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File 154414998242.png - (172.45KB , 800x800 , 152.png )
913306 No. 913306 ID: 470289

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

“Mac!”

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

“Sock!”

Socrates.
Expand all images
>>
No. 913307 ID: 470289
File 154415001192.png - (195.21KB , 800x800 , 153.png )
913307

“Sock’s a cooler name than Socrawhatever!”

“Socrates is a great name. It has tons of history behind it-”

“Stupid history! Some guy died a billion miles away and now poor Sock is stuck with a dumb name? How’s that fair?”

“We’re all named the same way dingus, of course it’s fair. You can’t just rename everyone in the Hive because you’re jealous.”

“Watch me! And I’m not jealous!”
>>
No. 913308 ID: 470289
File 154415004079.png - (300.64KB , 1200x800 , 154.png )
913308

“Just leave it alone, Leo.” She grimaces at Orgo using her obviously superior name. “You know what she’s like after a fight. We should just take Sock home alone. Mac can get back to the Hall herself.”

“No!” Leo shouts as I say. “I don’t need to cool off!” She shoots me a stinkeye and I flip her off.

“The Queen said we had to walk home together and that means we’re all going to walk home together, even if someone’s being a baby about it.”

I’m not being a baby, I just want to be alone right now!
>>
No. 913309 ID: b1b4f3

OBEY
>>
No. 913310 ID: 86eb65

So what famous dead guy am I named after?

(pleasant dreams by the way.)
>>
No. 913312 ID: afdebc

Suddenly, you're at school. And you didn't prepare for the test. And you're naked!
>>
No. 913313 ID: 10c408

If empathy range is larger than visual range, they can just deal with you being at the extreme edge of it. That is ALL the compromise you'll give.
>>
No. 913315 ID: 91ee5f

>>913308
>fight
Ok, what happened? Did you criticize someone’s art in art class?

>walk together or walk alone?
Jeez, do you know how dangerous it is for a kid like you to be walking home by yourself?! Someone could come kidnap you and take you away from your hive!

Walk together with your hivemates!
>>
No. 913316 ID: c1212a

...give you something to be a baby about...

Fine, you patsy-boyscout-stooge, try and keep up.
>>
No. 913319 ID: 977456

Continue being fierce-adorable fierable!
>>
No. 913341 ID: 2202fb

Broadcast killing intent, then take a deep breath, and calmly apologize about making fun of Socrates's name (guess you were being a hair too Machiavellian) and then tell them you need to have a few moments to yourself. Then walk away and punch a wall.
>>
No. 913343 ID: 0c3c2c

>>913308
Try and fit in more with your friends.
>>
No. 913345 ID: e1d580

>>913341
Hey I know this isn’t related but is your irl name brad because you super seem like a brad
>>
No. 913357 ID: 2202fb

>>913345
It wasn't, last i checked.
>>
No. 913407 ID: a9af05

>>913308
>Fight
Did you criticize someone's art project or something?

>Alone or together?
Stay with your hivemates.
>>
No. 913419 ID: 470289
File 154427874636.png - (241.37KB , 1000x800 , 155.png )
913419

>So what famous dead guy am I named after?
Some soldier my mom knew, and absolutely no one else cares about.

>Suddenly, you're at school. And you didn't prepare for the test. And you're naked!
School’s over. We’re walking home from our grade’s fieldtrip to the zoo.

>Fight
Some aliens said our Hive was full of weirdos because we don’t act like they’re made of glass or jump out of our seats to get them stuff when they ask. I told them off. Without punching this time, even. Then they jumped me when I was alone, and the teacher acted like I started it.

“Give you something to be a baby about…” I say under my breath.

“Do you want to eat dirt again?” She thinks I’m bluffing, and since we both know she can beat me up, I guess I am.

“I’ll stay in sight but let me walk alone.”

“What if a wild animal or something came and attacked. You’d be too far away to help.”

“There’s no wild animals this close to Queenwood.”

“Maybe there was a breakout at the zoo after we left, and something with a lot of teeth like a geffer is coming for us right now! What would you do then?”

“We’d all die, Leo. Mac being a little bit away from us wouldn’t change anything.” Leo shoots him a glare and he shrugs.

“You’re being paranoid!”

“I’m in charge so I have to be paranoid. If anything happens to you guys it’s on me.”

“You’re the oldest but that doesn’t make you the boss. It just means you suck at math and got held back.” Orgo chimes in.

Leo gives a low growl, but her empathy says she’s not going budge on me walking with everyone. My empathy makes sure she knows I’m going to be stubborn too, Orgo’s is saying he’s slightly annoyed at everyone, and Sock...
>>
No. 913420 ID: 470289
File 154427877711.png - (157.92KB , 800x800 , 156.png )
913420

“Mac, stay with us. Please.”

Sock’s doing the dumb pout he uses to get extra dessert and really wants us to stop fighting.
>>
No. 913421 ID: 470289
File 154427883391.png - (163.56KB , 800x800 , 157.png )
913421

I start walking again, but slower this time, and everyone follows me without comment for once. Sock starts talking to Leo about the songs the birds he saw were singing and she nods along even though she doesn’t really understand what he’s talking about when he says harmonic series. Orgo walks up next to me.

“What’s your problem with those guys anyway, Mac? They’re stuck up, but you can just ignore ‘em.” Orgo asks me.

“Even when they tell the other hives that we’re pansies because we live in a theater, or that we can’t afford stuff?”

“We can’t afford stuff, though. Building a Hive Compound is expensive.”

“That’s not the point! They’re tarnishing the name Storytree!” Leo’s listening and almost butts in with something snide about what I’ve been doing to our names, but it’s a totally different thing! Orgo cuts her off.

“So? They’re dumbasses. Let ‘em talk.”

“You don’t get it. If we let them talk freely then the story that everyone ends up knowing us by is theirs. We have to protect our legacy.”

“You getting beat up from fights you start whenever Leo and I aren’t looking is a pretty bad legacy.” I don’t say anything because he’s right, but it pisses me off. He scratches his ear absentmindedly before continuing.

“Listen, let’s say Leo and I beat up Jeeks and his cronies, or we got the whole hive in on it and started whaling on anyone who looked at us funny in the entire school. We’d go from the poor hive to the tribal hive, assuming we didn’t get kicked out. Which we would by the way. It’d be a different story for ‘em to tell, and just as wrong.”

“We’d have at least some respect.” I say as I kick a rock.

“Do we need respect?” He goes silent and waits for me to answer.
>>
No. 913422 ID: 470289
File 154427886241.png - (113.20KB , 800x800 , 158.png )
913422

Sock notices something and I look up to see a dock nearby. He wants to take a break there to look at the water, but Leo wants to keep heading home. Orgo doesn’t care where we go.
>>
No. 913426 ID: 86eb65

I guess the only respect we need is for our art.

Go look at the water before heading back.
>>
No. 913428 ID: 6c5a99

No playing near the water without adult supervision!
>>
No. 913430 ID: afdebc

>“Do we need respect?” He goes silent and waits for me to answer.
Really depends on who's giving it, Mac. Not all respect is created equal.

>>913422
Yeah sure, give Sock what he wants.
>>
No. 913436 ID: 0c3c2c

>>913430
Chat with Soc.
>>
No. 913439 ID: 91ee5f

>>913422
Let’s go to the dock with Sock.
>>
No. 913449 ID: 2202fb

Will orgo to go with you and sock.

--

You know, they are right. Open warfare isn't the way forward. If everyone resorted to that, we would be no better than animals.
What you need to be is cunning. Strangle them in wordplay that not only makes them look bad, but also makes you look smart.

--

I think you need to vent a bit. Talk to Orgo about his pronouncing your name wrong and the double standard of you and sock. Tell him you want the hive to be great and awe inspiring; to show the world how wonderful the arts can truly be, and it just kills you to see people who wont give you a chance. As for yourself, you just want friends; someone to be in your corner and help you back up once the world knocks you down.

--

Are there any carpenters or electricians in your hive (woodcarvers, metalworkers, sculptors, stage techs, electronic artists)? If so, you could potentially start working on self improvement rather than paying someone to do it. Raw materials are a lot cheaper.
>>
No. 913455 ID: 977456

Check Sock's eyes. If resistance is possible, resist.
>>
No. 913457 ID: c1212a

"what the hell else do we have?"

Go with sock.
>>
No. 913464 ID: 8d6f6d

Showing someone they hurt your pride with just words is weakness, not strength.
>>
No. 913466 ID: 10c408

>>913464
Did you miss the part where they jumped Mac after she told them off for being obnoxious little shits spreading falsehoods?
>>
No. 913468 ID: 908948

Gotta keep moving.
>>
No. 913474 ID: 15a025

Go with Sock and enjoy the view. It'd probably help cool the conversation a bit.
>>
No. 913681 ID: 2842df

>>913466
No, that was the point.
>>
No. 913711 ID: 2202fb

>>913464
>>913466
>>913681
I think i can clarify here.

