ae21

Clive will resolve the situation himself, at the cost of a significant Fear penalty.

Your Safety Net remains.
>>
No. 1092735 ID: 2ae7a5

You can do it, Clive


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