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913306 No. 913306 ID: 470289

Wiki and previous threads: https://questden.org/wiki/The_Rogue

“Wait up! You’re going too fast! Max!”

“Mac!”

“Whatever we call you, stop walking so fast. Socrates is tired.”

“Sock!”

Socrates.
518 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 989815 ID: b1b4f3

>>989811
You don't think you can shoot a person? That's fine. Bite his arm.
>>
No. 989816 ID: 12b116

go for it. He probably likes getting shot
>>
No. 989819 ID: bc24cb

Hastily explain you didn't know their relationship was like that and escape?
>>
No. 989821 ID: a979d8

Shoot Luvi.

It's the only way to be free of this madness.
>>
No. 989822 ID: 6df3ac

Break out your guitar real quick and play something so profound and touching that he breaks down in emotion, thus defusing the situation.
Alternatively, disregard the gun, grab whatever cutlery you were eating with and stab him with it. Wildcard, bitch!
>>
No. 989823 ID: a979d8

Actually I changed my mind just shoot him straight in the eye.

Then shoot him in the other eye.

Just shoot him. The world will not mourn his passing. Shoot him until he stops moving. Shoot him. SHOOT HIM
>>
No. 989824 ID: a979d8

TEAR THE FLESH BURN THE FLESH
>>
No. 989825 ID: 5a7e7b

Yell "Hands off my girlfriend!!"
>>
No. 989826 ID: 3a3ec3

Biting his arm seems viable to me.
>>
No. 989827 ID: cdabe3

Shoot him in the goddamn dick
>>
No. 989828 ID: e2f5cc

>>989811
Run away like the little bitch you are. Besides, I really doubt Rocker would just let Mac walk up and bite him.
>>
No. 989829 ID: 651ae0

Take the gun. Worst comes to worst, you now have a gun. Even if it's a fake gun, but tbh this guy doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would have FAKE guns around.

Just take it and shoot him in an innocuous part of his body. And if you chicken out, shoot yourself in the tip of your ear or bite your hand or something. Something that'll bleed but heal quick.
>>
No. 989840 ID: 094652

Shoot the ceiling until it turns into an environmental hazard.
>>
No. 989858 ID: fbba32

Don't think of it as shooting an actual person, think of it as using him as a voluntary canvas for an art piece expressing what if feels like to be a Rogue. The fears. The frustrations. The hole ripped through your being. Your degree to which you are done with people's bullshit.
>>
No. 989876 ID: fd5772

Think of the option least likely to make you a criminal, and do that one. You're a rogue who doesn't need this kind of trouble. You should really go now. Rocker seems like he's about to get another trophy.
>>
No. 989887 ID: ecd116

>>989840
>>989813
>>989814

i agree with this myself, try to draw blood on a easy to bleed and heal and also non vital part of yourself . it unarm not quick enough in 10 seconds quickly use the gun in the last few. and it rocker don't like it . you are doing the exact words of '' Someone in this room is gonna bleed '' rocker did not say who, with what weapon and how much blood . you could also take the gun and make rocker think you will shoot them in the arm that hold luvi to make them let go but you make yourself bleed when they least expected it to throw off their empathy. it probably a sink or swin kind of test to see if you are willing to risk your life to save someone or leave them to save yourself or at least to follow commands no matter what or how vauge they may be.
>>
No. 989898 ID: 14f4b7

“Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?”

He’s just busting your balls, testing your guts. No one is gonna die, someone is going to get hurt. You leave, it’s gonna be Luvi. This is some weird tribal bullshit, like a charging gorilla, all he’s looking for is whether you’re gonna stand your ground or not. I say you do. Don’t think, don’t look first, just blank your mind and grab the gun. Then immediately get out of the chair and make distance between you and him. Rack the slide of the gun, and look inside of it as you do to make sure a round is chambered. Let anger be the only thing you feel, let pure hate and a desire to save Luvi be the only thing that makes you move. Read the situation: if he wants some kind of tribute, looking for you to prove yourself, then put the gun up against the place where your ear connects to the skull. Pull the trigger. Don’t think, just do it. Then throw the severed ear towards him. Otherwise, if he starts to get up from the table or puts more pressure on Luvi, put four rounds into his gut, then two into his skull. He’s tough, it won’t kill him.
>>
No. 989915 ID: 9a2966

Grab your utensils and jab at the arm holding Luvi.

A) They're not lethal weapons, so he might not respond with lethal force.

B) He might let go of her, and Luvi being able to talk again might unfuckle this situation somehow.

C) OH GOD OF FUCK DID I JUST DO THAT
>>
No. 989935 ID: a0dfd2

>>989811

Normally I'd say that it's pretty weird to just keep a gun sitting in your laundry on the table, but like ...

... this whole place is pretty weird.