They meant:
>Showing someone(mac) "they hurt your pride with just words"(i.e. beating the shit out of someone who only used words) is weakness, not strength.

Second guy thought first guy meant:
Showing someone(not mac) "they hurt your pride" with just words (i.e. trying to get back at someone who just beat the shit out of you with just words) is weakness, not strength.

Slightly ambiguous depending on how you chunk it.
>>
No. 913712 ID: 10c408

>>913711
What I meant was that if you make a claim and someone else refutes it you do NOT attack that first person. That they did so absolutely demolishes their position. Mac didn't (seemingly) attack anyone and only defended herself.
>>
No. 913726 ID: 470289
File 154456131838.png - (226.97KB , 1000x800 , 159.png )
913726

>Not all respect is created equal.
I know that! But it doesn’t make ignoring them any easier.

"What the hell else do we have?"

“Over a thousand years of history you don’t pay attention to?”

“I pay attention! But we aren’t tribals or in the war anymore. We gotta set ourselves apart some other way to show everyone we’re the best. Make better stories to tell. And if people don’t respect us, they won’t respect our new stories or our old ones.”

He grunts and lets the topic drop. He doesn’t agree with me, but I don’t think he has any other arguments. He’ll bring it back up later when he thinks he can win. He tries to hide it, but he hates losing even more than I do.
>>
No. 913727 ID: 470289
File 154456135237.png - (100.36KB , 800x800 , 160.png )
913727

>Check Sock's eyes. If resistance is possible, resist.
…It’s not possible and I don’t even try.

I tell the others I want to go to the dock with empathy and Sock lights up as we adjust our path to take us to it. The dock is kind of old, but it isn’t rotting or anything. Leo makes sure to step on it first and jump up and down a few times to test it.

“We can’t stay too long, we’re already late in getting home. And don’t get too close to the edge.”

“I’m not going to fall!”

“Don’t care. Stay near us.”

It rained yesterday so the water is kind of choppy, but Leo would be controlling even if it was a placid lake.
>>
No. 913728 ID: 470289
File 154456143202.png - (294.91KB , 1200x800 , 161.png )
913728

>Are there any carpenters or electricians in your hive.
Some. Whenever an adult isn’t working, they’re at the compound building stuff. It’s why we’re walking home. There isn’t anyone free to pick us up.

“Why’d you want to come down here, Sock? It’s just water.”

”It’s pretty water! It looks like one of Aunt Levran’s paintings with the buildings in the background.”

“I guess. Missing a ship sinking or the giant storm on the horizon.”

“It’s close enough!” He gets an idea and takes his backpack off. He digs through it until he finds his flute and gives it a few test whistles. “The theme is ‘River’.”

Leo and Orgo perk up at the challenge. One game our hive plays is telling stories whenever someone prompts us with a theme. After a bit for everyone to get prepared we present in order and vote on the winner. Sock’s a couple of years younger than us but he’s already won a few times against older kids, so I can’t slack off if I want to win. Leo is digging through her backpack for her sketchbook and Orgo is staring off in the distance deep in thought. He usually tells a story about one of his namesakes for this game, since he’s lucky enough to have a Hive name. I’m not sure what I should do. I could draw something, tell a story of my own, borrow Sock’s flute after his turn, or do something else. Whatever medium I pick, I also need to come up with a story to tell that fits the theme.
>>
No. 913731 ID: 2202fb

>>913728
Well, before we decide, we need to know your strengths and weaknesses. You dont ask a musician to paint a masterpiece or a sculptor to write a bestseller.

Whatever you decide (i.e. author doesnt want to give us strengths to work with), use your emotions. Feel how they flow and ride the waves like a surfer in water. Use your own feelings to breathe life into your cast and then simply let them tell their own story.
>>
No. 913732 ID: 2202fb

>>913731
Regardless of how you do however, try to have fun and relax. This is a great time to organize your thoughts and calm down.
>>
No. 913737 ID: c1212a

I do hope you're appreciative of the work the grownups are doing.

It depends on if your fingers are messed up from punching. If they're fine, get out some paper and draw. You can make a fable that proves your point, or take the challenge seriously and drop it- I'd suggest being mature and doing the latter cuz you don't want to upset socks.
>>
No. 913767 ID: e95cec

Well, I suspect you're best at art, so there's that. Feel free to decide differently.

Hmm, "river". Um, something metaphorical about culture getting washed away in the rising flood? Sounds depressingly serious. Um, a story from the point of view of a river? This river, perhaps? River spirits, rivers of blood, rivers of tears, space rivers, land of rivers and lakes, dams, beavers, river animals, a river hive....
>>
No. 913776 ID: 977456

The Tale of the Lonely Merchant. Tell a story about a trader with a small boat who has to take things far from their hive, to trade for, oh, lets say warm pelts for frozen weather, that the hive needs for the children to survive. Every tribe they meet they extol a different virtue of their hive, but is mocked for being alone. And then they die moments from getting home, lamenting over each of the virtues they proclaimed, that they will never see them again, because they died alone. You wanted to go all-in for a theme of reputation, but remembered that sad endings always win. As always, try to throw in some rhyme, alliteration, and metre.
>>
No. 913788 ID: 470289
File 154463107673.png - (148.64KB , 800x800 , 162.png )
913788

>We need to know your strengths and weaknesses.
That’s easy, I’m good at everything. I pick things up fast like J’raine. The only weakness I can think of is violin since I only started learning last month, but I don’t have one in my backpack anyway. Whatever idea I come up with, I can do.

>Try to have fun and relax.
That’s easy, I like this game. I take out my sketchbook and sit down to doodle while ideas flow. Trying to articulate my point about our Hive sounds nice, but it doesn’t really mean much if I don’t communicate it through the art in a concise way. I’ll go with the Merchant idea for now, but I’m still not sure about the medium. I could draw it out, in which case I’d need to encapsulate everything I want to say in a single image and would need to have a good description to work off. Or I could tell a regular story which is easier but anything more complicated like making it rhyme or being creative with wordplay would take too much time if the specific embellishments don’t occur to me.

I kind of lose track of time working but eventually Sock hops up, stands in front of us and we all focus our attention on him. He takes a short bow and starts with low, repeated notes before layering in more breathy sounds. It takes me a few moments before I get what he’s doing. He’s copying the sound of lapping water and the breeze that’s around us right now. Unfortunately, the flute isn’t the right kind of instrument for the sounds water makes as it brushes against the docks. It sounds slightly off when the actual water is still in the background. He also isn’t riding the music off his empathy. He’s too excited and happy, when he should be projecting a clam and serene mood. The melody itself is good, if short, but it’s not his best work.

As soon as Sock finishes Leo puts her head down and starts scribbling more frantically. I think she misjudged how long it would take her to draw whatever she’s doing. Orgo is signaling he’s going to go next but isn’t quite ready yet.

Unless I get hit with some other inspiration that I like more, I should keep developing my current idea.
>>
No. 913789 ID: 91ee5f

>>913788
>Trying to articulate my point about our Hive sounds nice
Do not try to do that! This is supposed to be a fun activity! Don’t ruin it by trying to prove a point you had in an argument earlier!
>>
No. 913815 ID: dd75f8

>>913789
Yeaaah, probably a good point. Furthermore, it might make more sense to spend longer developing your argument before presenting it.
>>
No. 913894 ID: c0641d

I think you should do a story. Perhaps a series of verses with varying meters and tempos to match the hive he’s encountered this time. Not sure I have any specific lines for you, but coming up with that sort of stuff manually comes a lot easier when you set out a rhythmic framework to restrict yourself by.

Something along the lines of... this? https://youtu.be/PUZn1I6llJs

You don’t have to carry this particular tune if you don’t like it (or suspect that you’d get caught- never mind, don’t think about it too hard). Perhaps open with a merchant bemoaning a lack of wind to carry his sail upstream, and supposes that he’ll just drift downstream. He’ll meet an art hive merely curious where he’s going, then another merchant hive keen on exchanging wares and a little rival ribbing. He might be egged into a race with a war hive (the frantic section), be ignored by a hive too stoned to care about anybody, and pass by a cuddle hive who want him to stay with them (the upbeat 4/4 time section), finally finishing with another art hive who ask him the same question as at the beginning (“Where are you going?”), but receiving a different answer to the one he gave the first time. If that’s too much to write in such a short time, you’re free to cut verses.
>>
No. 919472 ID: 470289
File 154886077067.png - (119.65KB , 800x800 , 163.png )
919472

I don’t have the time to do something too complicated, but I can start something and develop it later if it comes out decent. I won’t win with something incomplete, but that’s not a big deal. I start writing while Orgo empathetically indicates he’s about to go.

