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File 161705780281.png - (102.56KB , 1000x900 , p0.png )
993735 No. 993735 ID: eedbeb

Part 1: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/989140.html

Interlude: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/991509.html

Your wings keep growing.
Expand all images
>>
No. 993736 ID: eedbeb
File 161705781730.png - (63.05KB , 1000x900 , p1.png )
993736

You’re asleep, which is perfectly normal. Everything is as it should be and there’s nothing wrong.

What are you dreaming about?
-A high school dance
-An exam you didn’t study for
-Jadis
>>
No. 993738 ID: 434eec

Dancin’.
>>
No. 993743 ID: 0fae41

A high school dance. Couldn't be more awkward even if you were in your underwear and hadn't studied for it.
>>
No. 993744 ID: 031458

It Comes.

Į̵͇̲̫͐͋͂́͜͠Ţ̵̤̗͂̿͂̎̈͂ ̶̮̹̞̰͎͈̟̓̇̈́̅̕͘͜͝C̶̱͙̼̔̀͐̽̅O̴̢̖͖̰͇͖̬̎̋̈́́M̷̜̠̦̳̳̯̖̼͉͐Ḛ̵͗S̸̩̊̔̒͋̓
>>
No. 993745 ID: 8a51ec

A dream about a high school dance can't possibly morph into something symbolic and/or prophetic.
>>
No. 993746 ID: 81f034

A dream about your high school dance that went horribly wrong and ended up with a few of your friends dying in a freak accident.
>>
No. 993747 ID: b1b4f3

>>993736
Dream about taking over Duck's stupid angel body through sheer force of will.
>>
No. 993753 ID: 1869f4

Yeah, let's go with dreaming of overpowering the duck angel.
>>
No. 993756 ID: 3ed3c3

>>993736
A high school dance.
>>
No. 993765 ID: 094652

Jennings And Dancing, In Sitting a tree...
You are dancing with Jadis
>>
No. 993769 ID: eedbeb
File 161707173558.png - (216.23KB , 1000x900 , p2.png )
993769

>High School Dance

Alright, I suppose we must take a few detours before you tell me about Jadis.

You’re in the middle of senior prom, corsage on your wrist, in one of those self-conscious circles that your clique has formed. Your date is standing by your side, eyes on you.

Should we dance?

You never actually danced at your real senior prom, content to stand near the walls of the neat venue and talk, but surviving your twenties made you a lot more confident, and you start to nod along to the music.
>>
No. 993770 ID: eedbeb
File 161707176352.png - (115.26KB , 1000x900 , p3.png )
993770

While you’re moving your body roughly in time to the fresh pop song, you feel a tap on your shoulder. You turn to see an odd figure swaddled in constraining bandages, bobbing their head to the beat. Unlike the other people in the dream, you can make out fine details in their face. They’re fucking pissed.

Excuse me sir, the lady is taken.

The stranger glares at Duck’s Head and shuffles through some dance moves that are a few decades old.

Sir, I insist that you leave or I will have to remove you with force.

Your date is about to punch the familiar stranger. What do you do?
>>
No. 993771 ID: 094652

Dare your date to dance with the stranger. You're dancing with all the boys tonight!
>>
No. 993773 ID: b1b4f3

Insist that if they're going to fight over you, it has to be a dance battle.

Try to figure out why the stranger looks so familiar. Old boyfriend? Creepy stalker? Magically bound to a body that's using them as a soul?
>>
No. 993775 ID: 4eb01a

Well, might as well ask where you recognize them from.
>>
No. 993776 ID: 81f034

It’s a dream, dance with the stranger
>>
No. 993777 ID: b1b4f3

Also if it wasn't implied strongly enough from my suggestion, stop your date from punching the stranger. You're Strong, you get to choose who dances with you.
>>
No. 993785 ID: 0fae41

Pin the corsage to their chest, right in the eye.
>>
No. 993786 ID: 031458

Date or not that's no excuse to be a dick!
>>
No. 993788 ID: 46a721

Oh, poor fellow. It looks like his shirt is buttoned too tight.
It may be best if we help him out of those restrictive clothes.
>>
No. 993793 ID: 3ed3c3

Well, if you're date is going to be so violent so fast, then maybe they aren't a very good or trustworthy date. Clearly, you need to stop your date and hang with the superior stranger.
>>
No. 993805 ID: 53560f

Their dance moves are abysmal but if there’s anything I know about people who dance terribly, it’s that they are way more into it.
Dance with the stranger, understand their groove, do the worst dance moves you’ve ever danced in your life.
>>
No. 993820 ID: ce39da

"You know, for some reason, I was expecting your 'invasion of the mind' to be a lot more subtle than... whatever the fuck you expected to get away with here. Who's this guy, anyway? I don't remember seeing him. Are souls supposed to have a face?"

The quickest way to turn a mind invasion around is to be the one who's asking the questions here.

"... Wait, that's still my soul in there, even if you did absorb it, right? You couldn't let yourself in, otherwise."

Make your (angelic) self punch themselves in the face through force of will.
>>
No. 993832 ID: eedbeb
File 161712762668.png - (160.76KB , 1000x900 , p4.png )
993832

You stop your date’s arm and sternly tell it that jealousy is a bad look. You can dance with whoever you want, and right now you want to dance with the stranger.

The stranger leads you a short distance away, towards a group of dogs whose faces you don’t recognize. Your date follows despite your warning scowl and watches while you groove.

Why is that thing even here.

Your date is really getting on your nerves. The stranger nods in agreement and gestures towards the door.
>>
No. 993836 ID: ce39da

"Beats the hell out of me. Hey, my soul's still in there. It's still mine - else you wouldn't be able to let yourself in like this - right?" Make them punch themselves in the face through force of will. "That's what I thought; now kindly fuck off. I'll take whoever this is over you, at least for now."
>>
No. 993838 ID: 19da02

Try scarpering
>>
No. 993839 ID: 031458

o.o It's eyes are on it's chest.
"Bruh what the fuck even are you?"
>>
No. 993842 ID: 8a51ec

Our date is making this awkward, let's get out of here and converse our way into finding out what's pissing this stranger off so much.
>>
No. 993843 ID: 094652

"I'm not your pleasure dispenser, and he's not your punching bag. Goodbye."
>>
No. 993845 ID: b1b4f3

>>993832
dogs: block Duck's path.
>>
No. 993850 ID: eedbeb
File 161713927827.png - (74.74KB , 1000x900 , p5.png )
993850

>Take control of Duck’s Head and make it punch itself

That’s too complex for what you’re capable of right now. You are asleep, in a strange lucid dream where you can’t talk, only tell. You’re aware that your date is not your friend and that they want you to take them to Jadis, but your other knowledge is hazy.
>>
No. 993851 ID: eedbeb
File 161713929664.png - (123.86KB , 1000x900 , p6.png )
993851

>Leave

Now that you’re trying to pay attention, you notice that the stranger is floating, not walking. You can’t say where you know them from, but they seem trustworthy.

That soul identifies as male. Also come back here.

You feel like you’re moving through syrup and the stranger squirms impatiently. He seems to be restrained with several lengths of tight cord.

Do you:
-Keep running
-Untie the stranger
-Attempt to fight your date
>>
No. 993852 ID: 0fae41

Untie that stranger. Maybe they're over it.
>>
No. 993853 ID: 09bf84

Oooh untie the stranger it’s totally a bad idea but do it
>>
No. 993854 ID: 3ed3c3

>>993851
I don't know what untying the soul will do to Body, but fighting isn't a good idea as the angel has the advantage and running isn't going to work as this is all mental.
Come what may, freeing the soul seems like our only option.
>>
No. 993872 ID: 46a721

Untying the soul would be really unpredictable thing to do, no to mention something nasty may happen to Body.

Eh, let's see what happens.
>>
No. 993874 ID: 031458

Untie said stranger. DO IT
>>
No. 993880 ID: ce39da

ROUND 1: FIGHT
>>
No. 993892 ID: eedbeb
File 161715211996.png - (140.80KB , 1000x900 , p7.png )
993892

>Untie the stranger

You reach for the loosest cord and fumble at the knot with numb fingers. Once the stranger figures out what you’re doing, he leans towards you to give you better access.

Your date is a few steps away when the string miraculously uncurls and the section of cord falls away.

Unwise. I am tired of waiting.

Duck’s Head is still a few steps from you as you’re impaled through the chest.
>>
No. 993893 ID: eedbeb
File 161715213855.png - (195.23KB , 1000x900 , p8.png )
993893

Congratulations, you found the fastest way to wake up.

You blink, disoriented by the bright ceiling light in Margot’s room. Body is kneeling by your side, sagging and slightly cross-eyed, while Jadis stands at the foot of the bed, Cookie beside her.
>>
No. 993894 ID: b1b4f3

>>993893
Warn them that Duck ate your soul and is using that connection to invade your dreams.
Also tell them about the weird bound soul you saw.
>>
No. 993895 ID: 031458

Uh... Hello?
Why's everyone staring?