>Someone in this room is gonna bleed

Luvi kind of already is ...?
>>
No. 989960 ID: 2e15a9

Think of it as a chance for personal growth, except you're growing into a person you never wanted to turn into. Then again, who does? Take up arms, the chance you'll kill him is like 0 so it's fine.
>>
No. 990085 ID: 15a025

Someone's gotta bleed huh? Bite yourself hard enough to draw blood.
>>
No. 990257 ID: ce39da

Take the gun. You're Cool Mac, like some of the badasses you played on stage. Rocker doesn't seem like the type to even dodge. Even if you're scared, you have to do this if you want him to stop. Just you and him.

And just like that, the trigger is pulled.

"You said it yourself; someone was going to bleed. I just decided it would be you."

Badass.

You have your movie script.

Now; Action.
>>
No. 990400 ID: f5b552

>>989811
Know what, just snap.

Have a mental breakdown.

I am talking grabbing your head, wide eyed, tears streaming down your face (but not actually crying), with a sick grin on your face, and just screaming to whomever is within earshot about how the world is just so absolutely fucked.

It sounds bad, but once you are through it, you end up feeling an amazing sense of catharsis and honestly, you seem like you need some of that.
>>
No. 990658 ID: 5d9e31

>>989811
Punch him.

Take every ounce of frustration, anger, and loss you've built up and pour it into him until... honestly until he kicks your ass, *but that's not the point*

Yer gonna fight, you're gonna do it on *your* terms. Screw the gun and screw this psychotic asshole.
>>
No. 994474 ID: 2748b3

Just- don't rise to it. There's only so much crazy stuff happening that you can take, and this test is pointless. What does he think he's proving, that he's big and tough enough to force people into doing something stupid?

If he really insists you do something, just tear off an ear and throw it at his face. They grow back, and that means no one has to dig bullets out of anyone.
>>
No. 996376 ID: 470289
File 161853732151.png - (154.57KB , 800x800 , 297.png )
996376

I go for it. Luvi gasps and starts hacking out coughs.

[Joy!]
>>
No. 996377 ID: 470289
File 161853734162.png - (181.44KB , 1000x800 , 298.png )
996377

>You're Cool Mac, like some of the badasses you played on stage. Rocker doesn't seem like the type to even dodge. Even if you're scared, you have to do this if you want him to stop. Just you and him.

“H-hands off!”

He shoves her out of the way. Then he stands there. Counting off the seconds. One by one.

>And just like that, the trigger is pulled.
>>
No. 996379 ID: 470289
File 161853736340.png - (143.67KB , 800x800 , 299.png )
996379

>And just like that, the trigger is pulled.
>>
No. 996380 ID: 470289
File 161853738611.png - (146.62KB , 800x800 , 300.png )
996380

[Contempt.]
>>
No. 996381 ID: 470289
File 161853743494.png - (160.29KB , 800x800 , 301.png )
996381

“Was your whole hive full of pansies like you?”
>>
No. 996382 ID: 470289
File 161853744941.png - (163.92KB , 800x800 , 302.png )
996382

>>
No. 996383 ID: 470289
File 161853748827.png - (129.72KB , 800x800 , 303.png )
996383

My entire world is between my jaws. But distantly there’s this… weight?
>>
No. 996384 ID: 470289
File 161853752266.png - (222.26KB , 800x800 , 304.png )
996384

Then I’m on the table, half my body thinks a truck hit it, and my head pounds like it was in a vice. I don’t know what happened. I was pointing a gun and then I was laying on broken shards of plate and forks jabbing me in the side.

“How many fingers you need to play that guitar, bitch?” [Where’s knife?]
>>
No. 996385 ID: 470289
File 161853754421.png - (173.23KB , 800x800 , 305.png )
996385

“Ro-Rocker! Stop! Luvi rasps from behind. [That’s an order!]
>>
No. 996386 ID: 470289
File 161853755983.png - (128.37KB , 1000x1000 , 306.png )
996386

>>
No. 996387 ID: 470289
File 161853757984.png - (129.82KB , 1000x1000 , 307.png )
996387

“Well shit, why didn’t you say so sooner, Cap?”
>>
No. 996388 ID: 465a14

You didn't even manage to fire a gun at a dude threatening to maim you and your buddies. Just go home, you're better suited for handing out flyers or finding a normal life unrelated to political movements.
>>
No. 996389 ID: b1b4f3

Ask what you did before you got bodyslammed. Missing time is a big deal.
>>
No. 996390 ID: 77cba3

"You are both assholes."
>>
No. 996391 ID: c684e0

That was good Mac, really good. You moved fast, you didn’t hesitate. And you did it to help a friend. You should be proud of yourself. Obviously Luvi has more control over the situation than it originally appeared. An explanation would be nice.
>>
No. 996392 ID: e2f5cc

>>996388
supporting
>>
No. 996399 ID: 6c85e8

What the fuck, Luvi? You could have made him stop at any time and decided to wait until this?