“Sock, do some punctuation for me.” Sock nods and puts his flute to his mouth again.

He closes his eyes and takes deep breaths, trying to get his empathy in the state he wants it. It takes a few minutes before he’s radiating solemnity. Sock does a few low notes to match his new mood.

“Long before her death at the Sunken Rock, Orgo the Bow, then known as Orgo the Twelfth, faced a river with her hive.”
>>
No. 919473 ID: 470289
File 154886080656.png - (142.11KB , 800x800 , 164.png )
919473

”We travel for weeks from our old home into new trees and dangers, both from our old enemies and our new allies. The Hive who would take the name Outrider-“

Anger. Leo and I give the customary growl and Sock blows a harsh note.

”-are the most persistent. Harassing us as we step onto their territory and long after we leave their land. From the jungle to the plains we fight to protect ourselves on the promise of those alien to us. We leave blood and bodies in our footsteps.

“We break through and see the refuge that was sworn. On the horizon we see a flag waving surrounded by trees, displaying a bullet-scarred shield. But the Outriders
- we hiss- still follow.”

>>
No. 919474 ID: 470289
File 154886085665.png - (136.83KB , 800x800 , 165.png )
919474

”Between us and a new home lies a gorge. Death at our backs and a new forest ahead, not quite within reach. At the bottom of the gorge a river rages between jutting rocks, frothing and promising death. And there is no bridge.

“The War Queen tells us to prepare for a fight, and we begin to clean and load the guns we had long gotten used to. Makeshift fortifications go up and we prepare to fight to the death. But…”


Apprehension.

”When she was young, Orgo the Twelfth was arrogant. She knew the stories of Tredde Sharpeye and Roat the Stringsinger, that their skill with bows and arrows were unparalleled and their bravery matched only by other great heroes. When she was young, she thought she was better than them. Now that she was older, she knew she was better.”

Pride.

”While her Hive prepares Orgo sneaks away from where the children load the guns for the coming fight. She steals away with a bevy of ropes, her bow, and her last three arrows. Her Hivemates had laughed when she refused to give up the old weapon for the new ones made of steel and rubber. They are wrong.”

Determination.
>>
No. 919476 ID: 470289
File 154886094558.png - (151.86KB , 800x800 , 166.png )
919476

”She goes to the edge of the gorge and sights her target, a solid old tree. The distance is massive. Too far to jump, too far to throw, and too far to shoot. But Orgo squares her shoulders and takes her first shot.”

Confidence

”It falls short and is lost in the waves below and the current pulls the rope from her unprepared grip.”

Dismay.

”She takes sight again, chastised. She hears the enemy approach in her mind. She feels her hive die around her. She takes her second shot.

“The cliff below the feels a sting as the arrowhead shatters against the stones and the shaft bounces off to join its brother below. Orgo pulls the rope back and takes her last arrow from it’s quiver. She nocks it on her bow and pulls it until the feathers tickle her cheek. She squints at the tree that will save her hive and swings her bow upwards to the clear blue sky. She lets it fly.”


Fear

”The arrow takes its time, traveling in an arc far higher than it’s siblings. The rope streaks behind it like a comet’s tail and for a moment Orgo loses it in the sun’s glare. When her eyes open and the light-spots dim she sees it embedded deep in the wood of the old tree.”

Elation!
>>
No. 919477 ID: 470289
File 154886098405.png - (129.91KB , 800x800 , 167.png )
919477

”She ties the ropes around the rocks and trees near her and takes her journey across the gorge on the thin bride she just made, ropes slipped into her belt. Hand over hand, with the cool breeze swinging her back and forth. The journey takes minutes that feel like hours.”

Resolve. Courage.

”On the other side Orgo lets herself smile as she ties her ropes to trees to make bridges. She has given The Hive that Tells Stories at the Tree a new tale to speak, and she has given us the chance to speak it.”

Orgo closes his eyes and exudes satisfaction.
>>
No. 919541 ID: 977456

Panic!
>>
No. 919550 ID: 631909

Slow clap. Competition or no, that was a fine story.
>>
No. 919561 ID: 91ee5f

Well, shit. Now you’ve gotta tell a story and you still haven’t that of one!
>>
No. 919563 ID: c0641d

Acknowledge his storytelling, but don’t stop writing your own; this isn’t lost yet - after all, the river itself figured as more a setpiece obstacle than a central theme. Maybe reduce it to just three hives encountered if you’re strapped for time. Make sure to describe how the river flows in each section to help sell the feel of transition, but other than that, most of your creative energy should be poured into making the empathy you plan on using nuanced and flowing, a transition as smooth as the shifting mood of a river itself - this won’t work if your empathy jumps to the next emotion haltingly when it should be drifting to the next destination. Don’t be afraid to ask for Sock’s fluting again. Let Leo go next while I try to solidify some real details for the dialogue - I’m thinking this will be less poetry and more natural dialogue.
>>
No. 922093 ID: 470289
File 155052375432.png - (310.98KB , 1200x800 , 168.png )
922093

>Slow clap.
No need, he can feel how impressed I am. Sock gives him some rapid claps while Leo is still totally spellbound by him. I don’t think I’ve heard any part of the exodus story told that quickly before. Even small parts of it can take hours, but he did it in only a few minutes without butchering it. He stripped Orgo the Bow’s story down to the bare essentials so he could focus on making it compelling with his empathy, and he mostly succeeded. I felt the story more than listened to it.

But I can do better.
>>
No. 922095 ID: 470289
File 155052383927.png - (133.46KB , 800x800 , 169.png )
922095

”With broken mast and sail, his old boat runs
the river’s narrow length toward home, and such
a hometown craves his wares, and he their touch,
for vessels sailing rivers carry one

and only one. Town’s workmen wonder where
he floats, and back again, pursued by greed
at every turn: the river’s pirates heed
no god nor law in suit of prizes rare.

Banks make quick graves of men and greedy fools
who heed no warning issued from the piles
of pirates’ polished bones in waters deep:

the lonely merchant’s empty ship spells doom
to thieves whose coveting turns ghostly smiles.
It’s on these rivers all alone we sleep.”



Sonnet by B. Baylor, used with permission.
>>
No. 922096 ID: 470289
File 155052387695.png - (130.36KB , 800x800 , 170.png )
922096

I had to cut some of my ideas to get it to fit into the classic format, but it came out pretty good. And I focused on the river a lot more than Orgo did.

”Wow, that was really good Mac!”

”Did you write that just now?” He feels suspicious. I didn’t think Orgo was the type to feel jealous.

“Of course I did!”
>>
No. 922098 ID: 470289
File 155052391742.png - (139.88KB , 800x800 , 171.png )
922098

“Leo, you’re up.”

My voice snaps her out of her captivation with my sonnet, and she answers me with frantic scribbling on her paper. We give her a few minutes, but I’m pretty sure she’s not actually making any progress. She’s still going back and forth between erasing and drawing, and she feels panicked.

“I don’t think it’s going to get any better, Leo, just show us already.”

“It’s not done.” She’s gritting her teeth.

“We don’t have the years it’d take for you to be satisfied with one of your dumb pictures, Leo. Just show us so we can finish up.”

Shut up Mac. I think she’s gritting her teeth.

“Yeah, shut up Mac.” He’s sending strong vibes that I’m not helping.

“This is just playing around, Leo. If you were still having fun it’d be okay, but I think you’re just worrying yourself over it now.”

Leo stops her sketching and pauses for a second. Then she gets up. I mean I basically said the same thing as Sock, but Orgo sends me a glare before I say that out loud. She takes a deep breath and flips her sketchbook over.
>>
No. 922099 ID: 470289
File 155052396275.png - (191.81KB , 800x800 , 172-2.png )
922099

Wow, that looks like shit.

“Hey, you’ve gotten better!”

“Yeah, I can recognize myself. I like the way you did the water.”

”It’s-“

“Shut the fu-” She glances at Sock, “-freak up. Let’s vote and go home.”

Finally. I-
>>
No. 922101 ID: 470289
File 155052399223.png - (192.58KB , 800x800 , 173.png )
922101

>”You little shits!”

Jeeks! Where did he come from?
>>
No. 922103 ID: 2202fb

>>922099
you shouldn't be so mean. If you can do better, you could try to coach her on it, or maybe drawing just isnt her forte. Maybe singing, dancing, or writing might fit better.