>>993894
As the soul was untethered at that point, it's unlikely we have that information.
>>
No. 993898 ID: 0fae41

Whoo. Did anyone get the license plate number on that duck?
>>
No. 993899 ID: 8a51ec

"Were you having a party?"
>>
No. 993901 ID: 53560f

“Angels are looking for you Jadis, they got my soul and also I think I might have fucked with something I wasn’t supposed to while I was out.
Now that the warning of impending doom is out of the way, are you doing okay Body?”
>>
No. 993908 ID: b1b4f3

>>993895
Evelyn remembers being a soul. We have all the information we've seen during the non-interlude threads.
>>
No. 993911 ID: eedbeb
File 161715937521.png - (102.07KB , 1000x900 , p9.png )
993911

Your head feels stuffy and your tongue is dry.

“There’s an angel coming for you, Jadis.” you croak. “It’s related to the one we gave to Kibble and it took my soul and was in my dreams.”

Jadis sighs, resigned more than afraid. “I’m probably toast then. Had a pretty good run. You’ve been asleep for ages, we couldn’t wake you, even with magic. After I ran out of string I came back here and Kibble told me about what’s been happening. Even interrogated Duck a bit, though it’s basically catatonic with self-pity.”

You groan and try to rub your forehead, only to jerk on the thread connected to Body’s limp wrist.
>>
No. 993913 ID: 8a51ec

We might want to be extra cautious about that string from now on, considering who currently has our soul.
>>
No. 993921 ID: 7bd48e

Ask for a smoke. It helps you think.

Do we still have that werewolf infection? I wonder if we can use that to our advantage in some way considering Duck has our soul, and we can connect to it through dreaming
>>
No. 993926 ID: 4eb01a

Thanks for the save, Bod.

what if an angel gets infected with the werewolf virus? would that cripple the magical ability?
>>
No. 993928 ID: b1b4f3

>>993911
Ok time to talk about the soul you saw in your dream. Was that Body? Couldn't have been, the soul identified as male.

Also Body are you ok?
>>
No. 993970 ID: 1869f4

>>993928 It has been shown that the soul is not the same as the body and mind that harbor it in this story.
The soul probably identified as male because it is mostly made out of that werewolf dude.

We should check to see how Body is feeling. She seems a bit....stiff. Heyoo!
>>
No. 994017 ID: b1b4f3

>>993970
I know that. I'm framing my suggestions as if we don't know the information gained in the interlude.
>>
No. 994026 ID: eedbeb
File 161721435099.png - (128.56KB , 1000x900 , p10.png )
994026

You cover your face with your free hand. A cigarette would help you relax, but you’d think it’d be rude to light up in Margot’s room and instead you try to remember what happened in the dream.

There was another soul that had helped you, a tied-up guy that killed your sleep self to get you away from Duck’s Head. That had to be Body’s and by default yours, defending you against the invader.

Speaking of Body, the zombie is going through an exciting range of facial expressions, eyelids twitching and teeth gritted.

“Are you okay?” you ask. “I might have messed with your soul in the dream, er, I hope that didn’t break anything.”

“Uh oh.” says Jadis.

“Jadis, do you know if we could infect the angels with the werewolf virus? What have witches historically—“
>>
No. 994027 ID: eedbeb
File 161721440302.png - (175.17KB , 1000x900 , p11.png )
994027

Body lunges across the bed and you yelp as the string cuts into your wrist. Your weight slows her enough that Jadis can lean out of Body’s reach.

“All this FUCKING TIME.” the zombie yells. “I begged you to tell me if something was wrong, if there was something making me feel like shit, and you never FUCKING TOLD ME THAT I HAD A SENTIENT SOUL THAT WAS BEING CONSTANTLY TORTURED.”

Now Jadis looks scared, smile stretched in an apologetic grimace. “I assume it’s communicating more clearly with you.”

“Yeah it is! It’s screaming at me, and I—“ Body tears at her mottled skin and you see a few stitches break open. “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU.”
>>
No. 994028 ID: 9c1ef3

>>994027
please tell me you have a kill switch for this exact scenario

not because I want you to use it, but because it's the smart thing to do when making a whole ass new life

...but you might want to use it, if you got it.
>>
No. 994030 ID: 158c05

Jadis is dangerously close to murdering body If that happens, you die too.
RESTRAIN BODY
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT HIM ANYMORE.
>>
No. 994031 ID: 8a51ec

Now seems like the time to ask Jadis what the hell the story is behind Body's soul.
>>
No. 994032 ID: b1b4f3

>>994027
Body no. Jadis, fix this. I'm going to assume you didn't know the soul was in pain. Why don't you fucking do something about it now that you do.
>>
No. 994033 ID: 3ed3c3

>>994027
Save it for when she's no longer useful.
We still need Jadis to fix us. I still need a soul, and you need a soul that's not alive and screaming.
>>
No. 994034 ID: 6a3606

"Body, we can kill this asshole now, or we can plan and destroy a history-spanning pantheon of The Murderers of all time. We can't do both.
Besides, Jadis is deluded, I don't think she knew the soul she murdered was still conscious."
>>
No. 994055 ID: ce39da

Restrain her: "Dude, you did me a seemingly counterproductive solid back in the dream, so here's me returning the favor. Do you really think this should be at the top of your priority list when we have the angelic apocalypse to contend with?" Point at Jadis. "Not that I'm gonna excuse you for your presumed crimes against magic; that's just a tomorrow conversation as opposed to a today one."
>>
No. 994073 ID: eedbeb
File 161724621929.png - (201.65KB , 1000x900 , p12.png )
994073

>Restrain Body

You don’t know the details of Body’s creation, though from what you know of Jadis it probably wasn’t pretty. That doesn’t mean you’re going to let Body kill her, and you grab the zombie’s right arm, the one that’s easiest to reach.
It’s surprisingly difficult. You are a STRONG woman and Body is…very angry.

“We need Jadis for the apocalypse, calm down, we can talk this out—“

Body snarls at you and pulls the meanest pair of scissors you’ve ever seen out of her pocket space and starts snipping at the string.
>>
No. 994074 ID: eedbeb
File 161724623108.png - (154.51KB , 1000x900 , p13.png )
994074

“Jadis, do something, make her stop!” you yell.

“Give me a second, there’s a kill switch I built into—“

Something invisible slashes across her face, cutting her eyes and flinging blood into the air. Cookie screams and Kibble crashes into the cramped bedroom, Duck in her hand.
>>
No. 994084 ID: 820483

Tell Kibble Body and something invisible is trying to kill you and Jadis. Tell her to subdue Body and get you out of here
>>
No. 994085 ID: 8a51ec

Go for the stitches in Body's other wrist, and tell Kibble there's something we can't see in the room trying to kill Jadis.
>>
No. 994094 ID: b1b4f3

The soul is able to affect the physical world?! I wonder how well it could fight an angel warrior...

Anyway. Warn Kibble that Body's soul is attacking Jadis. Do your best to prevent Body from cutting the string.
>>
No. 994106 ID: 1869f4

Tell Cookie and Kibble to take Jadis away while you try to calm Body down.
Tell her Jadis WILL pay for this after we deal with the soul crisis.
>>
No. 994120 ID: afe7de

Is that Body's soul? holy shit. Ask Kibble to help you disable Body before you're knocked unconcious.
>>
No. 994124 ID: 094652

"Body, I don't want to die again!"
>>
No. 994144 ID: a4781c

tell body that of she kills Jadis we wont figjre out what she did or how to fix it.
>>
No. 994151 ID: 8a8155

Body no! People die when they are killed!
>>
No. 994216 ID: 422cea

Oh Christmas on a Cantaloupe I hope healing magic is trivial enough to fix burst eyeballs. Jadis must be in some godless pain now. Wrangle Body and attempt to damage the threads on her left arm so she drops those shears!
>>
No. 994250 ID: eedbeb
File 161730671607.png - (209.22KB , 1000x900 , p14.png )
994250

Kibble’s eyes sweep over the scene, taking in the struggle on the bed and Jadis dripping blood onto the carpet. You shove your palm between the blades to stop them from closing and manage to pull out some of the stitches in Body’s left arm.

Kibble’s chest cracks open and an enormous mouth snatches Body into the air. The scissors thump besides you on the bed and the zombie goes limp between the bare teeth, still scowling.

“What happened?” Kibble asks hoarsely.

You try to explain despite not knowing the details, stuttering slightly in the shadow of the mouth monster.

“I think Jadis was attacked by Body’s soul when she tried to use magic on it, she’s really hurt.” you finish.

Jadis struggles to her feet, face a mess of swollen tissue. You flinch when you see her ruined eye.