Glad there's ANY kind of social support for rogues, but no wonder so many of them just go off the map. How many did because of getting "help" like this.
>>
No. 996416 ID: c48caa

As if there wasn't enough mystery behind your social worker. Don't even think about that right now. You have your breath to catch.
>>
No. 996419 ID: cdabe3

>>996390
This
>>
No. 996420 ID: 094652

"Luvi, how many times does that work before he goes postal? Also, if you're his former commanding officer, why is he not wearing a shock collar right now?!"
>>
No. 996467 ID: d7a788

Act like a miserable sack of potatoes while you try to piece together what just happened.

>>996387
>>996399
“Y... you - ow - had her by the throat.

>contempt
He -was- just testing you. Testing to see if you’d shoot him to save Luvi? If you had the guts to shoot at all?

Why? I’m just...”

A rogue.

“... an artist. Not some scary badass. Why - ow - the fuck expect me to handle a gun and a crisis?”
>>
No. 996525 ID: ce39da

>>996391
She didn't pull the trigger, though.

"Wait... what happened after I pointed the gun at you?"

... Does Rocker still have both his thumbs?

"Is it... normal for rogues to blank out and lose time?"

You may have just gotten one giant messed-up hint for why you went rogue.
>>
No. 996649 ID: be9cac

>>996388
Also supporting this. Still think Mac should break down in wailing tears as well. She really needs some catharsis badly.
>>
No. 996707 ID: 53560f

>>996387
“She’s been mentally screaming it at you the whole time! You know what? I’m out, I came to remind Luvi about the town hall and to make sure she was okay and I’ve done that. I don’t actually need to be here anymore. Luvi please show me the way out now.”
Try not to think about how this ranks on the worst days of your life.
>>
No. 996840 ID: 4c882c

>>996707
Fuck no, telepathically channel that at both of them.
Rocker for just making bad worse just because he can, and luvi for not keeping him on a shorter leash since she apparently can.
Just because everything is shit isn't a good excuse to be purposely shit to other people without a good reason to target them specifically.
>>
No. 997635 ID: 15a025

Luvi, job my memory here. What just happened?
>>
No. 1006456 ID: 8fae7e
File 162739846943.png - (147.51KB , 800x800 , 308.png )
1006456

>Try not to think about how this ranks on the worst days of your life.
It’s second.

>Ask what you did before you got bodyslammed. Missing time is a big deal.
My tunnel vision is receding. I have a pretty good guess of what he did, which is pick me up over his head and throw me down like a sandbag on all these plates and forks. Except I fucking bit him. How…

>... Does Rocker still have both his thumbs?
There’s a chunk of flesh in my mouth. Not a thumb’s worth but… a lot. I spit it out. He didn’t even try to avoid losing it, he just ripped his thumb out. And I’m too angry to be disgusted I had the meat of a person whose name I know in my mouth.

>You may have just gotten one giant messed-up hint for why you went rogue.
I don’t need any hints.

>You didn't even manage to fire a gun at a dude threatening to maim you and your buddies. Just go home, you're better suited for handing out flyers
I don’t have a home! I don’t even think I have any ‘buddies’ right now. But I’ve never shot anyone before. It wasn’t until he insulted my hive…

“A-assholes.” Rocker picks his cigar up and puts it in his mouth. “Why did you hurt Luvi?” [To test me? For what?] “She was telling you to stop.”

“You’re a pussy. Now I know what you’re made of. And you know what I’m made of. Makes our relationship a lot simpler.”

“But mostly?” He puffs out a mouthful of smoke. “I did it because I felt like it. And you couldn’t stop me if you wanted to.”
>>
No. 1006458 ID: 8fae7e
File 162739853833.png - (164.35KB , 1000x800 , 309.png )
1006458

Rocker leaves without even looking at Luvi, dripping blood down his arm. She comes to help me off the table as soon as her coughing subsides but my empathy stops her halfway.

“You could have made him stop at any time and decided to wait until this?” [Look at us!]

“I’m sorry,” She croaks. What did Rocker do to her throat while I was turned around? “He made sure I couldn’t talk so I wouldn’t stop him. But, honestly, I try not to give him direct orders.”

“Why not!”

“Well, because…” She coughs into her hand. [Embarrassed.] “I think one day he’s not going to do what I say. And then someone is going to get hurt badly, and maybe die. So, I’m real careful about pushing him too far with captain’s orders.”

“He should be put in a shock collar if he’s so dangerous!” Luvi winces. I’m yelling right in her face. Dumb, because that brute can probably hear me.

“He’s not- I mean, I couldn’t do that to him, even if he let me. Which he wouldn’t.”

“Why the fuck do you put up with him?”
>>
No. 1006460 ID: 8fae7e
File 162739862905.png - (121.18KB , 1200x1200 , 310.png )
1006460

Her empathy is back to normal. It feels just like it did when she met me at the door. Calm and blissfully content. And just a tinge of confusion about my question.

“He’s my best friend. We need each other.”

She means every raspy word.
>>
No. 1006461 ID: 465a14

Hmm. I don't think you have the time for a long and nuanced conversation about healthy relationships and emotional abuse, so: fuck no.
>>
No. 1006462 ID: 2748b3

Well, if I'm honest that's the most fucked up friendship I've ever seen. It feels like Luvi is incapable of seeing the bad in people and Rocker is taking advantage of that.

