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1010078 No. 1010078 ID: 629f2e

A mystery/horror quest about children uncovering the horrifying mysteries surrounding their small town.


Unbeknownst to many at the time, yesterday had been one of the most eventful days in quite some time for the city of Cattenom. All around town, incidents were taking place that would change the lives of everyone involved. Miniature tragedies, disconnected yet intertwined in unknowable ways.
92 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1015128 ID: a58d3b

Reject 2, accept 3 now, postpone deciding on 1 (maybe you'll find someone who'd buy it for more before Wednesday?), and relish in your newfound riches, you enterprising furry artist, you.
No. 1015462 ID: 0838d6

Reject 2, accept 3, but here's the thing, they're paying a pretty decent bit for that drawing which makes me think maybe there's something more to these drawings?

Maybe it's my imagination. Either way, reconvene with your buddies and see their horrified faces on what becoming a high schooler is like!
No. 1015475 ID: 629f2e
File 163720797398.png - (675.57KB , 1000x1000 , 40.png )

After giving it some thought, you decide to take them on their third offer. You carefully tear the sketch out of your book and hand it over, as they hand you back $1.75 entirely in quarters.

Carol: “Like I said, I’ll give you the last quarter on Wednesday.”
Carol: “If you let me have that cute fox girl drawing now, I’ll get you a dollar bill with it.”
Roger: “I... I’m going to keep that one.”
Carol: “Oh...”
Barry: “Oh...?

He was grinning, you decided to shut him down before he could start.

Roger: “And I’m keeping the drawing you wanted too!”
Barry: “Oh.”
Roger: “It’ll give me time to finish it up on my own. If I don’t give it to someone else before Wednesday, you can have it then.”
Barry: “Hm, fair. Is that what you’re doing for Carol’s drawing too?”
Roger: “Huh? N-No, I’m just keeping that one.”

His grin widens. You hit him with his own sketchbook.

Roger: “Shut up.”
Barry: “I didn’t say anything.”
Roger: “You were thinking it really loudly!”
Barry: “All I’m saying is that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep that drawing for yourself. But...”
Roger: “But...?”
Barry: “Just don’t hide it under your bed. That’s the first place parents check for dirty magazines-”

You start kicking him until he begs for mercy. Carol just watches the whole exchange, not lifting a finger to stop you. He was asking for it, she knows when to let things happen.

You say your goodbyes, and Carol gives you one final request.

Carol: “If you ever draw anything as Fantastic as that piece, please let me have it! I’ll be sure to have a dollar ready whenever you do.”

You’d keep that in mind. Fantasy isn’t normally a topic you touch on, but you know that Carol really likes it. Maybe if you have more weird dreams...

As you leave the pair, Enid and Franklin return from their conversation with John.

Roger: “Hey guys. How did it go?”
Franklin: “...”
Enid: “...I-It went well. He answered some of our questions.”
Franklin: “...Yeah. He did.”
Enid: “It’s just...”
Franklin: “The answers could have been better.”
Roger: “Huh? What did he say? Why do some kids graduate early?”
Enid: “Um... Can we talk about it with the others?”
Franklin: “I don’t want to hear it three times... Or twice. Once may have been pushing it. Not hearing it would probably be different bad...”
Franklin: “...There are no good answers. Three times is the worst though. Unless four is an option.”

...What exactly did you miss?

Franklin and Enid have been exposed to troubling information.
Enid has gained 3 Fear.
Franklin has gained 6 Fear.
You have no context for why Franklin came out more spooked than Enid.

Party Fear Levels:
Roger: 6/100
Enid: 32/100
Franklin: 6/100
No. 1015476 ID: 629f2e
File 163720799222.png - (642.51KB , 1000x1000 , 41.png )

It’s a much quieter walk than before. You make a few attempts to strike up conversation, first with Enid, then Franklin, but not much is said. You were most surprised to see Franklin tight lipped, as he rarely seemed to dwell on a thought for too long. Your mind was racing with possibilities on what kind of disturbing information John might have hit them with.

Eventually, with only a minute to spare, you reach the Library. It doesn’t take you long to catch up with your other friends, who are standing near the entrance waiting for you. Albert had his cane with him, meaning he must have sneezed and hurt himself or something like that.

Lillian: “Hey guys! Me and Albert found some weird stuff out that you won’t believe.”
Albert: “Hello again...”

He wore a troubled expression, giving you a look that seemed to say “Things aren’t good”. Between him and your companions, you almost didn’t want to know whose was worse.

Enid: “W-What happened!?”
Albert: “Hmm?”
Enid: “You... Y-You have a cane, and you’re keeping your foot up. Did you break something?”
Albert: “Thankfully not. I fell over.”
Enid: “...Like, down stairs?”
Albert: “No, on the sidewalk. I sprained my ankle and had to get my cane from home.”
Enid: “From home? You just... have a cane in case you need it?”
Lillian: “Yeah, it’s Albert. He breaks easy, nothing to write home about.”
Roger: “Third time this month though. Do you think you need new shoes? You can’t keep tripping over yourself, else you’ll break something.”
Albert: “As long as it isn’t a femur again. I still wake up in a cold sweat remembering that pain some nights.”

Enid stares at him, before whipping over to me with a befuddled expression. You just shrug.