>>922101
be polite and then just leave. Dont make a stand. Definitely dont throw anyone under the damn bus.
>>
No. 922104 ID: 2202fb

>>922099
She seems one step away from tears so show compassion and dont be a bitch to her.
>>
No. 922111 ID: c1212a

Who the fuck's talkin' to you Jeeks? We're trying to have a vote over here!
>>
No. 922112 ID: 094652

Safety in numbers, retreat. Keep everyone from killing each other.
>>
No. 922120 ID: b1b4f3

LEG IT!
>>
No. 922135 ID: 2202fb

>>922111
Not this. This gets us alienated and beat up more.
>>
No. 922330 ID: 83bf07

Sock needs to bail ASAP. You and one other can stall them for a safe get away.
>>
No. 922331 ID: 470289
File 155060002472.png - (143.03KB , 800x800 , 174.png )
922331

>Don’t be a bitch to her.
I’m not! Being honest with my opinion and giving constructive feedback will help her improve more than struggling to point out the few things she didn’t mess up on.

>Retreat
>LEG IT!
That might work if we weren’t on the wrong end of this dock. I don’t know about the others, but I can’t swim.

>Sock needs to bail ASAP. You and one other can stall them for a safe get away.
"I can hold them back while-"

“Don’t make this any worse, Mac. We're not going to leave anyone behind.”

Leo puts her sketchbook down and walks in between us and the bullies.

“We don’t want any trouble.”

>”Too bad. That green rabbit over there threw my bag in a pile of shit, and she’s gotta learn her place. You stay in our way and we’ll teach you neumono the same lesson.”
>>
No. 922332 ID: 470289
File 155060007610.png - (157.54KB , 800x800 , 175.png )
922332

Leo takes a second to glare back at me, but I’m just confused. I didn’t do anything to any bags, and Sock wouldn’t do something like that.
>>
No. 922334 ID: 470289
File 155060018717.png - (110.80KB , 800x800 , 176.png )
922334

*Snicker*
>>
No. 922336 ID: 465a14

>>922334
Okay, here's the plan. Run for it, then beat Sock up yourself so he learns not to make trouble for his hivemates.
>>
No. 922338 ID: 83bf07

Now is not the time to be splitting hairs. See if you can talk your way onto dry land. Promise them you'll go quietly if you can get off the dock. (Don't actually go with them)
>>
No. 922340 ID: 465a14

>>922336
actually I just realized that might be Orgo or whoever so the actual point is to beat up whoever's responsible for this situation later
>>
No. 922344 ID: 10c408

Tell them honestly you didn't do shit to anyone's bag. Empathy proves your honesty here.

Of course if these assholes don't care about that then we're going to have a make a big scene about it to get attention from anyone else because we're not getting past them and off the dock.
>>
No. 922345 ID: 2202fb

>>922334
shoot a glare

tell them you have no idea what they are talking about. Exude honesty. Throw in some innocence.
>>
No. 922350 ID: b970b2

...How did you get caught by surprise by those neumono? You should've sensed their empathy. And why are they so indistinct anyway?
>>
No. 922351 ID: 2202fb

>>922350
they seem to be kind of far away. They might not be close enough for it to be pervasive enough for them to notice.
>>
No. 922358 ID: a9af05

>>922334
If Orgo is responsible, then those guys need to get their eyes examined because Orgo isn't green!
>>
No. 922361 ID: 2202fb

>>922358
he is teal, which is kind of green, but it doesnt matter. Everyone is innocent till they are proven guilty and we can only do that once we solve the current crisis.

How about this. Mac, despite your innocence, just go over and get beat up. Take one for the team. Everyone will probably like you more for your self-sacrifice.
>>
No. 922375 ID: c1212a

god dammit Orgo I don't want to hear a single word out of you about how I handle bullies until the day I drop dead

Best case scenario is to warn them off; you didn't do it, they should go bother somebody else. This will probably end in a fight though, so get ready to shove some people into the drink and book it when you have an opening.
>>
No. 922376 ID: b1b4f3

>>922334
What the fuck Orgo.
Suggest a deal: they let all of you go, and you'll teach him a lesson yourselves.
>>
No. 922377 ID: c1212a

>>922375
Almost forgot; you could try and throw some other poor bastard with green fur under the bus by blaming them, if you know any.
>>
No. 922426 ID: 2202fb

>>922375
>>922377
lets not fight back, and definitely not blame it on someone else. We should try to save our integrity first rather than our physical safety. Lets just take a hit.
>>
No. 922432 ID: c1212a

>>922426
Running away while cornered on a pier didn't work, can we try confronting the problem in some capacity instead of just letting events overtake Mac & co.?
>>
No. 922445 ID: 2202fb

>>922432
Not saying we should run. Mac should go over and get the shit beat out of them. They only want Mac. Mac is also a neumono so this shouldnt cause permanent damage. This should make everyone else view Mac in a more positive light.
>>
No. 922449 ID: c1212a

>>922445
And the fact that Leo already said they'd leave nobody behind? Also the fact that Mac didn't do it?
>>
No. 922452 ID: 2735ca

All of you jump in the river!
>>
No. 922454 ID: 91ee5f

>>922445
>They only want Mac.
No they don’t. They want Orgo.
>>
No. 922457 ID: 977456

>rabbit
>teach you neumono
They are getting kind of specist there, especially for neumono. At least they look like neumono from here.

Stall them. Maybe someone else will come and scare off any violence. Nonsequitur to put them off balance.
Take a step forward, bow, and recite your story to them.
>>
No. 922515 ID: 470289
File 155069109886.png - (248.28KB , 1000x700 , 177.png )
922515

>Beat up whoever's responsible for this situation later.
Orgo probably did it as revenge for them beating me up earlier when no one was looking. No one is going to beat him up for that, and certainly not sell him out. I will tell him off later though after all his lecturing. He should have told us. If we didn’t stop at this dock we’d be home and safe right now.

I try to start inching Sock over to the side where the dock meets the sand that the bullies aren’t on. If we get an opening we can run and maybe get home before they catch us. Leo and Orgo catch on and try to block their view of Sock and me.

>…How did you get caught by surprise by those neumono? You should've sensed their empathy.
Neumono? Jeeks is a pomi.
>>
No. 922518 ID: 470289
File 155069125632.png - (106.15KB , 800x800 , 178.png )
922518

>Why are they so indistinct anyway?
They… are, aren’t they.

“I- I didn’t do anything.” I say quieter than I mean to. I don’t think they heard me.

“Mac, are you okay? You’re feeling weird.” Sock whispers.

“Look, I’ll pay for your bag. I’ll bring money to school tomorrow or-“

>“Like your shitty little hive can afford to pay me back!”
>>
No. 922520 ID: 470289
File 155069134158.png - (277.22KB , 1000x800 , 179.png )
922520

>We’ll take it out of your flea-bitten hides!”

Jeeks grabbing Leo jolts me out of my confusion and Orgo instantly stops snickering and goes on edge.

“Hey don’t touch her! If you want me I’ll go with you but leave them alone!”

“Shut up, Mac!"
>>
No. 922527 ID: 556568

Mac, wake up.
>>
No. 922528 ID: b1b4f3

He's turning grey. Get in there and stop it.
>>
No. 922529 ID: c1212a

no, wait, there's stil a chance we could get in a circle and sing kumbaya!

Try to keep in mind that Pomi don't heal like neumo do when you kick his ass into the drink. Get a big hit in while he's busy grabbing Leo, if his goons try to intercept you just tip them off the dock, then you'll have a numbers advantage.
>>
No. 922531 ID: 86eb65

Tackle that asshole!
>>
No. 922535 ID: 977456

Devour their hearts and absorb their power!
>>
No. 922583 ID: e32936

Jeeks is preoccupied with Leo, use the opening to get Sock and yourself on the bank. Tell sock to run, then attack Jeeks groupies from their flank. This will spread them out and give you, Leo, and Orgo fighting chance.

Your superior regeneration gives you a marked advantage. Even should you be injured, you will quickly heal. Not so for Jeeks and friends. They have more to lose.

Attack aggressively enough from the get-go and you should quickly dissuade them from a prolonged melee.
>>
No. 922601 ID: 719d94

There's a beauty in the moment you realize you're dreaming. When you start noticing the details slip away, and watching one thing become another as you find yourself peering through the gaps in reality.

That realization can be a great time to wake up, but it can also be a great time to take over. Your life has undergone some big changes recently. Anything you want to do? Any people you miss? Grab the reins and dive into your subconscious.

I mean, assuming this is a dream anyway. You might just be hallucinating. Are you crazy? Done any hard drugs lately?
>>
No. 922603 ID: 91ee5f

>>922520
Grab Leo and pull him away from Jeeks! Have Orgo help you!
>>
No. 922637 ID: a9af05

>>922603
Do this!
>>
No. 922639 ID: 2735ca

Focus their anger on you. Tackle the guy and try to slip through onto their other side.
>>
No. 922940 ID: 15a025

There's three of them and four of you. Get up there with Orgo and give Socks a the chance to run to safety. Also body slam right into Jeeks.
>>
No. 923082 ID: 470289
File 155104259387.png - (137.21KB , 800x800 , 180.png )
923082

>Grab Leo and pull him away from Jeeks! Have Orgo help you!
I take a step forward to do this, but Leo is already throwing a punch into Jeeks face. She wants Sock and I to get to the bank, and Orgo gets in-between us and the other bullies.