“Need my dad.” she spits.
>>
No. 994256 ID: e51896

Kibble focus on keeping Body and Body's soul restrained
Cookie call Jadis' father
as for us, we need to talk to body and get his priorities straight on which is more important right now, revenge, or preventing the apocalypse, because if we don't stop the apocalypse, a lot of people's souls will end up like the soul he got, and end up like how your soul ended up with Duck.
>>
No. 994268 ID: be4266

Body I get that you’re pissed, BUT if we don’t figure this shit out soon the world will literally end
>>
No. 994293 ID: 44b7a7

Tell body you'll save her soul if she promises to help stop the apocalypse. Tell her you were in the process of doing that before Duck woke you anyway.
>>
No. 994294 ID: b1b4f3

>>994250
Oh? What's her dad gonna do? Wave a magic wand and make all this go away?
Tell Jadis she better have a way of fixing Body's soul. Eternal torture is not cool. "Unprecedented", my ass.
>>
No. 994323 ID: 1869f4

Cookie, take Jadis out. I need to have a heart to heart with Body.
>>
No. 994338 ID: eedbeb
File 161732809452.png - (169.03KB , 1000x900 , p15.png )
994338

“Cookie, take Jadis to the living room. Call whoever she needs for help.” you say. It’s too crowded in this bedroom and the sight and smell of blood is making you queasy. You don’t have a high opinion of Jadis’ dad but he probably knows his healing magic.

Once they’re gone, you motion for Kibble to lower Body to eye level. A heart to heart is in order.

The cheerful, dopey cat you were so fond of is gone. Body scowls at you from between the monster’s teeth, unfazed by the jaws that could bite her in two.

“I’m not your enemy.” you say. “I get that you’re pissed, but we need to talk things through. If you’re suffering, I want to help, but you really scared me just now.”

Body droops for a moment, but keeps her defiant glare. “I just learned my entire life is a lie.”

“So what are you going to do? Kill Jadis? Will that make you feel better?”

“Yes.” She says stiffly.

“Can it wait until I have my soul back? I helped free your soul, at least partially, pay me back by being patient.”

The zombie snorts. “I’m not going to be around for that long. Mr. Lewis will put me down as soon as he gets here.”
>>
No. 994346 ID: ce39da

“Look, maybe he will, maybe he won’t, but unless you have any ideas that won’t end prematurely with our mutual demise, waiting’s all we got. I imagine our odds increase significantly if you can just cool it with the whole ‘murder’ impulse.”

“New question; will killing Jadis pragmatically improve anything? Because if this is 100% emotion driving you here, there are better ways of acting on it. Denounce her, cut ties, press some actual legal charges, resolve to never forgive or at least never forget, etc.”
>>
No. 994354 ID: b1b4f3

>>994338
Ask Kibble if she'll help you protect Body. Maybe Mr. Lewis will be persuaded by the fact that Duck considered you and Body together to be a powerful entity? Maybe there's a potential edge to be gained against the angels if Body is kept alive, by researching the weird sapient soul inside her. Presumably this arrangement would include helping the soul so it's no longer suffering.
>>
No. 994362 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, another thing we could do is LEAVE. Mr. Lewis can't kill Body if he doesn't know where we are.
>>
No. 994367 ID: e51896

"I don't think her father is going to kill you. She takes great pride in her work, and I do not think she is going to tell her father about what you did, only help get herself patched up, and make it look like an accident or something. She doesn't want to be like her father after all.
>>
No. 994434 ID: eedbeb
File 161737848769.png - (129.67KB , 1000x900 , p16.png )
994434

“Is that true?” you ask Kibble.

The stoic cat shifts uneasily on her feet. “Jadis needs a medical witch she can trust.” she says evasively.

“Help protect Body while he’s here then, or, I don’t know, we can leave the apartment and come back later.” You look between the two sullen cats. “Come on, Body, we need to work together.”

There is a third option. You could let me talk to the father.

You startle, then realize that it’s just Duck.

Do you:
-Leave
-Stay
-Let Duck do its thing (please do not pick this option)
>>
No. 994435 ID: ce39da

"No way in hell, duck." Just because he's personally 'lost,' that doesn't mean he's above being a spiteful dick. "Let's just go." (Staying might give duck the chance to try his shit anyway.)
>>
No. 994440 ID: 3ed3c3

>>994434
Let's take a leave of absence until things cool down. Then we can start trying to fix this shit.
>>
No. 994442 ID: 094652

>Duck option
"I don't trust you after what you and your 'brother' did to me."

Leaving sounds good.
>>
No. 994444 ID: b1b4f3

>>994434
Leave.
>>
No. 994483 ID: f8fa51

Just leave. Better to sidestep the conflict than to rely on protection.
>>
No. 994486 ID: 44b878

Give Body a hug and tell her you are not gonna let people hurt her.
>>
No. 994487 ID: da89f3

>(please do not pick this option)

What if that was Duck's head that told us not to let ducks body talk to trick us?
>>
No. 994491 ID: eedbeb
File 161740025813.png - (154.77KB , 1000x900 , p17.png )
994491

>Leave

Removing Body from the situation is probably the safest option, for all parties. You ignore Duck’s suggestion on principle.

“Let her go and we’ll get out of here. Someone can call Body if you need us.” you tell Kibble.

She nods and drops Body to the bed, along with a few shiny ropes of saliva. Body doesn’t reach for the scissors, and you carefully slide off the bed and crack open the door. You can hear Margot’s worried voice and the sound of duct tape being unrolled.

You make a beeline for the exit and hastily unlock the apartment door.

“Wait! Let me come with you.” Margot calls.
>>
No. 994492 ID: 094652

Okay.
>>
No. 994500 ID: d6408c

Please.
>>
No. 994508 ID: 3ed3c3

Please, yes. Do not leave us alone with the enraged, undead construct. It would be too awkward.
>>
No. 994510 ID: eedbeb
File 161740734607.png - (138.05KB , 1000x900 , p18.png )
994510

You slow your pace once you’re in the hallway so Margot can catch up. You haven’t interacted much with Margot, but she seems like a nice girl who doesn’t take any shit. Hopefully that makes her trustworthy.

“Body I am so sorry. I had no idea. I’m furious with Jadis and I want to make sure you’re okay.” Margot pants.

Body grunts in acknowledgement.

“If I stay with you, there’s a smaller chance you’ll be ambushed. Her dad is going to freak out, you totally blinded her and she can’t use magic unless her eyes are fixed.”

“Good. Hope it’s permanent.”

Margot makes a small choked noise, then addresses you.

“Where are we going? The city’s still in a state of emergency and we’re not supposed to be outside unless it’s urgent.”
>>
No. 994514 ID: 3c38f8

We can take Duck with us and go to Evelyn's house.
There, we can try to find common ground with Duck to glean more information on this whole soul-snatching affair.

Also, we should tell Body that, know that she knows what was wrong with her, we can work on making things better.
>>
No. 994515 ID: b1b4f3

Uh... what's nearby?
Is Evelyn's apartment close by?

Ask Body about how the soul can affect the physical world. Can she direct him to do that if, by some chance, we get attacked by an Angel or just some ruffian?
Shit, did we ever pay back that werewolf?
>>
No. 994522 ID: 3ed3c3

Some neutral ground would be good. Someplace no one would think to look.
Is there a CVS or an equivalent thereof somewhere nearby? It's my experience that those make for good emergency sanctuaries.
>>
No. 994526 ID: 031458

So Body. You dead-set on dying, or, assuming you could free the soul within you and live somehow, would you want too?
>>
No. 994538 ID: eedbeb
File 161741965535.png - (87.99KB , 1000x900 , p19.png )
994538

“Let’s walk to my place. It’s not very big but I have food and internet.” you say.

Margot sighs. “I’m sure we won’t have much time to enjoy it. Once Jadis is fixed up she’ll call and we’ll have to figure things out.”

“Yeah speaking of that, Body, will you die and your soul be freed if Jadis dies? Is that partially why you’re trying to kill her?”

Body gives you a calculating look. “I have a hunch that’ll happen, and my hunches are basically the soul talking at this point. Not sure though.”

You zone out during the rest of the walk, lost in thought. You and Body are tied together literally and figuratively at this point. Things are getting complicated and—

There’s a white speck against the blue sky, roughly above the café where you work. When you notice it, you feel a strange sense of disorientation, like you’re looking through a pair of parallel mirrors that are reflecting each other.
>>
No. 994539 ID: eedbeb
File 161741966608.png - (166.12KB , 1000x900 , p20.png )
994539

Hey buddy sorry we got off on the wrong foot—

You shriek and put a useless fist between you and Duck’s Head, who is very suddenly right in front of you. Instead of the usual stiff speech, it’s adopted an overly friendly tone that makes your skin crawl.

Spending time in that dream with you was really enlightening. We had a great time at prom. You know, I have a very strong interest in your current soul and I’d like to learn more about it. Help a pal out.
>>
No. 994550 ID: b1b4f3

Well I guess the super important question that I've tried asking twice now is about to be answered.

CAN THE SOUL FIGHT THE ANGEL
>>
No. 994552 ID: 8a51ec

"I'm sure you had a great time impaling me through the chest. And even if you didn't already make it clear you'll just rip my head off if push comes to shove, I don't know anything about this soul either."
>>
No. 994553 ID: 3ed3c3

>>994539
Can't help but notice it gets a lot friendlier after it loses. What? It's here to try and weasel information out of us? Cut some kind of deal? Whatever it is, forget it.
>>
No. 994571 ID: 422cea

"I have the strangest feeling you destroyed my original soul, however that's even possible; And I don't know if you're up to date on how we mortals work, we kind of need these things to function and exist and everything you've done has only caused me and everyone adjacent to me pain and suffering.