Ugh. You came here for a reason, and dwelling on that asshole is probably just going to get you mad again. It might be best to just tell her Kark was asking after her and then- I don't know, something far away from Rocker.
>>
No. 1006464 ID: 51ea55

Rocker sure has indelibly simplified the relationship. He's a fuck and you want absolutely nothing to do with him, case closed. It sounds like luvi's primary crime here is just being abused, so yeah shitty of her but at least it's the passive shittiness of things having gotten bad and out of your control and she sounds like she's not in a good position to know what to do with this shit either.
>>
No. 1006468 ID: c48caa

Ask her to get you out of here.
>>
No. 1006472 ID: dfbac0

She's... layered.
In all honesty, Luvi seems like more of a problem than Rocker, at least you know when he's gonna kill you.
At first I was confused why people who know here never want to be around her, you can eventually tune out an annoying hum, and given enough time you'd be fine with some odd empathy, but this is too much. She's borderline insane.
We need to find a way to move out ASAP.
>>
No. 1006478 ID: e2f5cc

Luvi you're a fucking sociopath. You recognize that people both can and are being hurt by your refusal to call the proper authorities on rocker because of your own selfishness since you 'need him'. Mac, leave this shithole and call the swat team on these dangerously mentally unstable psychopaths immediately, and remember that Luvi is clearly insane so unless she does something completely stupid she can just plead that in court. If you really want to do something with your life you can use this case to drum up support for better mental help for rogues.
>>
No. 1006479 ID: 9a2966

Luvi and Rocker are troubled individuals. This is nothing new for Rogues.

I don't think the best move is to take out your aggression on either of them. Especially to someone who has, after all, been as kind to us - for whatever reason - as Luvi. She does try to do good - that she didn't right here, right now, with her strange and violent long-time friend, doesn't change she's done your some real solids of late.

There's definitely a story here in Rocker and Luvi's relationship. Seems like they've been through some shit together, actually.

Mind that you're in no way obliged to dig into it or 'fix' anyone - or even put up with it in the long run - you should certainly consider abiding by their weirdness until such a time you can get your feet under you again and repay your little debt to Luvi. Remember, you could've backed out earlier. And ultimately nothing truly bad happened - you're all Neumono, you can take some damage without it becoming too serious.
>>
No. 1006488 ID: c65507

You're setting yourself on fire so others can be warm, Luvi. Kark asked me to get you for a town hall meeting but frankly right now I do not give a bright red fuck about getting involved in anybody else's problems anymore today, and I'm leaving with or without you.
>>
No. 1006504 ID: 6519cb

>>1006479
This.
Hey, you could ask how far back they go, and if it was always this "tense".
>>
No. 1006897 ID: 15a025

I think we need to just be blunt about why we're down here and that we want out now.
>>
No. 1009484 ID: 646dd6
File 163081810978.png - (246.69KB , 1000x1000 , 311.png )
1009484

>It might be best to just tell her Kark was asking after her and then- I don't know, something far away from Rocker.
I already gave her Kark’s message so all I care about right now is leaving.

Luvi tries to help me up, but I wave her off. I don’t want her to touch me right now.

“I’m leaving. Now.”

“No problemo! I’ll take you out through the top. It goes straight to the streets where your phone’ll work, so you don’t need to risk getting lost underground. It can be a bit hard to navigate before you’re used to it.”
>>
No. 1009486 ID: 646dd6
File 163081827684.png - (272.93KB , 1000x1000 , 312.png )
1009486

>There's definitely a story here in Rocker and Luvi's relationship. Seems like they've been through some shit together, actually.
I can’t say I care much about any shit she may have been through with that asshole.

I grab my guitar from where I left it as Luvi leads me through the bunker. We pass by Rocker on the way out. He’s back to treating me like I’m beneath his notice. He didn’t even bother to bandage his thumb. The only reason I’m not stopping in the bathroom to wash his taste out of my mouth is that I don’t want to spend another second here that I don’t have to.
>>
No. 1009487 ID: 646dd6
File 163081834028.png - (256.77KB , 1000x1000 , 313.png )
1009487

Luvi leads me to a ladder she climbs first. She’s being quiet, despite her empathy telling me how much she wants to babble.

>And ultimately nothing truly bad happened - you're all Neumono, you can take some damage without it becoming too serious.
That’s what a tribal would say. I’m better than that.

We come out in what looks like a regular old basement, which fits perfectly in with the rest of the house she takes me through. Most of it is empty of furniture with peeling paint on the walls and creaky floorboards. No sign anyone lives here.
>>
No. 1009489 ID: 646dd6
File 163081856083.png - (255.77KB , 1000x1000 , 314.png )
1009489

>I don't think the best move is to take out your aggression on either of them. Especially to someone who has, after all, been as kind to us - for whatever reason - as Luvi. She does try to do good - that she didn't right here, right now, with her strange and violent long-time friend, doesn't change she's done you some real solids of late.

I guess I should say something.