Sock has his eyes glued to Orgo doing his best to block two guys bigger than him and stumbles as I drag him away. Once we get to the bank, I give him a running push to his back.

“Go!”
>>
No. 923083 ID: 470289
File 155104262404.png - (205.70KB , 800x800 , 181.png )
923083

Orgo is wrestling with one of them, trying to keep from being overpowered while Leo is working out all her anger on Jeeks face. Everyone is focused on fighting and has forgotten about us, but the unoccupied bully is circling around to grab Leo with his back turned towards us.
>>
No. 923084 ID: 470289
File 155104265444.png - (130.21KB , 800x800 , 182.png )
923084

>Anything you want to do?
Help them!

>Any people you miss?
I don’t have to miss anyone! I can fix this!

I charge in to tackle the one nearest me from behind. If I can knock him into the water, we’ll have the upper hand in numbers and-
>>
No. 923086 ID: 470289
File 155104267436.png - (134.34KB , 800x800 , 183.png )
923086

>>
No. 923087 ID: 470289
File 155104269379.png - (171.55KB , 1200x800 , 184.png )
923087

>Mac, wake up.
>>
No. 923088 ID: 465a14

>>923087
Read the note from your new girlfriend.
>>
No. 923102 ID: b1b4f3

Realize there are some things you can't fix.
>>
No. 923115 ID: 91ee5f

>>923087
You might want to consider getting some pajamas to sleep in, since it’s probably uncomfortable to be sleeping in your normal clothes.

Also read the note that Luvi left on the table.
>>
No. 923127 ID: fd2d31

>>923087
You wouldn't have those problems with a gun.
See if Luvi's frantic friend has another one stashed in the house.
>>
No. 923140 ID: afdebc

>>923087
Read note, hug pillow.

Cry.

Go take a shower or something, you must feel kinda gross after sleeping in your clothes.
>>
No. 923142 ID: 5907f9

Breath, sit up, contemplate.

Then read that note.
>>
No. 923143 ID: c1212a

-Find the will to move

-Read note

-Bathe
>>
No. 923148 ID: 2735ca

Put your face back on, darling. All the world's a stage and all that.
>>
No. 923156 ID: ac10e5

Hug pillow, read note
>>
No. 923205 ID: bad12e

>>923087

The hell did we eat last ...?
>>
No. 923239 ID: 83bf07

Stretch.
>>
No. 923284 ID: c0641d

Note, clothes, shower, breakfast. See if you can push your "mask" a little farther away from baseline (i.e. adding new traits and quirks like "new me likes to jog in place" or "new me laughs really hard at even the worst jokes"); I wanna see how far we can take this.
>>
No. 923290 ID: fd2d31

>>923284
Imitating Luvi isn't gonna be healthy.
>>
No. 923291 ID: c0641d

>>923290
Those were just examples. Others include "sense of humor dried by x2," "likes sour drinks," and "enjoys people-watching." All random examples... except the last one; a habit of observing many different neumonos' behavior and empathy can help us hone our craft.
>>
No. 923317 ID: 470289
File 155113550734.png - (114.82KB , 800x800 , 185.png )
923317

>There are some things you can't fix.
I’m sleeping in a stranger’s house with the clothes I’m wearing making up a good half of what I own in the world. It’s obvious I can’t ‘fix’ anything.

>See if you can push your "mask" a little farther.
I don’t see much point in doing this. I’ll still be me underneath, and the more I try to fake new traits the more obviously hollow I’ll come off to other neumono. Yesterday was mostly just thought control to keep me from crying; Subtraction instead of addition which doesn’t broadcast as strange.

If I had some rolling paper I would smoke some of the bitterweed Stiles left to calm down. I haven’t felt as… comfortable? Satisfied? Fulfilled? I don’t know if there’s a word for it, but I haven’t felt like that in a long time. The memory of it is fading and dulling the stark difference between the dream and how I feel now. Which is too tired to even be properly frazzled by how weird it was.

It wasn’t a memory. Or it was more like a bunch of memories jammed together? I got beat up as a kid and hung out at a dock once or twice, but I’ve never walked home with Leo and I was alone when I went to the dock. And Jeeks was a bastard not a weird neumono-pomi hybrid. There’s a bunch of other stuff that doesn’t fit together or was just false, but I just sort of accepted it.

I’m not going to get back to sleep, but it’s still dark out. My phone, which I forgot in my pocket, says it’s about a half hour before the sun comes up. I move to the edge of the bed to read the note Luvi left for me.

Hey Mac! Sorry to sneak into your room like a creeper, but I wasn’t sure when you were going to get up and you deserve a good rest after the day you had. I might not be around when you wake up and I wanted to make sure you knew that my home is your home as long as you’re here. Feel free to use anything on the first and second floor (I set out a toothbrush and some essentials for you in the bathroom), and if you need things like extra clothes you can raid my closet. Of course, maybe I am home, in which case hope I don’t wake you up grabbing this note back! Or...

It rambles for a few more lines using more dot hearts in one place than I’ve seen before in my life.

A shower is the next thing on my docket, but before that I should decide whether to wash my clothes and wear them again today or take Luvi’s offer. Also, I guess I should figure out just what I’m going to do today. Ideally the first thing would be something to take my mind off this dream for a while.
>>
No. 923318 ID: b1b4f3

>>923317
Check Luvi's closet to see if she'd miss one set of clothes.
>>
No. 923319 ID: 465a14

>>923318
This. And today, you look for a job.
>>
No. 923325 ID: a9af05

>>923317
>You can raid my closet!
You better hope she has something in your size! Otherwise that offer won't be very helpful to you!

And you'd better also hope that she doesn't have anything with a bunch of glitter or a weird cartoon/design on it!
>>
No. 923327 ID: bcc41d

>>923317
Up and at 'em! Get a whole some breakfast! Do some basic calisthenics! Do you have a charger for your phone? Then charge it while you can. If you have phone internet - or Luvi does and you bum from her - you can do additional rogue/jobhunt research online. Check the daily news and consider whether there are any other practical recently-rogue'd tasks you should be doing.

You could also try to get in touch with Kark and Marassa again. If nothing else, helping out keeps you busy and makes you meet people.
>>
No. 923332 ID: 2202fb

I mean, there is no shortage of guns here if you really want to give up on everything (would probably be a rather long and painful process though).
>>
No. 923344 ID: e7848c

>>923317
You're going to nab a shirt, sweatpants and towel for when your current clothes are in the washer and you get out of the shower. Write a thank you note, use your fancy handwriting and leave it in Luvi's room.
>>
No. 923393 ID: bad12e

>>923317

>Even her writing is insufferably cheery

Well, at least we know it's hers. Let's wash up, make sure our clothes aren't smelly, and ... eat, I guess.
>>
No. 923397 ID: 91ee5f

>>923317
>I haven’t felt as…comfortable? Satisfied? Fulfilled? I don’t know if there’s a word for it, but I haven’t felt like that in a long time.
Honestly, the way you’re talking makes it sound like you haven’t had sex in a long time. So maybe if you go get laid, you’ll feel better?
>>
No. 923457 ID: 7f0aac

>>923397

I think we call this "clinical depression."

>>923317

On that note, when's the last time we saw a doctor, and does being a rogue change things?
>>
No. 923458 ID: 5176d9

>>923317
Get some fresh clothes from Luvi. Yours probably haven't started to stink yet, let's keep it that way, Da?

Next on the agenda is finding something to do. I mean long term something to do. Maybe a job, maybe a hobby, maybe someone to do~.

The point is, you need a thing. Everyone has a thing. You seem to have both an aptitude and inclination towards art, so perhaps that is your thing.

You'll never know until you find it, so go find your thing.
>>
No. 923466 ID: a9af05

>>923397
Ha! You're right, it does sound like that's what she's talking about!
>>
No. 923474 ID: fd2d31

>>923466
Short term solution would be a "personal massager"
>>
No. 923513 ID: 977456

>>923474
For a longer-term solution it has been said that you can potentially double its projected life-span by getting your bunny fixed.
>>
No. 923686 ID: ecd116

>I haven’t felt as…comfortable? Satisfied? Fulfilled? I don’t know if there’s a word for it, but I haven’t felt like that in a long time


wait do you mean in past tense as in you use too a while back? or present tense as in you are feeling it right now?
>>
No. 923873 ID: a9af05

>>923317
Why don't you go eat some ice cream? That's what sad people do to make themselves feel better, right?
>>
No. 924021 ID: 15a025

Time to wake up with a nice warm shower Mac.
>>
No. 924505 ID: 719d94

>you deserve a good rest after the day you had
...says the woman who just got fired that very same day. Her energy and selflessness are the stuff of legends. Also nightmares.