I am way past the point of trusting you at this point."
>>
No. 994603 ID: ce39da

> Weird ‘parallel mirror’ effect.
“... Wait, is my soul still ‘in there?’ Like, conscious and stuff?”

Switch primary perspective to the angel if you can - focus more on the angel’s senses than you’re focusing on your own body’s; it is time for big shenanigans.
>>
No. 994617 ID: eedbeb
File 161746821788.png - (152.18KB , 1000x900 , p21.png )
994617

You don’t trust Duck’s Head at all after it absorbed your soul and invaded your dreams. Since it’s not threatening you yet, you assume that it’s either scared of something or trying not to spook you.

“I don’t know anything about Body’s soul and even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you. You’d probably try to suck him out and leave us for dead.” you say.

“Who’s this?” Margot asks.

“The head of the angel we gave to Kibble, all grown up.” you say sourly.

“Oh. We’re going to die then.”

Don’t worry, friend of buddy. I am not here to suck anything out of anyone, just hang out with my bros. Get to know them better while maintaining the appropriate boundaries. Duck’s Head throws out its arms to demonstrate. While you stare, you feel a vague sense that your arms are outstretched as well.
>>
No. 994618 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, he's linked to you. I think he can't actually fight you, because what happens to you, happens to him?
Which means... take your arm out of the string.
>>
No. 994619 ID: 44b878

Can you put my soul back into my body, please? And explain to us why you are forcing souls to go to the moon?
>>
No. 994624 ID: 3ed3c3

...Hey, Body? Punch me in the face.
>>
No. 994628 ID: ce39da

Aha, a major flaw in the angel's current setup. Will into being the "vague sense" of punching yourself in the face.
>>
No. 994630 ID: eedbeb
File 161747772971.png - (163.04KB , 1000x900 , p22.png )
994630

You want to test your theory that you’re linked to Duck’s Head via your absorbed soul. If you can use the connection to hurt the angel, you’ll have an advantage for as long as it sticks around.

“Punch me in the face, Body.” you say out of the corner of your mouth.

“You’ve had enough head trauma recently.” deadpans Body, and socks you in the stomach.

You retch and crumple to your knees. You’ve missed enough meals that the vomit turns up clear and you hack yourself into disheveled exhaustion.

Why did you do that? asks Duck’s Head. Totally unaffected. Great.

“No reason.” you cough. “Mind giving me my soul back and answering some questions?”

I could, my good friend. But I’d rather exchange valuables for valuables. Answer my questions and I will answer yours, and once I have what I want I will return your soul.

You can now ask Duck’s Head any questions, provided you answer one of its questions first.
>>
No. 994632 ID: afe7de

Ask what non Jadis related question it wants to ask.
>>
No. 994633 ID: e51896

Eh, don't ask or answer questions, we'll think one up later. just go in your apartment. Duck can come in if he wants I guess. Tell him his old body misses him and is a inconsolable mess.
>>
No. 994650 ID: 3ed3c3

Do you want to kill Jadis? 'Cause Body has dibs.
>>
No. 994691 ID: e51896

>>994650
Rephrase to if you want to kill Jadis, Body has dibs, no need to make that a question
>>
No. 994706 ID: b1b4f3

I think we should string Duck's Head along and ask dumb questions while answering his in really vague and meaningless ways. Just like he did to our questions when he was a full body.
>>
No. 994718 ID: eedbeb
File 161750326421.png - (140.14KB , 1000x900 , p23.png )
994718

“Fine. We can’t get rid of you, so you might as well stick around. We could even reintroduce you to your old self later.” you say.

Wonderful. Duck’s Head joins you by your side. Though I confess, dear chum, that I have little to say to a lesser angel. Now please tell me who created you.

You decide to have a little fun. “My mom and dad had sex and didn’t use protection.”

Hm. I am unfamiliar with this subject. Were your parents witches?

“That’s another question bub. Here’s mine, do you want to kill Jadis?”

That was my intention, though I suspect that she has much to do with your condition and is thus a person of interest.

You shrug and lead the group to your apartment building and into your one bedroom apartment.
>>
No. 994720 ID: e51896

Well, home sweet home you guess.

Idea: play poker with everyone, including duck. That way, you can read his tells to determine when he is lying or not with his answers and determine if he is being genuine with how friendly he is being.
>>
No. 994722 ID: b1b4f3

Definitely keep giving Duckhead useless answers.
Next question would be, what do the Angels want from this conflict?
>>
No. 994743 ID: 422cea

Sounds like angels are ignorant of the machinations of how mortals work... I question things.
>>
No. 994747 ID: 3c38f8

"Why are you forcing souls to go to the moon? That ruins the lives of many, many people!
Also, your other half really feels bad for being left behind, I thought angels were famous for their simpathy."
>>
No. 994813 ID: eedbeb
File 161757244283.png - (171.76KB , 1000x900 , p24.png )
994813

Margot spots a deck of cards you weren’t aware you owned and coaxes the rest of you, angel included, into an animated game of Hearts. Duck’s Head behaves itself, even projecting its telepathic voice into the broader conversation. After some tentative pleasantries, Margot starts bantering like normal, even with Duck’s Head.

“You don’t know much about animals, do you?” she teases.

I do not. In my defense, I did not have much time to observe yesterday before I went to report.

You have the horrible mental image of a squat little angel peeping through your bedroom window.

“You can’t play hearts, we haven’t broken the suit yet.” Margot admonishes Body, who sulkily takes back her card. “Well Duck’s Head—can I call you DH?—I’m happy to show you around if you promise not to eat me or my brother’s soul.”

Yes, kindly take me to—

You interrupt before Margot lets anything slip about Jadis. “Responding to your last question, my parents weren’t witches or had anything to do with witches. What do the angels want from all this? Why are the scouts and soldiers coming to earth?”

Is that how you describe us? It is essentially accurate, the scouts find potential leads and the ones who promote the most promising information are promoted. As for what we want, I believe the highest honor is to serve our god well and be chosen to grow.
>>
No. 994814 ID: b1b4f3

>>994813
Alright, what does their god want?
>>
No. 994818 ID: ce39da

Focus your senses and try to peek at DH's hand.

"Okay, so it seems like angels seriously have no context regarding how us mortals down on earth view things, so it makes sense how they'd think there's nothing wrong with yeeting the souls out of people's bodies while they're still using them. You do realize us mortals kind of need those to live, right? With that in mind, is it really such a mystery why we see you as the bad guys in all this?"

Fully prepared to A) have a point made to us that our souls are actually where our sense of self is - be prepared to retort with accusations of kidnapping rather than murder, then - or B) confusion born from DH lacking even the most basic knowledge of how life and reality both seem to work for us - in which case we'll help clarify that to use up DH's question for the round.
>>
No. 994820 ID: 8a51ec

Wait, so DH doesn't even have any idea why this god wants peoples' souls? You'd think ascending to a higher form would incline you to ask more questions, like in general.
>>
No. 994823 ID: 44b878

Mister Head, I know that obeying God is the single most important thing there is, but why do you hace to take souls out of people's bodies to do it?
>>
No. 994824 ID: eedbeb
File 161758114462.png - (144.58KB , 1000x900 , p25.png )
994824

>Try to peek at DH’s hand

You continue to deflect and provide unhelpful answers to DH’s questions. The angel’s tone remains calm, but you feel its frustration. Thanks to your still sore stomach, you know that the angel can’t feel what you can. Maybe you can focus and try to do the reverse?

To your surprise, you feel your vision slip and double. You close your eyes and find yourself staring at DH’s hand from the eyes on its chest. It has the Queen of Spades and is looking to drop it this round.
>>
No. 994825 ID: eedbeb
File 161758116133.png - (91.27KB , 1000x900 , p26.png )
994825

“You turn.” Body says, disturbing your concentration. You clear your throat nervously and drop a low diamond on the pile. Margot groans when she ends up with the Queen.

“Why is this god taking people’s souls?” you ask.

I responded to a variation of this question before and responded truthfully.

“Yeah, well, maybe you need to explain a bit more because I didn’t understand it. There’s nothing natural about it.”

On the contrary, DH snaps, Animals walking and talking is abnormal and your sad, short lives are only possible in the first place because of my god’s benevolence. Due to your kind’s eager increase in numbers, the drain on my god is unsustainable. One feels no pain when they lose their soul which is far more kind than the alternative which is convincing your governments to go to war against each other.
>>
No. 994831 ID: 094652

What would need to be done to strengthen this god? What are the effects of splitting souls to distribute among the living? How do angels consume souls and why do they have that ability in the first place? What is your god made of and how do they create souls in the first place? What would be the consequence of a near-soulless being and would they be near-unconscious yet capable of menial / programmable labor?
>>
No. 994849 ID: 422cea

Are they saying the creation of souls are a finite resource?