“Do you need a ride anywhere? My bike is in the back.”

“You're setting yourself on fire so others can be warm, Luvi.” Is what my brain tells me I should say. It calms things down and maybe can put a salve over this situation. Maybe I can get through to Luvi and explain to her why this whole situation is fucked up, since my empathy has failed so far.

“You're a fucking sociopath, Luvi.” Is what I actually say.

“Yeah, I know.” I think if she was normal, she’d be saying it with a resigned sigh. But she takes the hint and goes back inside without saying anything else.

I don’t need to check my phone to see its well past noon. The town hall is going to be soon, and I still need at least two more people to come to get a ‘favor’ from Kark. Do I even still care about that? If I do, I’ll need to think of someplace to go and find people willing to talk to me about it. Otherwise, the only other place to go is where Kark told me it’s happening.
>>
No. 1009495 ID: 094652

Just go for broke. You're agitated, but you can weather threats from locals in your state.
Just give them the flyers and hold back on the threats.
>>
No. 1009498 ID: 53560f

We can smooth things over with Luvi after we’ve calmed down. For now, let’s make sure we do something to justify this day being as arduous as it is.

Put your public speaking face on and go see if the riot is still happening so we can try to convince them to riot at the town hall instead.
The prospect of creating a bigger, more unified crowd yelling directly at the dickheads responsible for stuff has to entice a couple of them to join.
>>
No. 1009501 ID: 2de4fd

Try to get more people. At this point your "I am done with this shit" empathy might be functionally helpful for this task. You've seen it sort of work before??
>>
No. 1009516 ID: 6df3ac

Just look at her cute widdle face, can you really stay mad at that??
>>
No. 1009574 ID: e2f5cc

Basically just repeating my previous post >>1006478 here. I don't know too much about law but I'm pretty sure they'd have a good case against you if you willingly choose to not inform them about a group of dangerous psychopaths, not to mention the moral issues if they kill innocents because of your inaction.

Even if you think they're all bastards, unless they're complete caricatures there's absolutely no way they'd turn a blind eye to this. Shit even if they are, this sort of op is probably the shit they dream of in the academy. If you're worried about yourself, that's what protective custody is for.
>>
No. 1009753 ID: ce39da

Right; don't suppress the anger, but redirect it into righteous outrage as you hand out fliers.
>>
No. 1010014 ID: c0641b

>>1009489
>>1009574

Might be best to talk to the rogue-integration agency that helped place us with Luvi, and just ask if they're aware that she was, you know, working with a group that basically just tried to murder you (and one another) for fun. And you've probably still got the fur and skin between your teeth to prove it.
>>
No. 1010093 ID: 094652

>>1010014
Send by anonymous message. They must have known, Luvi isn't exactly an obscurity with her overwhelming empathy.

Give the scoop to the alien news networks. This kind of story is dramatic gold, they won't resist broadcasting because they won't get flak from the Neumono government for posting an outlandish sob story about one mentally-ill rogue. But it will raise awareness for those in the know.
>>
No. 1010216 ID: 5a95b8

>>1009489
Lie to people and tell them that there's free stuff at the thing Kark wants people to show up for. He probably doesn't care if they're actually interested, he just wants numbers to make it seem like he has public support.
>>
No. 1010265 ID: 15a025

Save and project your anger for whatever is going on in town hall.
>>
No. 1013188 ID: 2452af
File 163468565645.png - (191.32KB , 1000x1000 , 315.png )
1013188

>Just look at her cute widdle face, can you really stay mad at that??
Yes. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cool down a little bit as I walk.

I use my phone to guide me back to the Office of Rogue Services. If nothing else there will be a big pool of people to talk to and recruit.

Or, well, I thought there would be. There are definitely still people around but the crowd from earlier is gone and the building isn’t locked anymore. I can walk right in and see my potential targets, none of whom I recognize from this morning. I’m… more tired than I should be for how early in the day it still is. I don’t want to waste my time asking everyone in here if they’re open to go to the town hall, so I just empathetically check who seems willing to put up with a few questions. Two people I can see are fine with me talking to them for a minute.

>Lie to people and tell them that there's free stuff at the thing Kark wants people to show up for. He probably doesn't care if they're actually interested, he just wants numbers to make it seem like he has public support.
There might be free food, I guess? Lying to another neumono is dumb though, because they’ll be able to tell. I suppose I could lie to aliens, but the pomi receptionist is the only one I see and Kark wasn’t too enthusiastic about convincing aliens to come anyway. I mean I won’t lie to anyone, but at least he wouldn’t instantly call me out on it.
>>
No. 1013189 ID: 2452af
File 163468579103.png - (227.97KB , 1000x1000 , 316.png )
1013189

I approach three people to talk to before I head to the Town Hall.

-----

Pomi Receptionist
I get in line to wait for the receptionist, and in the few minutes it takes to get to the front I start stewing and getting angry again. But under the anger I feel an undercurrent of frustration that just grows the more that I think about my situation. When I get to the front of the line I’ve put my situation into perspective.