The sooner you get yourself a job, the sooner you'll get back on your feet, and the sooner you'll be out from under her overwhelming kindness.
>>
No. 932311 ID: 1ac5eb
File 155736265675.png - (118.98KB , 800x800 , 186.png )
932311

>Maybe if you go get laid, you’ll feel better?
I had sex a few days ago with someone I love. Banging a stranger won’t make me feel any better.

>When's the last time we saw a doctor?
Never? When I was a kid Gh’zan gave me a check-up to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong with my reflexes or general health. He does most of the medicine stuff for our hive since he was a medic in the army. But that’s pretty much it.

>Wait do you mean in past tense as in you use too a while back? or present tense as in you are feeling it right now?
As in I felt it when I wasn’t a rogue.

>Why don't you go eat some ice cream?

I’m not a kid, I’m not going to eat ice cream for breakfast. I’ll check on what Luvi has in the fridge when I go downstairs. I did have a charger in my bag, so I set that up in the guest room before I leave. Getting in touch with Kark again isn’t the worst idea, but I don’t have his number.

I knock on Luvi’s door, just in case she came back and went straight to sleep, but I’m pretty sure she’s gone which is confirmed once I enter. The room is more spartan than I imagined. There’s no pink wallpaper or big bean bag chairs or anything. Just a normal room.
>>
No. 932312 ID: 1ac5eb
File 155736273418.png - (95.32KB , 662x781 , 187.png )
932312

I pull a shirt and some sweatpants out of her closet for immediately after I finish my shower. Luvi is smaller than me but I’m pretty sure I can fit in most of her clothes. She does have a distressing number of shirts with cartoons and stuff on it, mostly from some show called Tekbeasts, but there’s normal stuff too.
>>
No. 932313 ID: 1ac5eb
File 155736279199.png - (162.44KB , 800x800 , 188.png )
932313

I’m about to leave for the shower when I spy a box in the closet I didn’t notice when I opened it up. There are probably more clothes to choose from in that. It’s not taped up or anything, so I could look inside without breaking into anything.
>>
No. 932319 ID: c1212a

Your expectations of Luvi have been subverted so many times by now I'm wondering why you're still holding on to them.

Unless you can permanently put what you find out of your head by the time you next see Luvi, I wouldn't. Besides, if it's not somewhere she won't want you snooping, it'll be somewhere you'll regret snooping, if you catch my drift.
>>
No. 932329 ID: 91ee5f

>>932312
You’re gonna end up stretching these clothes out and Luvi won’t be able to wear them anymore. She’ll just let you keep them.

>>932313
The box says “Panica‘s presents” so it stands to reason that they’re either presents from Panica or presents to Panica. That means that box isn’t meant for you.
>>
No. 932330 ID: 91ee5f
File 155736801293.png - (98.70KB , 662x781 , 86AE3BDF-C04E-4B0E-9493-97E198CC8F70.png )
932330

>>932329
Oops! Forgot to include the picture!
>>
No. 932341 ID: 7fb87a

>>932313
don't bother with the box.. She's so open about everything you could just ask her about it later with a clear conscience, and empathy.
>>
No. 932349 ID: 977456

The important thing is a toupee. Aside from that... Dressing-gown and a towel?
>>
No. 932363 ID: 1ed92d

>>932313
It will be guns. You KNOW it will be guns. You might as well just go ask her if it's guns. It's probably just guns or sex toys.
>>
No. 932383 ID: 2202fb

Why all Neumono be so stupid sexy thicc.

--

>>932363
It could be sex toys for guns. I cant really post links, but in my voyages of the interwebs, i have seen tacsack gunballs, tactical dildonets, and recoil driven fleshlights.
>>
No. 932385 ID: fd2d31

>>932312
Take off all current clothing, find the fanciest hat Luvi owns, don it.
There, now you're dressed for success.
>>
No. 932399 ID: a9af05

>>932311
>I’m not a kid, I’m not going to eat ice cream for breakfast.
But you're a depressed adult! Depressed adults are allowed to eat ice cream whenever they feel sad!

>>932312
>Luvi is smaller than me
That's right, you're bigger than her in both height and width.

Whatever clothes you wear, you're going to end up stretching them out, to the point that Luvi won't be able to wear them anymore.

You're gonna have to think of a way to pay her back for any clothes you take.

>>932313
>Box
Don't mess with it. You might upset her and she'll kick you out. Then you'll be back at square one with no place to sleep.
>>
No. 932401 ID: 891b91
File 155743415615.png - (216.98KB , 636x972 , cool_mac.png )
932401

Thankfully, Luvi has enough variety in her wardrobe to allow you to express your true self!
>>
No. 932402 ID: 891b91
File 155743424515.png - (125.03KB , 607x778 , preppy_mac.png )
932402

(Alright, maybe Mac isn't that much of a party animal. Here's a more serious suggestion: a pair of khakis with the legs rolled up to turn them into makeshift shorts and a classy striped polo.)

>>932399
>Don't mess with it. You might upset her and she'll kick you out. Then you'll be back at square one with no place to sleep.
I find it difficult to believe that Luvi gets upset about anything. Still, it's best to leave the box alone, out of respect for Luvi and the enormous kindness she's shown you. You could always ask her about it later, anyway.

>You're gonna have to think of a way to pay her back for any clothes you take.
Maybe there's some kind of favor you could do for her, or maybe you can get her a token of your appreciation once your financial situation is more stable.
>>
No. 932409 ID: bcc41d

>>932401
As tempting as it is to transfer half of Luvi's closet to the trash, remember it's impolite and you mustn't. You absolutely mustn't.

>>932313
It's either something for Panica or from Panica, and it's being stored. It doesn't seem like any of your business to meddle with, especially since you seem to be covered in the clothing department already.

>>932402
This outfit's nice, for example, though the shirt's a little tight-looking... maybe grab a slightly baggier backup shirt in your vest, even if it's got cartoons, in case this one tears.

>getting in touch with Kark again
Well, you know where you'll probably find him later in the day. Assuming it's not too far away from Luvi's place.
>>
No. 932416 ID: 58b4f3

>>932313
It's not your box, so you shouldn't go snooping through it.

>>932330
This wouldn't be so bad, if you made a few changes to it.

Switch the colors of the heart and the shirt, except for the sleeves, and make the heart have a crack run from the top down to the middle of the heart.

>>932409
>Don't throw away Levi's clothes!
Yeah, Miss Art Critic, don't throw away any of Levi's clothes, no matter how badly the cartoons are drawn.
>>
No. 932422 ID: 91ee5f
File 155744375149.png - (101.19KB , 662x781 , 37EFAD37-2D40-4B96-85D6-3D4BB31BA196.png )
932422

>>932416
>changes
You mean like this?
>>
No. 932423 ID: cb6404

>>932402

This gets my vote.
>>
No. 932424 ID: c8d2b2

>>932402
gotta be this one
>>
No. 932488 ID: 5fc3a0
File 155751350008.png - (167.98KB , 800x800 , 189.png )
932488

I skip on prying into Luvi’s stuff. There were more than enough clothes in Luvi’s closet anyway. I’ll put what I picked on before I leave for the day. I finish my shower and go downstairs to get some food but I still want to take my mind off things for at least a little while, so I turn on the tv.
>>
No. 932489 ID: 5fc3a0
File 155751354185.png - (189.89KB , 800x800 , 190.png )
932489

>”We can open the gate again, can’t we? Gulp survived in the Green Mage’s swamp, he can survive there until we can go back to him, right?”

”That’s not how this works, sweetie. I saw him before we went through the portal. There’s… nothing left to bring back.”

>”Why are you okay with this Thrasher? I thought he was your best friend!”

The rabbit is quiet as her friend continues to sob.

>”I don’t know if I can keep doing this without him.”

”You’ll figure it out. We all will. Eventually.”


This show, Tekbeasts I assume, started playing as soon as I turned the tv on. Seems weirdly depressing for a kid’s show, but the animation looks decent. I’m not too interested in watching cartoon animals cry as I eat breakfast though. I figure out how the remote works after a minute and find some shows that sound interesting to watch.