What's stopping a wave of infertility take over and just not let souls take hold of unborn mortals? It'd be very harsh but better than just stealing away souls that are kind of still being used... I feel the issue is God hasn't been appropriately rationing the cycle of souls.

War will be inevitable if enough of the nations suffer a loss in population that it throws them into social and economic chaos anyway!

Is there a Grim Reaper we can talk to or something about this?
>>
No. 994850 ID: 031458

Are you suggesting that our souls are all a piece of god?
>>
No. 994853 ID: b1b4f3

Huh. The God up there has a limited supply of souls... That's information that needs to get to the world governments. They need to restrict reproduction to keep population counts low, since even if Angels somehow lost this war there's a hard cap on population. Population getting too high might even KILL the Moon-God, which would... prevent new souls from being created, maybe? That's a world-ending scenario.
Also, this soul-sharing string method could be used to reduce the amount of souls used, if Angels cooperate to only take the souls that are not needed due to the soul share.

Anyway, that was extremely valuable information! You should throw DH a bone so he doesn't get fed up and leave. Explain what sex is and how reproduction works. Also, any deals regarding DH speaking to Jadis would involve a full non-aggression pact. No fighting, at all, on either side. DH doesn't get to kill anyone at all before or during the meeting, and for some time afterwards. That protection will of course be nullified if someone tries to kill DH.
We'll have to call Jadis or her dad to arrange this treaty.

Okay, next question, ask what kind of "leads" DH is looking into. As in, what specific information is valuable to the Angels and their God? I wonder if it's that they're trying to solve the limited-power thing, so their God doesn't have to cull the animal population. That's basically what Jadis was trying to do, wasn't it? Except, she couldn't get it to work and wound up cheating by stealing a soul. Also I guess Duck got highly rewarded for discovering the soul-share string, and was then sent to... kill Jadis? I wonder why? Wouldn't that be counter-productive? Maybe it was to steal her soul and thus the knowledge involved in producing the string? That's probably it.
>>
No. 994855 ID: 53560f

So what you’re saying is we need to kill or enslave god and find a way to take his power for ourself to continue living?
Now we just need to find a way to actually do that.
>>
No. 994863 ID: eedbeb
File 161759301395.png - (99.73KB , 1000x900 , p27.png )
994863

>Kill/Enslave god

Probably not the best idea, but definitely an idea.

>Soul sharing

You’ve been sharing Body’s soul for a few days, and just had to sleep for 16 hours, not to mention the inconvenience of being stuck to another person. It might work in a pinch, but it’s not a long term solution.

>Souls are a piece of a god

Yes, that’s how you interpret DH’s words. Pretty wack.

“Why are you guys not freaking out?” you ask.

Margot shrugs. “I mean, I live with Kibble who’s kind of a demigod, so it’s not that big of a stretch. Magic has to come from somewhere and I’m sure people have theorized it’s coming from a higher power.”

“But the implications.” you splutter. “Everyone is in danger of getting their soul sucked out.”

It is not that easy. My god is…compromised. That is why I am interested in speaking with this Jadis to learn more about your very interesting soul, which is only my god’s on the surface level. She clearly has expertise in the matter from what I saw as my former self.

“You were going to kill her before.” you remind it.

Yes. This information is somewhat sensitive and we were concerned she could start causing problems.
>>
No. 994866 ID: b1b4f3

>>994863
Ok. Fine. DH can talk to Jadis over the phone. Easy solution.
He seems like he can only speak through direct mental connection which means someone has to be an intermediary, working as his voice.
>>
No. 994867 ID: b1b4f3

Ok hang on a second though, is DH talking about YOUR soul, the one he absorbed? Or Body's soul that you're sharing? Is there something interesting about Evelyn's soul?
>>
No. 994868 ID: 3c38f8

So want to talk to Jadis to see if there is a way to create souls without having to strech God's resources thin?
>>
No. 994895 ID: cb6eac

But with my existence... Jadis has reason -and means- to develop artificial souls... Which could potentially allow your god to become whole again.
>>
No. 994921 ID: eedbeb
File 161763904337.png - (132.46KB , 1000x900 , p28.png )
994921

>Which soul is DH referring to?

The one you’re currently sharing with Body, aka the wrapped stranger in your dream.

>Discuss Jadis

“So you want to work with Jadis to find a way to create artificial souls.” you clarify.

That would be ideal.

“Friendly reminder that the resident artificial soul hates existence and wants to murder the witch responsible.” Body mutters.
>>
No. 994923 ID: b1b4f3

>>994921
Yes, clearly there is room for improvement. It's still the best shot we've got for peace.
>>
No. 994924 ID: 44b878

Then we'll work to make your soul feel better. We don't want to create things that just suffer for us.

And honestly, Body?

If you weren't here the world would be a worse place to live in.
>>
No. 994926 ID: 094652

"This research is dangerous and likely to get its scientists killed or crippled in gruesome ways. So problem solved."
>>
No. 994927 ID: b90dc8

Well, fine then. Agree to facilitate discourse between Jadis and DH, but remain suspicious. You're more than just an "interesting soul", after all.
>>
No. 994929 ID: b1b4f3

>>994928
Only Jadis is aware of that at this point.
>>
No. 994933 ID: 031458

>>994929
Ah. He mentioned the lycanthropy but not how it happened.
>>
No. 994937 ID: eedbeb
File 161765102661.png - (186.21KB , 1000x900 , p29.png )
994937

“There’s definitely room for improvement and you can be there to make sure they’re being humane. If DH helps Jadis, she can make your soul feel better.” you say. “I want you to be able to be happy. The world is a better place because of you.”

Body puts down her cards and deflates. “I don’t like anything about this. Duck was a bastard yesterday, I don’t trust its head at all.”

You privately agree. It’s a hard balancing act between keeping the angel happy and keeping all of your new friends alive.

“Let’s call Jadis and see what she thinks.” Margot says quickly. “Or well, I’ll ask Cookie if she’s available.”

She pulls out her cellphone and starts texting furiously. DH peers over her shoulder like it’s never seen a phone before.

“Low frequency electromagnetic waves transmit information to cell towers that propagate the signals along the network and to the recipient.” Margot explains. “While we wait, can I get some water?”

Your stomach rumbles. You need to eat.
>>
No. 994946 ID: b1b4f3

>>994937
How about the whole group goes into the kitchen? I feel like leaving anyone alone with DH is a bad idea.
>>
No. 994960 ID: 44b878

While folk is preparing food, let's take Body aside and ask her what her soul's name is and what it remembers of its mortal life.
>>
No. 994968 ID: eedbeb
File 161766567716.png - (130.91KB , 1000x900 , p30.png )
994968

The kitchen is tucked into the side of the living room, and you force DH to crowd into the tiny space with everyone else while you get Margot a glass of lukewarm tap water.

You have bread, eggs, and bacon in the fridge, enough for you and Body to share. To your surprise, Body declines the food. You’re getting used to seeing her on your other side since you switched the string to your right hand to help your cut left wrist.

Your mouth waters as you fry the eggs and bacon. Once they’re done you transfer the protein to a plate and sop up the remaining grease with your bread.
>>
No. 994969 ID: eedbeb
File 161766569356.png - (146.51KB , 1000x900 , p31.png )
994969

“So when I met your soul in the dream, DH said it was a guy.” you tell Body, mouth full. “Does he have a name?”

Body shrugs. “No idea. Can’t make out words, it’s more feelings. We can name him to make it easier to know who we’re talking about.”

DH is standing very close, eyes on your plate.

“What?” you ask.

I want some.

Do you give any food to DH? What do you name Body’s soul?
>>
No. 994970 ID: b1b4f3

>>994969
Yeah give DH some food why not.

Name Body's soul uh... god, Soul sounds so appropriate since it'd be Body and Soul but no. That's not a real name. Who the hell names someone Body in the first place!? Jadis that's who.

Saul, though, that sounds good. A real name, and close enough to Soul for the joke to work. Unless he hates the joke, in which case... Umbric?
>>
No. 994971 ID: 44b878

Put food in DuckHead's mouth.

Let's name the soul.... Fritzroy. Cause we are in the fritz.
>>
No. 994972 ID: 8a51ec

We should give DH some food to be courteous, but with what will that food be eaten? Where would a mouth be for a being with eyes in its chest? This is something that needs a lot of anatomy-related questions answered beforehand.
As for the soul, any outstandingly unconventional name would be best. Maybe "Torture" just to make Jadis squirm.
>>
No. 994976 ID: 44b878

Johnny Barley, you forgot his chest has eyes *and* a mouth.

(Maybe also a nose but we can't tell because all the characters' noses are ommited)
>>
No. 994978 ID: 8a51ec

>>994976
My mistake then, but it still raises questions about how DH's inside parts work.
>>
No. 994990 ID: 422cea

Is that thing on DH's abdomen a triangle shaped mouth outline, a hole, or a beak.

