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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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No. 1044130 ID: 22eda9
File 166355752827.png - (149.62KB , 749x800 , Roger POV.png )
1044130

Roger's POV...
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No. 1044288 ID: f34855

I'm going with B of Bonding.
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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!
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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.


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