>”Hi, how can I help you?”

>Might be best to talk to the rogue-integration agency that helped place us with Luvi, and just ask if they're aware that she was, you know, working with a group that basically just tried to murder you (and one another) for fun. And you've probably still got the fur and skin between your teeth to prove it.

>I don't know too much about law but I'm pretty sure they'd have a good case against you if you willingly choose to not inform them about a group of dangerous psychopaths, not to mention the moral issues if they kill innocents because of your inaction.
>Call the swat team on these dangerously mentally unstable psychopaths immediately, and remember that Luvi is clearly insane so unless she does something completely stupid she can just plead that in court. If you really want to do something with your life you can use this case to drum up support for better mental help for rogues.

I can tell this lady that their ORS’s former employee put me in a dangerous situation and have them call the police and get Rocker arrested or whatever for assault. But if I do that, I don’t think even Luvi would let me stay in her house after that. Assuming she doesn’t get taken in too. Which means I’m back to square one, with only temporary housing from the ORS available instead of the indefinite housing Luvi’s offered. What if I can’t find a job to support myself in two weeks?

No matter how angry I am is it actually a good idea to get the authorities involved? A part of me wants to. It’s not especially big but it is there. But a big part of can’t help but think of the consequences of doing so, and be scared.

>”Uh, ma’am are you okay?”

I don’t know what to say. Maybe I should just invite her to town hall as an excuse. She can’t tell I came up here thinking about something else. I guess I would need to give her a good enough reason to take her lunch break or whatever to go to it, since she’s working right now.

-----

Bored Neumono
The first neumono I approach is sitting, reading a magazine.

>”You got any cigs, kid?” [Have a craving.]

“No, sorry.”

>“Shame. What do ya want.”

“My name’s Mac. I wanted to invite you to a town hall this afternoon.” She gives an empathetic sigh.

>”Hraim. That sounds boring as hell.”

Which isn’t her saying she won’t come. Hraim’s apathetic, but I get the feeling that’s her general vibe, and not directed particularly towards the town hall or me. She’s also a bit distracted, not with the magazine but with another neumono that’s not in the room who is focused on her too. That neumono seems insistent about something.

Do I try to talk up the town hall as interesting, or some other tactic to get her to say yes to coming?

-----

Pink Neumono
This lady has a pretty friendly vibe and was coming out of the back.

“Hi, did you want something?”

“I wanted to ask if you were free for the next few hours. There’s a town hall starting soon and I’m trying to find some attendees from around town.”

“Sure. I took the day off anyway. I don’t like, live in this district though. Is that okay?”

I don’t know if that’s okay.
>>
No. 1013209 ID: ce39da

> Receptionist
No need to say anything. Thinking back on it, you weren't in any (permanent) danger; yeah, Rocker's a bit unhinged in private, but permanently harming a neumono is notoriously tricky. Yeah, he's dangerous, but not that dangerous unless he gets his hands on explosives for some godforsaken reason.

Just ask him about showing up to the meeting.

> Hraim
Where's this neumono who's insisting on something? Maybe there's an avenue through them that will get someone to show up at the meeting, whether it's Hraim or their buddy.

> Pinky
"I don't know, maybe? I'm just a messenger - I guess you could ask the protest organizer when you get there."
>>
No. 1013211 ID: 53560f

Receptionist: just ask them if they’e willing to show up. I get the feeling Kark was counting on rogues but I don’t see why he’d refuse anyone showing up.

Hraim: if she’s gonna be waiting here a while while her buddy does something then offer to fetch her a pack of smokes if she’s willing to show up to town hall later. Ask preferred brand or whatever it is she wants, otherwise, see what her friend is here for.

Pink Neumono: Third verse same as the first, Kark likely isn’t going to refuse anyone showing up and I don’t recall him specifying. Tell her there’s no reason she wouldn’t be allowed.
>>
No. 1014733 ID: 8fae7e
File 163659672342.png - (201.25KB , 1000x1000 , 317.png )
1014733

-----

Pomi Receptionist
> No need to say anything. Thinking back on it, you weren't in any (permanent) danger. Just ask him about showing up to the meeting.
>Just ask them if they’re willing to show up. I get the feeling Kark was counting on rogues but I don’t see why he’d refuse anyone showing up.
“Hi, I’m looking for people to attend a town hall this afternoon. I wanted to know if you would be able to attend?” I make sure to put an obvious smile on my face. Aliens like cues like that, if I remember correctly.

>“It’s a shame but I can’t. There’s just too much to get done. I hope it’s not turn out goes well though. Citizens talking to their representatives is important for the health of a community. Why, I wish we got a bit more-“ An impatient neumono coughs behind me. “Oh, I’m sorry but if that was all can you let me serve the next person in line.”

After I step away it occurs to me that maybe I could have like, appealed to her civic duty to convince her, since she seemed pretty patriotic in her answer, but the moment to ask has already passed.

-----

Hraim
>Where's this neumono who's insisting on something? Maybe there's an avenue through them that will get someone to show up at the meeting, whether it's Hraim or their buddy.