I can't tell anymore.
>>
No. 994992 ID: 0b553a

Give DH food but you get a free question from it
>>
No. 995004 ID: eedbeb
File 161768170724.png - (122.40KB , 1000x900 , p32.png )
995004

“How does Saul sound? It’s kind of a pun on soul.” you suggest.

“Sure. I don’t really care.” Body replies. “Saul’s a real bitch to live with. Making things feel worse than usual.”

“Oh. Uh, is there anything I can—“

“No.”

You turn to DH, whose neat diamond mouth is open and ready to receive a forkful of bacon and eggs. You oblige, feeling like a mother bird feeding its chick.

There’s a good deal of dry lip smacking and ‘mlem mlem mlem’ as the angel mashes the food into paste. At some point it decides that it’s done, and gently lets the slurry fall back on your fork.

Admirable texture. it says approvingly.
>>
No. 995006 ID: 44b878

"Would you give me muy soul back, please? I don't want to strain Body's soul any further.
Oh, and sorry cutting un half yesterday."
>>
No. 995008 ID: 0b553a

So what’s it going to take for you to give me my soul back, I’d like to, y’know, function without having to hold Body back.
>>
No. 995009 ID: b1b4f3

>>995004
DH can't actually eat. Makes sense. Sounds like he didn't taste it either, just felt the texture.

I kindof want to see if your sight sharing will work as DH goes to report back to his God, which means not getting your soul back just yet. You'd be the only living person having seen it, wouldn't that be cool?
>>
No. 995010 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, maybe this would be a good time to ask DH why he spooked that spider kid. Was he trying to prevent you from getting more string because he was afraid of it? It clearly didn't work as a weapon in the end.
>>
No. 995036 ID: eedbeb
File 161772282085.png - (143.35KB , 1000x900 , p33.png )
995036

Margot’s phone rings and you drag your eyes away from the chewed up food DH spit on your fork.
“Cookie says Jadis wants to talk to the angel in person and not to bring Body cause her dad is still there.” Margot says.

Excellent. Let us go.

“I’ve told you everything I know, can I have my soul back now?” you ask. Your words are followed by an uncomfortable wave of nausea, and you gag on the rich flavors in your mouth. DH eating wasn’t that gross, why did you suddenly feel like crap?

The angel thinks for a moment. Yes, you have been adequately helpful. Place your hand on me to receive your soul.

Once you get your soul back you’ll be able to go to the bathroom by yourself, which is very appealing. You’ll be almost back to normal. Body shakes her head out of the corner of your eye.

Do you take your soul back?
>>
No. 995039 ID: 031458

Yes but...
Actually, hear out bodies objection first.
>>
No. 995043 ID: b1b4f3

>>995036
>suddenly feel like crap
Something's wrong with your soul I think.

Don't take it. Use the sight sharing technique to watch what DH does during the meeting with Jadis.
>>
No. 995054 ID: afe7de

Take it back, but also ask if they did something to your soul, maybe ask body why they’re uncomfortable with it? Though I guess it’s cause it’s YOUR soul and they’re upset you get your regular one back and body has to keep a crummy werewolf soul
>>
No. 995059 ID: ce39da

Don't. The angel just did something to your soul that'll work to our detriment, and having eyes on the meeting with Jadis would be good.
>>
No. 995064 ID: 094652

Ask for your soul in a jar that's sturdy enough to hold it for the next 100 years (average conditions pending).
>>
No. 995069 ID: 3ed3c3

>>995036
Something wrong, Body?
>>
No. 995070 ID: eedbeb
File 161774384591.png - (102.94KB , 1000x900 , p34.png )
995070

“Uh, actually, maybe you can hold onto it for a while. For safekeeping.” you say. Saul and Body are dropping some pretty heavy hints that getting your soul back from the angel would be trouble. Hopefully Jadis can find another way to give you a soul besides a transplant, otherwise you might be stuck like this forever. A happy thought.

DH shrugs. Whatever you wish. Margot, please take me to Jadis.

“Sure, you guys be careful while we’re gone, okay?” Margot says. She seems to be addressing Body in particular.

“Yeah.” Body grunts.

“I’m serious, don’t answer the door and have an escape route ready if they break it down.”

You’re left with Body in your tiny apartment and you put away your dishes and sit on the couch.

“I have a connection to Duck’s Head.” you say to Body. “I can see what it’s seeing and kind of tell how it’s feeling. I’m going to try to find out how Jadis is doing.”

“Okay. Is that why you asked me to hit you?”

“Yeah, it only goes one way for some reason. Or at least I hope so.” you reply.
>>
No. 995076 ID: b1b4f3

>>995070
So, where's the escape route?
>>
No. 995099 ID: eedbeb
File 161775991923.png - (193.62KB , 1000x900 , p35.png )
995099

>Find an escape route

Your apartment is on the second floor and it has a crumbling balcony that overlooks an old tree. You could conceivably jump over the railing and cling to the trunk, except you have a depressed zombie on one arm.

You light a cigarette and sigh. Margot is taking DH on foot, so it’ll be a while before they reach Jadis.

“I think you can tell I don’t have the strongest will to live right now.” Body begins.

You exhale a lungful of calming cancer. “Yeah. I’m sorry.”

“No, I mean, it’s mostly Saul making me feel like shit. I think he’s trying to tell me something. Like besides the fact that he’s in pain there’s also a lot of, uh, anxiety? Fear of being alive?”
>>
No. 995103 ID: b1b4f3

>>995099
Hmm, Saul was able to claw Jadis. Can he grab a pen and communicate by writing?
>>
No. 995106 ID: 53560f

He gave a strong enough warning when I asked about getting my soul back that I felt it through our link. If that’s how you feel all the time then I don’t particularly blame you, but still.
It’d be nice if we could actually talk with him and figure out what’s up with him. Maybe we could ask him yes or no questions?
>>
No. 995108 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, ask Body why she thought it was a bad idea to take your soul back. Or was she just relaying Saul's feelings on the matter?
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No. 995122 ID: 0b553a

See if Saul can interact with anything else, maybe write? Maybe figure out a way to get y/n answers?
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No. 995171 ID: 44b878

"So why did you think getting my soul back was a bad idea?"
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No. 995178 ID: eedbeb
File 161780923902.png - (157.69KB , 1000x900 , p36.png )
995178

“Can we communicate with him somehow? He hurt Jadis, so can he hold a pen and write stuff?” you ask. Talking to DH has made you spoiled and now you’re expecting easy answers from all the mysterious beings in your life.

“I don’t think so, not unless it’s a magic pen. He can hear what’s happening and give me different feelings based on that. Let’s try some yes or no questions where anxiety is yes and sad is no.” Body says.

You finish your cigarette and fiddle with the still warm butt. “What about angry?”

“Angry’s the default.”

You can now ask Saul yes or no questions at the cost of Body’s mental health.

The street in front of your apartment is usually busy, especially on the weekend. Right now it’s deserted.

“When DH offered to give my soul back, I felt Saul telling me no, I think. Why did you think getting my soul back was a bad idea?” you ask.

“I told you.” Body says irritably. “I don’t trust it at all. You’d probably end up with eyeballs on your chest and feathers coming out your ass.”
>>
No. 995190 ID: 44b878

"It'd give you something to laugh at." *nudge*

Now that we have the chance, we could focus to see what Duck's Head is doing and saying to Jadis.
>>
No. 995197 ID: b90dc8

"Would taking my soul back hurt me? Would it hurt my soul to be reunited?"

"Does Jadis have more information on the technicalities of, or any scientific or medical theories about, reuniting me and my soul?"

"Is DH going to take advantage of Jadis's knowledge?"
>>
No. 995198 ID: b1b4f3

>>995178
>eyeballs on your chest and feathers coming out your ass
Would that be so bad?

As Saul if he thought taking your soul would harm you. If not, would it harm Saul? Maybe the string connection is what's keeping DH from just yanking Saul out of Body? If you got your soul back, you'd drop the string, meaning Saul's in only one body again and no longer "strong" in DH's eyes.
Alternatively, you could ask if Saul just... doesn't want to be separated from you for emotional reasons.
>>
No. 995205 ID: eedbeb
File 161782762285.png - (88.83KB , 1000x900 , p37.png )
995205

“It’d give you something to laugh at.” you joke. Body cracks a small smile. “Alright, let’s try this question thing since DH hasn’t gotten to the apartment yet. Once it’s there though, I’ll have to focus.”

“Go for it.”

“Okay, uh, first, is DH trying to use Jadis for something besides making artificial souls?” you ask.

“I can answer that one.” says Body. “Of course. It took Jadis ages to get me to work and I’m pretty sure she cheated in the end by using pieces of her own soul. You can’t just make something out of nothing.”

“Alright, would taking my soul back hurt me?”

Body is quiet for a few seconds, face screwed up in concentration. “No.” she finally says. “But like, a no with a lot of anger behind it.”

“Would it hurt you or Saul?”

The zombie slowly shakes her head.

“I guess Saul just wants me around for emotional reasons.” you say.