Our Roots: My little sister’s favorite show. It retells The Ultrahive Wars our Ultras were in. It’s on the educational channel since its government funded, but it really, really shouldn’t be.
News: I should probably keep myself informed. But also, I don’t really want to watch the news.
Zorya! Warrior Queen!: This is the current Zorya adaption. I heard it’s mostly network-driven and a lot of the comic fans are outraged, but it got a second season anyway.
Sports: I never actually watched a sports channel so early. Maybe something weird will be on.
>>
No. 932490 ID: 03b86f

Fuck it, change of scenery could probably do you good right now. Try on the sports channel.
>>
No. 932492 ID: 891b91

Given that you're now basically without a social safety net (Luvi's nice and helpful, but she can only do so much and now she's in free-fall too), staying up-to-date on current events is probably much more important than it used to be. So if you don't watch the news now, you should try to learn what the latest headlines are at some point today.

That being said, forcing yourself to watch something you don't want to probably isn't a great way to start the day, especially given your circumstances, so let's just go with sports for now.
>>
No. 932493 ID: 91ee5f

>>932489
Sports
>>
No. 932498 ID: 465a14

Ridiculously dangerous neumono sports time
>>
No. 932500 ID: 0fae41

Our Roots, for science. And social studies.
>>
No. 932502 ID: 2202fb

I kinda want to watch the news and see if any crossovers are possible.
>>
No. 932504 ID: fd2d31

>>932498
I'd be almost disappointed if it doesn't involve explosions.
>>
No. 932506 ID: a9af05

>>932489
Look at some Sports.

Maybe you'll find something you'll like and you'll become a sports fan that buys all the merchandise of your favorite team?
>>
No. 932510 ID: 86eb65

Sports!
>>
No. 932514 ID: 977456

Ugh, these are all terrible. Turn on the news but turn the sound down so that you can ignore it. Focus on breakfast and just use the news as back-ground music unless something forces your attention.
>>
No. 932533 ID: 1ed92d

>>932489
The Sports Channel sounds like it might be fun. Who knows, maybe someone invented a sport Neumono from differing hives can play that doesn't immediately devolve into bloodsport.

....And maybe Santa Claus will fly in from Earth to dispense presents to all the good little Neumono girls and boys.
>>
No. 932534 ID: 5ba090

*Sports*
>>
No. 932548 ID: 22d3a4

News. What's wring with Our Roots? Propaganda, or just in poor taste?
>>
No. 932561 ID: 83bf07

Gotta be responsible. Watch the news
>>
No. 932562 ID: bcc41d

>>932533
Now you've made me want to see the Neumono equivalent of pleasant, safe sports like tennis or curling.

>>932514
I like this idea of watching the news, but not having to really listen to it unless it seems interesting/relevant.
>>
No. 932566 ID: fd2d31

>>932562
>Now you've made me want to see the Neumono equivalent of pleasant, safe sports like tennis or curling.
I have a feeling most of what's considered extreme sports or contact heavy sports to humans are considered safe to them.
>>
No. 932586 ID: 6ec38e

At least check in the noise for a moment. Then hate on the new adaptation of zorya "unless it doesn't actually suck"
>>
No. 932591 ID: cb6404

>>932311

>Weird rifle.

>Always, creepily, awkwardly happy.

>Pink-ish.

Could Luvi secretly be the ex Pink Ranger?!?!
>>
No. 932612 ID: 864e49

>>932591
Or a failed experiment to create the ultimate Pink Ranger?
>>
No. 933302 ID: 15a025

Sports!
>>
No. 936166 ID: 5fc3a0
File 156080848601.png - (173.13KB , 800x800 , 191.png )
936166

>What's wrong with Our Roots? Propaganda, or just in poor taste?
It’s not the only problem with Our Roots, but a big one is Ultraking Az is a main character. The real Ultraking I mean, not the fake show version. He plays his younger self on the show. He’s not the worst actor, but the show is written like a drama and he hams up all his acting and makes things kind of hard to take serious. Plus, this is a Storytree specific problem, but my little sister always rants over anything he says about how historically inaccurate everything is or how the writers are bending the events over backwards to make him look good. She acts like the dumb educational end section at the end of each episode that goes over the actual history, but you can’t turn her off.

I think OR was meant to be propaganda, but it’s also half a vanity project, half an actual historical recreation, half insane action, and half baffling plot twists. It’s a mess of a show. A very fun mess since it’s popular, but a mess.

”Ultimate Hive fans, the Ruby League rogue they call Peace certainly isn’t being peaceful today! She’s suckered punched Tall Boy Gorn after he expertly knocked the regulation stave right out of her hands! Gorn goes in the drink and Peace is getting a talking to by the ref. She doesn’t even seem to care that she’s racked up two red flags already, and cost her adopted team six points! One more flag and the entire Monsoon hive will be disqualified! I bet now they’re regretting taking on such a maverick of a substitute player for her Emerald League debut, even if she’s already taken out three opponents by herself! The ref lets her go on her way and Peace balances her way carefully across the moat, ready to get back in the game!”
>>
No. 936167 ID: 5fc3a0
File 156080849575.png - (226.58KB , 800x800 , 192.png )
936167

"Obern’s lance crashes into Yolea’s shield and sends her flying off her motorcycle for the third time, making her dreams of victory skid on the dirt beside her! He’s taken his third win in this bout, and with three points this best of five match ends in his favor.”

>“It was an excellent showcase of both traditional offense and defense against Yolea’s more reckless style. The old-guard schooling the young blood on how to properly Cyclejoust.”

“Yolea seems to be cradling her arm from her fall, but she and Obern still head towards the center of the tilt barrier to shake hands. Such sportsmanship almost brings a tear to my eye. Truly, this is one of the noblest sports.”

>>
No. 936168 ID: 5fc3a0
File 156080851078.png - (195.32KB , 800x800 , 193.png )
936168

"Number 34 is gaining on 16, and 18 is right behind them both. But back a ways, two offroaders are taking a shortcut! Lucky 13 is gaining on 41. But 41's side passengers are taking off their seatbelts! They're grabbing onto the back, and crouching like they're going to jump! They've already expended their weapons, but they've still got their bodies! We don't know if this will work against number 13 or not, but two things are for certain, 41's driver is about to shed some weight, and ambulances are pre-emptively flying their way!"
>>
No. 936169 ID: 5fc3a0
File 156080852614.png - (96.89KB , 800x800 , 194.png )
936169

I finish my breakfast and decide that I’ve had my fill of mindless sports reruns Once a bit of light starts leaking in through the curtains. I flip the channel to the first 24/7 news channel I can find so it can run in the background while I wash the dishes and try to decide what-

Oh hell, someone’s furious. Wait, I recognize the empathy. He starts pounding on the door.

“Luvi, wake the fuck up and get out here! Mund pulled a fast one on us!”
>>
No. 936170 ID: 5fc3a0
File 156080853953.png - (137.04KB , 800x800 , 195.png )
936170

Kark doesn’t seem surprised I’m opening Luvi’s door, but it might be hidden under the anger he’s radiating. He looks even more tired than when I saw him yesterday and is still wearing the same suit.

“Go wake Luvi up. And scream directly in her ear to charge her fucking phone overnight.”

“Luvi’s not here, she left before I woke up.”

Kark growls under his breath and pinches the bridge of his nose. Lots of frustration bubbles up through the anger.

“Are you okay?”

He answers with a deep sigh. “You busy?” He pauses for half a second to check my empathy. “No. Good. There’s a town hall this afternoon. We need as many rogues as we can get to come, and Luvi is one of our few sure things. Go find her and get her there by three, along with any other rogues you can wrangle. What was her fucking schedule? Forget it, you can go to Luvi’s office and ask them where she’s ended up or check their shitty housing projects. If this is a vacation day for her she’s probably volunteering at the geezer house or visiting her sister at one of those cult churches on the east side. Think it’s the one with the bird on top.”
>>
No. 936180 ID: b1b4f3

Uh, yeah, she won't be at her office either, she got fired.
>>
No. 936181 ID: 465a14

Probably best not to mention Luvi's situation. Ask which geezer house.
>>
No. 936205 ID: bcc41d

>>936170
Mund was the local law enforcement kingpin, as I recall. As for the issue now, I'm guessing she's trying to change some municipal law. That's a town hall thing, right? Whatever it is must be bad for rogues in order for Kark to give a shit. The question is - do you give a shit?

...

Oh hey, a distraction that'll keep you busy and not thinking about certain things!

And, to be fair, you owe Kark a little for dinner and the run-down on rogue life - maybe not this much, but what goes around comes around, hopefully. You need info, but first of all - exchange phone numbers. Anything he doesn't have the time to answer, he might be able text you if/when he finds time.

Possible questions to ask:

*What's the issue at hand? (and be ready to ask for a pitch summary if he tangents for too long, he seems to tend towards lecturing once he gets going)
*Town hall where?
*"Geezer's house" where? Who they?
*Any recruiting tips? Useful ones - like where people with odds of caring can be found?
*Would props help? You can whip up posters and/or protest signs, with at little time and materials. (Would give you an excuse to drop by the Artist's Loft and drop off that particular job application.)
*Oh - and would aliens count for purposes of town hall meetings? They live here too, right? (That miklik shopkeep may repay the favor - or their family might. Sounded like his father was a local storeowner.)