> if she’s gonna be waiting here a while while her buddy does something then offer to fetch her a pack of smokes if she’s willing to show up to town hall later. Ask preferred brand or whatever it is she wants, otherwise, see what her friend is here for.

“I have some time, I can probably go pick up something for you. Got a brand?”

>“Trying to make feel like I owe you so I’ll go to the dumb meeting.” [Curious]

“Yes.” She barks out a short laugh.

>“Blunt. I like that.”

“Enough to come?”

>“Eh.” She shrugs. “I don’t think it’d be my kind of scene.”

“What about your friend inside.” She frowns.

>“It’s... probably her kind of scene.” [Grudging Admission]

“Well, please mention it to her when she comes out. It’d really help us out to have more participants.”

She gives an exaggerated sigh but I can tell she’ll pass it along to her friend.

-----

Pink Neumono

>Pink Neumono: Third verse same as the first, Kark likely isn’t going to refuse anyone showing up and I don’t recall him specifying. Tell her there’s no reason she wouldn’t be allowed.
"I don't know, maybe? I'm just a messenger - we can ask Kark when get there."

>“Kark?”

“He’s… the organizer, kind of? He’ll know what’s going on at least. But I can’t imagine he’d have a problem with you coming.”

>“Well, if you’re sure, then I’m all for it. Lead the way!”
>>
No. 1014734 ID: 8fae7e
File 163659677573.png - (313.05KB , 1175x1000 , 318.png )
1014734

Vinessca waits outside with me for a minute as Hraim and her friend talk inside. We can tell they come to an understanding before they leave the building and we all start walking together.

“I’ve never been to a town hall before, what are they like? Oh, my name’s Vinessca by the way. You can call me Vin.”

“Uh…” I still don’t have an answer by the time Hraim and her friend Yvnette finish introducing themselves to her.

“Mac, don’t tell me you’ve never been to one either? Why the hell are you out panhandling for one then?” [Amused]

“Well, why are you coming?” I shoot back. “I thought it’s not your scene.”

“I can still change my mind and you’ll lose a body.”

“She’s bluffing. I’m going and Hraim is joined to my hip. And I’m definitely going. There aren’t many community events and I’ve been missing them since we left our hive. I wish ORS spent it’s time organizing those for the town instead of dragging us in for tedious interviews.” [Irritated]

[Curious]

“When you work for a hive there’s all sorts of regulations. Usually they aren’t too annoying, but the interviews are one of the worst ones.”

“It’s an hour of answering banal questions about if you’re mistreated or overworked or discriminated against, phrased in a dozen different ways, after you’ve already waited at least an hour in the lobby. With travel time it can be half a day wasted on bullshit.”

“Isn’t it good that they’re checking on you?”

“I’d rather have half days pay.”

“Your hive doesn’t comp you the time? Oh, no wonder you’re so annoyed.”

“What, are you salaried?” [Disbelief]

“No, I’m just a handyman, but the Foodbowl’s are really generous with me.” [Bashful]

“Huh. You sound pretty lucky.”

Vinessca keeps the conversation going talking about her job and other smalltalk and it occurs to me as we talk that these people are normal. I think they’re the only normal people I’ve met since yesterday. It’s been less than two days but it feels so much longer and I relax a little as we head towards the hall.
>>
No. 1014736 ID: 8fae7e
File 163659695170.png - (233.59KB , 1000x1000 , 319.png )
1014736

Kark beelines towards me as soon as he feels me. He pauses once he’s close and I can feel a flash of confusion come from him for a second, before frustration and anger overtakes it again.

“If I knew you’d find the most annoying cunt on in the city I wouldn’t have asked you to look for people.”

“They all came then?”

“The cultists and the vet? Yeah.” He throws a thumb towards the building. “Everyone’s gathering inside. We’re starting soon. Grab seats if you can, should be some left.”

“You’re Kark? I wanted to ask-“

“Don’t fucking care. Go inside.”

The three of them give us some looks, which Kark ignores and I try to , and they go inside. Vinessca waves as she leaves.

“Where’s Luvi?”
>>
No. 1014739 ID: dfbac0

You let her know about the town hall but you also just fully figured out exactly how wrong in the head she is so she might be late because she's being a living stress ball for a murderous neumono.
>>
No. 1014745 ID: ce39da

"I found her, but I don't think her demented ex-crewmate wanted her to come."
>>
No. 1014788 ID: 2de4fd

Doing her own thing. Can we go now? It's probably pretty clear from your empathy alone that this past interaction was not a great one.
>>
No. 1014791 ID: 53560f

She told me that she hasn’t forgotten and will be around later. She was uncontactable because as it turns out, there’s no reception underground.
>>
No. 1014796 ID: 094652

"She's busy getting her backside plowed by that trigger-happy boyfriend of hers. They're even worse than the cultists."
>>
No. 1015059 ID: 15a025

Underground with no reception. What are the odds we get a good outcome here today Kark?
>>
No. 1020332 ID: 8fae7e
File 164203722724.png - (222.51KB , 1000x1000 , 320.png )
1020332

“She was underground. No reception down there. She said she’ll be coming later.” [Don’t want to talk about it.]