“No on that too.”
>>
No. 995208 ID: b1b4f3

>>995205
Well, if it doesn't hurt anyone to take it, then the reverse must be true and it must benefit someone to not take it.
Body? You? Saul?
Is it just so you can spy on DH with it?
>>
No. 995209 ID: 031458

Couldn't Jadis figure out a way to extract small pieces of many souls and mush them into one new one at least?
I dunno how this shit works.
>>
No. 995211 ID: 3ed3c3

Does Saul think he'd be more comfortable inside Evelyn?
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No. 995240 ID: eedbeb
File 161784305987.png - (105.87KB , 1000x900 , p38.png )
995240

Maybe Saul wants you to spy on DH? But the soul didn’t know you could do that before you told Body. You wonder how Jadis managed to get enough soul pieces when she’s made it sound so hard to take soul from a living person.

Saul’s answers only give you more questions. The situation is too complicated to figure out with a simple yes or no, and you wonder how else you can communicate. The last time you saw Saul was in your dream this morning, maybe if you fell back asleep he could mime out an explanation with his new tentacle arm thing.

Body nudges you to get your attention as two people in suits get out of a black car and start walking briskly towards the apartment. Looks like the mobsters are here.
>>
No. 995255 ID: b1b4f3

>>995240
Figures. Block the door to buy time. See if you can tie a bedsheet to the balcony to make it easier to descend.
>>
No. 995267 ID: 8cb67d

How about lock the door and head for the roof? Or maybe hide out in the stairwell near your room and wait for them to come up the elevator and just slip past them?
>>
No. 995271 ID: 9263d2

We could... always say hi?
Something tells me with what is going on in the world, there is a possibility that they might not be here for Body's head, but to discuss Something more important. I dont see them with weapons...
>>
No. 995280 ID: eedbeb
File 161785390102.png - (153.02KB , 1000x900 , p39.png )
995280

“What do you want to do?” you ask Body.

“Honestly, I’d like a quick death. But I have to be responsible, so whatever you think is best.” Body says.

Do you:
-Escape via balcony
-Talk to the mobsters through the door
-Hide on the roof
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No. 995283 ID: 44b878

Better not greet them. Let's instead dress Body up to hide her stitches and see if we can avoid them seeing us.
>>
No. 995285 ID: b1b4f3

Well one thing's for sure, Saul thought it was such a bad idea to retrieve your soul that he's willing to endure existence for longer to delay it.

If you try to talk to the mobsters through the door they're probably going to try to shoot you through the door.
It's better for them to think you escaped off the balcony. Tie bedsheets to the balcony, lock the door then flee to the roof before they get to the apartment. You'll also be able to tell from their reaction if they wanted to murder Body or not.
>>
No. 995287 ID: afe7de

Okay but what if you just talked to them? (might be a bad idea but hey, bad ideas can sometimes be fun)
>>
No. 995288 ID: 422cea

>>995240
Is one of those a lobster mobster?

Maybe a crusty crab.
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No. 995290 ID: 031458

Balcony, lets not get trapped here.
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No. 995315 ID: 4e13f0

Escape through the balcony!
>>
No. 995323 ID: eedbeb
File 161789688244.png - (182.36KB , 1000x900 , p40.png )
995323

>Balcony

You duck inside the apartment and hesitate while you think. Hiding on the roof might work, but if one of the mobsters is a witch, they’ll be able to see Saul if they look around. Talking would be a bad idea since they want Body dead.

That leaves escaping off the balcony. You usher Body to your bedroom, throw the zombie the largest hoodie you own, and start stripping the sheets off your bed. Jumping to the tree is too dangerous and you can use the sheets as impromptu rope.
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No. 995324 ID: eedbeb
File 161789689628.png - (161.84KB , 1000x900 , p41.png )
995324

The mobsters don’t bother knocking. A heavy weight slams into the door, shaking the wall, and you hear the wood frame crack. You finish tying the sheet to the railing, test the weight, and start your unsteady descent, Body beside you.

There’s a distant crunch as your door breaks, but you and Body are already blindly running away from the apartment, praying that the mobsters are distracted long enough that you can get out of sight.

Where do you go?
>>
No. 995328 ID: 4e13f0

you need to find allies. you need bodies and magic and advice. you're painfully aware of your vulnerability dragging the zombie along with you by the wrist as you flee the building. head straight for wherever DH and/or Jadis and Margot are most likely to be. it's time to organize.
>>
No. 995338 ID: b1b4f3

>>995324
We were told Jadis' dad is with Jadis so I think maybe we shouldn't go there. Optimally we want to go somewhere that's a really fucking good hiding spot so that you can focus to see what DH is seeing.

You could try hiding in a dumpster somewhere if you can find one that doesn't stink too bad. Like, one by a non-food-related business?
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No. 995340 ID: b1b4f3

>>995339
That's where we just were!
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No. 995356 ID: eedbeb
File 161791628511.png - (170.82KB , 1000x900 , p42.png )
995356

You may be strong, but you’re shit at cardio and once you reach an appropriate alleyway you duck behind a fragrant green dumpster. Body is similarly winded and pants while you catch your breath.

The mobsters could be on your nonexistent tail any moment since they definitely saw the sheets hanging off the balcony. Unfortunately for your adrenaline frayed mind, Margot and DH have reached the other apartment.

You can either listen in now and be interrupted later, or move to a safer location and then listen.
>>
No. 995358 ID: 3ed3c3

Reposition, then listen in.
>>
No. 995360 ID: 8a51ec

A dumpster in an alleyway is not the best place to hide, but those mobsters have definitely lost our scent by now. Perhaps we could tell Body to look for a better hiding spot while we're occupied with spying on DH?
>>
No. 995362 ID: 031458

It's unlikely they'll check the dumpster immediately, but you'll have no way of knowing when it's safe to go, or where they ended up. At least right now you know they're some ways behind you.

Get to the closest place that's likely highly crowded.
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No. 995371 ID: eedbeb
File 161792525793.png - (147.67KB , 1000x900 , p43.png )
995371

>Reposition

You’d like to go somewhere crowded, but the emergency order means that everyone is still in hiding. The only other place with locking doors that you can think of is the café, which is hopefully closed.

You still have the keys and you lead Body through the familiar maze of side streets that leads to the alley where you lost your soul. After a quick check for employees, you let yourself in to the storage room.

You hunker down besides the coffee bean sacks. It took roughly twenty minutes to get here and you can hear a distant rumble of conversation. DH is already talking to Jadis.

“I’m going to spy on the angel.” you tell Body. “Bother me if it’s urgent.” She gives you a thumbs up.
>>
No. 995375 ID: eedbeb
File 161792544078.png - (172.56KB , 1000x900 , p44.png )
995375

>Be DH

You’re in the office alone with Jadis. One of her eyes is on magic mode and the other is normal, if a bit swollen. She looks nervous.

“I don’t understand.” she says.

My god is trapped in the moon by complicated magic. You will help me free them. The restraints are similar to what you created in the undead creature and if we work together we will succeed.
>>
No. 995378 ID: 44b878

(Wait, Evelyn doesn't hace a tail? I thought she did. I'm having dime serious Mandela Effect over here)

I suppose we should continue listening.
>>
No. 995379 ID: b1b4f3

>>995375
Interesting, so the culling is caused by needing to retrieve souls to prevent the moon god from weakening too much, and on top of that the moon god is sealed away.
WHY was the moon god sealed away though...?
>>
No. 995381 ID: 422cea

I'd really like to know the religious background of this world since it'd be nice to know what the mortal mythology is compared to what we're getting told here.
>>
No. 995386 ID: ce39da

And that is... bad, somehow? Explain why your god being unable to leave the moon is bad.

And yeah, maybe explain who sealed him and why?
>>
No. 995387 ID: 031458

Wasn't duck's head talking about killing half the population earlier?
If that happens society will collapse. Mid and more people will die. A true apocalypse.
We need to warm Jadis.
>>
No. 995394 ID: eedbeb
File 161794035135.png - (164.01KB , 1000x900 , p45.png )
995394

There’s something seriously wrong here. DH didn’t mention its god was trapped while you were talking earlier. You don’t doubt that there’s a population crisis, but you also don’t think DH is interested in creating artificial souls. It manipulated you into letting your guard down and now it’s cornered Jadis.

“Why was your god sealed in the moon?” Jadis asks.

For giving animals advanced bodies and minds. For giving you the gift of thought. It was considered an overreach.

“So, is another god keeping them there?”

Yes. They were meant to be bound in eternal sleep, together. Now my god has awoken and is understandably upset.

Jadis opens her mouth to ask a more questions but grits her teeth when DH steps closer.

Will you free my god? I trust you understand the magnitude of the situation and what I am willing to do to obtain your compliance.

“I assume that’s a threat.” Jadis growls.

Duck’s Head floats closer, and from your chest view you can see that Jadis is trembling.

Yes.
>>
No. 995395 ID: 8a51ec

Good heavens would you look at the time, it's time to inform Kibble about current events.
>>
No. 995396 ID: b1b4f3

DH did say its god was "compromised". It's possible that DH wants to do both things- free its god, and create artificial souls so that its god doesn't have to be excessively fragmented.