Possible bad news to pass on:

*Tell him Luvi got fired from her office, apparently. Yesterday.
*Tell him Luvi said youth gangs will have it in for you since you foiled a robbery and got one caught. Some kid named Jazz did a dumb. Also, you calling Luvi pissed off some Officer Glint.
*Tell him he really needs a few hours of sleep. (Or don't. Maybe don't.)
*Also, his pamphlet's design is okay, but not great, and falls short of what he wants it to do. (Definitely don't say this. Not today.)

...Oh, and leave a note for Luvi, in case you miss her.
>>
No. 936222 ID: 094652

Ask him if her job is an essential part of the 'voting process'
and then tell him this is probably not going to matter so you'll get it done for money
>>
No. 941717 ID: e5e15e
File 156521092727.png - (162.57KB , 800x800 , 196.png )
941717

“Do you need Luvi for a vote?”

“Vote? Do you know what a town hall is?”

“It’s, uh… where towns elect their mayors?” His empathy tells me that this is wrong and he’s thinking something rude. He checks his watch and snarls.

“I don’t have time to school you in Civics 101, just fucking show up and pay attention.” I grab his shoulder as he turns around.

“Wait, I still have some questions.”

“Quick.”
>>
No. 941718 ID: e5e15e
File 156521096013.png - (138.90KB , 800x800 , 197.png )
941718

“Geezer House?”

“Gentle Pastures. It’s where we get dumped once we’re too old to think straight. Awful fucking place, but Luvi gets off on ‘helping’ the poor bastards there. Check ORS first though.”

“I don’t think she’ll be there. She got fired yesterday.” I try not to let my guilt about that leak through my empathy.

“I’ll deal with it tomorrow.” Kark says after cursing under, well, over his breath for a minute. “Go by her office anyway. She’s soft enough to go and help out her co-workers for free.”

“Should I try and get aliens to come?”

“What? Why?” He’s confused. “Whatever, if you can find some, bring them.”

“Is there anywhere I should look in particular?”

“If I knew of a place full of engaged, politically minded rogues with no jobs chomping at the bit to go to a town hall I’d be there, not here.”

“Alright. So is this a favor or like, a…” I drop the sentence. Begging for money is harder than I assumed.

Kark narrows his eyes. “If you can find five whole chucklefucks to bring to this thing I’ll owe you something. Now are you done with the questions?”
>>
No. 941719 ID: e5e15e
File 156521097947.png - (170.15KB , 800x800 , 198.png )
941719

He gives me his phone number and the meeting place for the town hall before he walks off grumbling. I could try to do posters to advertise, but it’d take more than a few hours to actually finish any good ones and they wouldn’t have much time to be seen before the afternoon.

Where should I check first for Luvi, and should I walk, grab a bus, or get a taxi? Walking will take longest but getting a taxi will cost the most. Also… I noticed it this morning, but Luvi put the gun I found last night in a holster and laid it out on the kitchen table. I think I could stuff it under my pants if I wanted to bring it.
>>
No. 941726 ID: 5985bd

Get to walking. You don't need a gun.
>>
No. 941752 ID: bddb0f

>Kark's phone number
Social link get!

>Just show up and pay attention.
Some kind of info meet, then? Combined with voting for something? Kark's in no mood to explain, so I guess we'll find out.

>>941726
Yeah, why would you need a gun? Luvi's kind, but that's ridiculous, and you're not particularly well trained with one - though perhaps you could act like you know what you're doing. Maybe Luvi prepared it for her gun-nut friend?

Anyway, plan of action. You're headed for the Office of Rogue Services first, then Gentle Pastures. Though... is today a Monday, Wednesday or Friday? Luvi's 'legally required' opening spiel mentioned them being open from ten AM to four PM on those days for drop-in consultations, and if today's a not-open day (or too early) we may want to reconsider Kark's advice. Also, do we know where the offices are? Check for the address if not - ideally get a map app of the city and a buss schedule / ticket purchase app DL'd to your phone.

>Transportation
Walking will take a long time, but it's free. You'll probably have to hustle a bit, mind, to get everywhere you want to go. Also, you might run into someone from that youth gang you've probably pissed off. (Huh. Maybe that's why Luvi prepared a gun? She was considering your safety?)

Taking a buss will ideally take less time at the small price of 50-something zeny, and you'll wait at buss stops and hang around other neumono on the way. This could potentially be turned to an advantage if you can pitch rogues to show up to the town hall. Who knows, you might get lucky.

Taxi is expensive, but fast and, assuming you have the right address, precise. You won't get lost, or accosted, and will have more time to spend recruiting Neumono wherever you go. I feel this is a good fallback if bussing proves less ideal than hoped.

Given the above, I think I prefer the Buss.

Hm. Recruitment idea-wise, perhaps you should consider the Rogue Dorms run by the ORS as your third destination? Though everyone there will be in a funk or worse, they probably won't have jobs getting in the way of them attending. Getting out and engaged with something might actually do them a world of good.
>>
No. 942212 ID: 15a025

Leave the gun. It might suck a ton if slip and let that info leak out through your empathy.

I'm not sure she'd go to work after getting fired. Maybe she's visiting her sister like Kark suggested.
>>
No. 942218 ID: a8d8b4

i don't see a real reason to get the gun. it's not like you're looking for trouble. just take a bus to ORS and see if luvi is there
>>
No. 942226 ID: f57349

Walk, recruit people you encounter on the way.
>>
No. 942251 ID: fd2d31

>>941719
Unless you got a permit for carrying a shooty-shooty bangbang and that isn't the one with serial number conveniently removed or a stolen one, then don't bother with with the firearm.
I guess you could walk while attempting to convince groups of rogues you meet on your way to come & vote or whatever Kark wanted.
>>
No. 946909 ID: 282e0b

definitely skip the gun, you don't need it
>>
No. 950507 ID: e5e15e
File 157496366437.png - (117.71KB , 800x800 , 199.png )
950507

I’ll head towards ORS first. It’ll take a little bit to get there, but that’ll let me I can chat up any rogues I find, so it’s two birds with one stone. And I’m leaving the gun. I’d probably shoot myself by accident trying to stuff it in my pants, anyway. It’s not like I’m going to get mugged.
>>
No. 950508 ID: e5e15e
File 157496368725.png - (258.56KB , 800x800 , 200.png )
950508

>10 minutes later.
I think I’m going to get mugged.
>>
No. 950509 ID: 35a827

I think you need to get out into the open, rather than a alleyway (from the looks of it), is there a main road nearby you can take?

It'd be a longer route potentially but better than being mugged.
>>
No. 950510 ID: 2202fb

>>950508
Well, on the bright side, they look female so statistically, you probably arent going to get raped. Plus, if that is a weapon they are sporting in that case, it isnt something they can easily pull out. Keep walking and go towards a more crowded street. Then loop back and for fucks sake get yourself a weapon. Buy a holster or carry some pepper spray or something.
>>
No. 950511 ID: 12b116

What's their empathy feel like? We should always bring the gun in the future
>>
No. 950514 ID: 11cc32

How are you going to get mugged when you don't have anything to steal?
>>
No. 950518 ID: 77e37e

Well, you're at risk of being mugged and sexually assaulted. The only defense is to mug and sexually assault her first. Grab her boob and punch her face. Or vice-versa, either way works.
>>
No. 950524 ID: 015bf2

>>950508
Why do you think so? Is it just that you're being followed? Are they giving off a 'I'm going to rob you', vibe? Could just them being a rogue that gives you that feeling. Or you're being paranoid. For all you know this is a fellow rogue you could sell on the whole town hall thing.

That said, better safe than sorry - and you don't need a gun to give yourself an edge! Just keep walking while they follow, but get out your phone. Hold it up and take a selfie shot over your shoulder of the one following you, then send it to your own e-mail account, or to Luvi or somesuch. That way you've got something to identify them with to friends and authorities if they try anything.
>>
No. 950526 ID: 1e3468

Are your acting skills good enough to act tough and convince them you could kick their ass if they tried anything? Make them think you're not worth the trouble?
>>
No. 950535 ID: e6f1ef

>>950508
Are they threatening you with that guitar? Do you have a guitar allergy or phobia?
>>
No. 950591 ID: 15a025

Guess it's a good thing there isn't much to rob from you? Run out into the open and try to get lost in the crowd in case there's a gun in that guitar case instead of a guitar.
>>
No. 950648 ID: cd9a79

Be sure to keep your eyes and empathy out to make sure if there are any more of them around here. I would hardly think a neumono would mug another by themself, even if you're alone. They could have an alien accomplice.


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