“Fuck. I wanted to brief her before she spoke. Whatever. I underestimated how many people we could bring out anyway. We’ll make do.”

“What are the odds we get a good outcome here, Kark?”

“Going to be honest, the turnout being so high is already a better outcome than I anticipated.” Something almost like embarrassment pokes through his angry empathy. “We’ll see how the Q & A goes. I want you to go up first, since you’re the freshest rogue I got. Tell ‘em about your experiences. Don’t ask any questions. Statements only. Then get off the mic before they answer and let the next person go up.”

He turns and leaves before I can say anything back, yelling to someone else about something.
>>
No. 1020333 ID: 8fae7e
File 164203724607.png - (237.12KB , 1000x1000 , 321.png )
1020333

I go inside to find a seat. People are filtering in and it looks there’s going to be a full house. There are some people currently on the stage talking to each other and glancing at the crowd. The Neumono are surprised. After listening for a few minutes, I gather they’re some of the elected officials, and pomi is the mayor of Jirak. And Jirak is, uh, here. I thought this roguetown was called Shattersteel, but it’s apparently just slang that caught on after the Shattersteel hive took over the police force. Speaking of, I don’t need to listen to any of the chatter to see that the Shattersteel queen is the big neumono on stage. She exudes authority.
>>
No. 1020334 ID: 8fae7e
File 164203726924.png - (228.28KB , 1000x1000 , 322.png )
1020334

Once everyone who wants to has found a seat and things have quieted down a bit the mayor taps the mic to get everyone’s attention.

>“We have such a… surprising number of participants today. Which is great!”

She drones on for a while about things her administration has done for Jirak and thanks the other people on the stage for their help. I can barely keep myself paying attention. Her voice is practically calculated to bore me.

>“Well, now that we’ve broken the ice a bit, it’s time for the Q&A portion of the day. Everyone who wants to will have a chance to come up to the microphone and ask questions of the Jirak leaders and help us help you.”

Kark told me to go up first and I think he spread it around because there’s a sense that the other neumono are waiting for me to get in line first. But I didn’t actually agree to it! What would I even say?
>>
No. 1020335 ID: 62b53b

Tell people that the breaking point was your hive not liking your play then you got kicked out and told to fuck off by the government.
>>
No. 1020336 ID: 96c896

We don't actually know what happened that got Mac kicked out. The play caused a blackout.
>>
No. 1020339 ID: 53560f

You can probably omit details regarding the initial ‘breaking point’ but maybe you could talk about the events that followed and led to where you are now.
Also try not to think about the fact that this is probably being broadcast or recorded and that your old hive may see it.
>>
No. 1020347 ID: 39c55a

>>1020334
Keep it together. Focus on what’s happened recently. Best way through is to just get it over and done with. No need to act or overact on this one, you’ve lived a heck of a day and change, and maybe some of that -is- worth sharing. Whatever Kark wanted that’s what he’ll have to get.

Get up and introduce your stingingly monosyllabic name: Mac. You’ve recently been forced to avail yourself of the city’s rogue support services. Speak of the questionable experiences you’ve had in your short time, from good (getting found, getting support from other rogues, a place to stay, essential advice, things to do) to bad (seeming lack of support options, how awkward it’s been to seek help without a hive, finding out about the supposedly depression-inducing mess that is rogue housing - so much so that some people would rather live underground, which you got to verify today - and your crazy supportive rogue support service personnel getting fired while taking care of you). You’ve been thrust into a situation where you’re scrabbling to find steady ground, have had had several scares - moments like trying to take a step down a precarious ladder and finding a rung missing - and even so you get the distinct feeling you’ve been lucky. There were so many things you just had no idea about until...

Make it feel like you were leading up to a question but then just pause and reiterate you had no idea what it was really like being a Rogue, and you still don’t, so for now you’d like to hear what other people who have been living this way for longer have to say and yield the microphone.
>>
No. 1020357 ID: dfbac0

>>1020347
Yeah, mention how it seems like most of the rogues you've met have fostered a sense of community and are willing to help out a new rogue like you, at first we were generally skeptical of well... everything, but to our pleasant surprise you weren't taken advantage of despite being a new rogue that most would see as an easy mark.
Although, it seems as if this happened less of want but of need, rogues need to be supportive of each other because nobody else supports them, everything the government seems to do to help rogues seems to do nothing, and at times detriments rogues rather than helping them.
And yeah, end it with the fact that you're still new to this and your experiences are limited, and for all you know you may be incorrect and these are just your first impressions.
>>
No. 1020374 ID: ce39da

You should probably put on your "Calm Mac" mask for this; yes, it's exhausting, but you can't really afford to break down here (or, worse, leave an opening for it to rear its head again).

>>1020347
>>1020357
These seem like good routes to take, yeah.
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