Of course, if DH *can* lie, then it's possible the true situation is that the consciousness-god is trapped for more nefarious actions, and maybe splitting itself up like this an intentional ploy to free itself faster.
But if we can't trust the angels to tell us what actually happened... the only way we could possibly find out what to do is to continue spying on them, to see what they say when they don't know they're being observed.

You can't warn Jadis, or anyone else near DH. Not yet. Not until you've confirmed the motivations of the Moon God. You'll need to work in secrecy somehow.
Who else can you call? If you can talk to Jadis' dad somehow, and tell him about your spying ability and how crucial it is, maybe he'll call off the hit and also put some resources towards replicating your spying technique.
>>
No. 995398 ID: 44b878

"Honestly, you are making it out like when your god is released, all souls will be reabsorbed so as to not be reimprisoned or something, so what's the point of threats if you are going to destroy us all anyway?"
>>
No. 995417 ID: 031458

... if it's true that there are two gods bound up there, a creator and a warden per say, perhaps Jadis could start sourcing souls from the warden, whilst freeing the creator. That would prevent apocalypse. Though the methods would also involve anti angelic measures of some sort, as the warden may too have angels.
>>
No. 995432 ID: 3ed3c3

It's high time Kibble ate this asshole.
>>
No. 995443 ID: eedbeb
File 161798063923.png - (86.01KB , 1000x900 , p46.png )
995443

“Sounds like releasing your god will cause problems for the earth. Why should I help you if you’re going to kill us all anyway?”

DH gives a hearty mental chuckle. My god would never destroy what took them so long to create. There will be necessary changes, but you and your loved ones will be fine.

There’s a thump on the office door, and the scrape of huge teeth on painted wood.

“It’s okay, we’re still talking.” Jadis calls.

Imagine my surprise when that greeted me when I arrived. What is it you call them? Ah yes, wardens. A fitting name, given the nature of their god.

Once DH’s words sink in, you’re wrenched out of your espionage by a jolt of anxiety that makes your heart race. You’re back in the dim storage room with Body, with Saul beating an affirmation into your aching skull.
>>
No. 995445 ID: 031458

If Jadis goes through with this, the apocalypse will come. There are other... Possibilities, but not so long as Jadis has an angel putting a gun to his head.

This is bigger than you or Body or Saul.
DH Needs to die.

You need a weapon.
>>
No. 995452 ID: afe7de

Hey body we need to get to that spider kid pronto to get some silk to kill DH with, he’s trying to revive a god and is threatening Jadis and it only sounds not good
>>
No. 995455 ID: b1b4f3

>>995443
"necessary changes" sounds bad. Any time DH has been vague like that, it's been to hide something. Though in this case it might just involve the artificial souls? Specifically saying "you and your loved ones" also implies other people would not be fine. I'm guessing once the moon god is free it will start strongly enforcing the population cap, and maybe magic would be outlawed in general to prevent any rebellion.

The Wardens must be servants of the god that's keeping the Moon God captive. Has anyone tried to communicate with a Warden? Maybe that's what we need to do. That, or somehow go to the moon and use forbidden magic to attract a Warden's attention so that it sends its minions there. Trigger some infighting between servants.
...huh, timmies can eat, but angels can't. I feel like that says something about the nature of the two gods.

Well, it sounds like we got information Saul wanted. Not sure how to use it exactly since we're on the run. Also now you're feeling Saul's emotions? Huh, how come he didn't just send emotions to you instead of Body when you were asking questions? Man, we really need a better means of communication...

I wonder if we can get Cookie alone somehow to use his magic sight to aid in communication? Saul doesn't hate Cookie, and he's the only other witch we know that's not trying to kill Body.
>>
No. 995462 ID: eedbeb
File 161800601603.png - (178.59KB , 1000x900 , p47.png )
995462

“What is it?” Body asks with a lack of enthusiasm you wouldn’t have thought possible. You quickly paraphrase the conversation you just overheard, on edge but also excited by your newfound knowledge.

“We need to stop DH.” you conclude.

We do?”

“Yes Body, Jadis has to play along or DH will kill people she likes, so we’re the ones who have to act. I think Saul wants to stop DH too.”

Body winces. “Yeah, he does. What’s gotten into you two? We’re supposed to be hiding so the mob doesn’t murder us.”

“This is bigger than both of us, we have to do something. Can you try to get in touch with Cookie or Kibble? Cookie can help us talk to Saul with his magic vision and Kibble has her Tim thing we could try to communicate with. Oh also we should get more silk to use against DH.”

Body takes out her old flip phone and hesitates. “I don’t want to give ourselves away. Let’s focus on one thing at a time.”

Do you:
-Call Cookie
-Call Kibble
-Go to Aaron the spider
>>
No. 995465 ID: ce39da

We might want to talk to somebody before we go off looking for something that might not have a use in the end, but at the same time, I don't think anybody will be watching Aaron.

Then again, I doubt that'll change with waiting. We'll probably need to get Cookie before we can even try to talk to Kibble's timmy, either, so let's start with Cookie.
>>
No. 995466 ID: b1b4f3

>>995462
Kibble is right next to the door. Try Cookie first.

I don't know why you'd want more silk. Cutting Duck's head off didn't kill it. At best you can cut off DH's arms and wings. Though, maybe it would work as a net? Just capture the angel instead of trying to kill it.
>>
No. 995470 ID: b23cc5

Body, get your hoodie back on in case we need to leave in a hurry.

Noe let's call Cookie, he may also let Kibble know what we are planning.
>>
No. 995476 ID: 39e3dd

Call cookie, and

>>995466
I mean having a weapon or restraining device is better than having nothing at all considering neither of you can do magics
>>
No. 995477 ID: eedbeb
File 161802200642.png - (182.22KB , 1000x900 , p48.png )
995477

“I think we should call Cookie first. Kibble’s distracted and we should find out what everyone else thinks.” you say.

To your surprise, Body silently finds the contact and hands you the phone. You bite your tongue as it rings.

“Body?” asks Cookie. He’s speaking quietly, like he’s trying to avoid being overheard.

“It’s Evelyn. Are you alone?"

Someone tells Cookie to put the phone on speaker. You hear “Uh, sorry Mr. Lewis, this is a private conversation. I’ll just go over here…”

“Sorry about that. This apartment is tiny and I can’t really get away from Jadis’ dad. I don’t think he’s used to people saying no to him. I’d be scared but there’s also this huge angel in the next room so I’m probably going to die anyway.” Cookie breathes.
>>
No. 995478 ID: b1b4f3

>>995477
Tell him he should get out of there. There's no reason for him to still be there, the angel doesn't care about him and Jadis is already mostly healed. The same goes for Jadis' dad come to think of it, but he'll probably stay put to keep tabs on his daughter.

Is there any way for Cookie to slip away, *not be followed*, then call you back to arrange a meeting somewhere? The angel is forcing Jadis to do something and you're pretty sure it's not going to be good. You want to stop it, but you need some help. Specifically you need more of the magic string. Does he know how to make it? Who other than Jadis knows how to make it?
>>
No. 995484 ID: 3ed3c3

>>995477
Can Kibble kill DH? If not, then we're going to need more of that string to garrote the bastard.
>>
No. 995486 ID: 8a51ec

>>995484
Garroting hasn't worked out well so far, we may have better luck simply restraining DH with the silk.
>>
No. 995509 ID: fd1757

Tell Cookie to go meet you in a few hours at Aaron's place. He could tell Jadis' dad that he is going to try to get more silk again.
>>
No. 995540 ID: eedbeb
File 161806651110.png - (155.94KB , 1000x900 , p49.png )
995540

“The angel doesn’t care about you so you should get out of there. We’re trying to get more spider silk, meet us at Aaron’s place in an hour and make sure you weren’t followed.” you say.

You hear Cookie say something to Margot, the clink of keys, and a door opening.

“I’m out. I’ll drive around a bit first, but I probably have a tracking spell on me because I was in the same room as Mr. Lewis while he had his magic active. I wish I knew how to check for it, but I’m still a beginner.”

That’s a problem, but you’re not sure how to deal with it right now. While you think, Cookie stumbles over his next question.

“Body’s with you, right? Is she, er, still mad?”

“She’s fine.” you say. The zombie’s ears twitch.
>>
No. 995559 ID: b1b4f3

Tell him it seems like the anger won't go away until Saul has some manner of closure, whether that is healing or freedom or death or revenge. In order of your personal preference.

The tracking spell can be worked around. The mobsters will have trouble pulling off a clean assassination if you're driving around. Cookie comes and picks you up at Aaron's place after you get the silk, then you drive while Cookie turns it into magic string and/or communicates with Saul. First priority is to ease the pain if that's possible, second priority is getting some input on our plan for stopping DH and also what we're supposed to do about the moon god.
Oh and now that Cookie's out of the apartment you should spill the beans about what DH is trying to do, and what it told you.


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