Roger: “He’s gets hurt easily. And sick, he’s almost always sick. And he also has bad allergies. He’s practically blind without his glasses...”
Roger: “Things like this are just kind of normal with him. Don’t worry, he’s used to it.”
Enid: “So... It doesn’t hurt.”
Albert: “HA!”
Albert: “No, it constantly hurts. There’s just no point in mentioning it, unless something that needs treatment comes up.”
Enid: “That doesn’t sound good.”
Albert: “Doesn’t feel better than it sounds.”
Lillian: “Albert’s in pain, grass is green, we get it. C’mon, let’s talk about what we found out already. Me and Albert hit something pretty juicy.”
Albert: “...Yes, I did find something within proximity to Lillian.”

She flicks him for that. If it were anyone else she’d probably slug them, but Albert might straight up die if he got punched.

Franklin: “...We also found things.”
Enid: “Um, yes. I think the things we learned are also important to share.”

It seems like both groups were successful, even if you weren’t fully in the loop about your own discoveries.

Whose findings should we go over first?
A: Albert and Enid’s
B: Yours, Franklin’s, and Enid’s
No. 1015477 ID: 8483cf

Then RUN!
No. 1015478 ID: afe7de

B, then get so scared and RUN, to the bathroom, because you forgot to go earlier and whatever you hear gives you indegestion.
No. 1015510 ID: dfbac0

B, best not let Franklin struggle to remember what he learned from their news, Enid might be able to tell it but she'd probably have a hard time, knowing Franklin if he really remembered it then he can probably tell it the most straight.
Uh... DON'T RUN, you shouldn't run in a library. Speaking of being in a library is it possible we're in the most secluded place in the library? I would hate it if someone eavesdropped.
No. 1015881 ID: 629f2e
File 163768516105.png - (942.38KB , 1000x1000 , 42.png )

You head to the back of the library, where the kids' reading area is thankfully unoccupied.

Roger: “Why don’t we start?”
Albert: “Go ahead.”

You start by going over everything that happened at the Play&Pay, and your conversation with Mr. Snyder. None of that was new, and neither Albert or Lillian seemed surprised to learn that he wouldn’t elaborate on graduation. The most reaction that part of the story got was obvious envy from Lillian over you all getting free toys without her.

When the story reaches the field, you let Enid and Franklin take the lead.

Enid: “We told John about the weird conversation we had with Giovanni, and he told us that all adults get like that when it comes to graduation.”
Enid: “According to him...”

“You wanna know why some kids graduate early?”
“I’ve known a few kids who got sent up before the normal time. First was back in elementary school, little guy named Calvin. Can’t even remember his last name to be honest.”
“Not a bad kid, he just needed some extra understanding. He never really ‘got’ dealing with people, and he was a bit of a nuisance.”
“Gone before a full month passed. Went up to high school, and we never heard a word about him ever again.”

“Next was Jonah. He was with us for three years, started around the time I did. His parents were hard on him about his grades, so he usually focused hard on his work.”
“The last few months he was there, I remember him being a wreck. He wasn’t able to keep his grades up, and it was getting to him.”
“Eventually, he was just gone. Graduated early, same as Calvin before.”

“Last year, it was Cassidy. I won’t pretend that I know much about what she went through, as we never got along.”
“All I can say about her is that the day before she left, she came in with a black eye. Skipped class to talk to the nurse about it.”
“Wish I knew more about what happened, but everything past that is rumors. And nobody could agree on a story.”

“The last one’s actually pretty recent. Only three months ago in fact. This one’s a doozy.”
“A fight broke out during lunch between two kids, Riley and Jacob. I wasn’t there when it broke out, but I’d wager that Jacob started it. He had some anger issues he needed to work on.”
“Things got intense, and when it was over Riley ended up with a broken arm and stitches on his head.”
“Jacob got suspended, and by the time it should have ended, we were just told that he’d graduated and wouldn’t be coming back.”

“Wanna know how to never be on the chopping block for early graduation? Keep your head down and do what you’re told.”
“The second you step out of line and tick off the wrong person, that’s when your fate is sealed.”


As they finish recounting John’s lengthy explanation, you feel an inexplicable urge to turn around and Run. With a description like that, it was no wonder Enid and Franklin were troubled. You think just about any kid would be asking themselves the same worrying question when met with that story.

Have I done anything like that?

You knew you weren’t like Calvin or Jacob, their examples were more aggressive. But Jonah and Cassidy’s missteps weren’t as clear. Were your grades bad enough to make you graduate early? You weren’t top of the class like Albert, but you weren’t near the bottom either. Lill and Franklin probably have more to worry about that there than I do.

It was different for each of them though. There wasn’t any one clear thing they did, it just sounds like they all did something wrong, or had something go wrong for them.

Looking at Albert and Lill, you weren’t the only one affected by the idea. Lill seemed more worried, while Albert seemed to be considering something. It’s Franklin who eventually breaks the ice.

Franklin: “...Hey Albert?”
Albert: “Yes?”
Franklin: “If all that stuff is true, who do you think is the most likely in our class to graduate next?”
Albert: “Hmm. Good question…”
Enid: “It’s a little insensitive, isn’t it? No matter who it is, we shouldn’t want it to happen, right?”
Enid: “I don’t know what high school is really like, but everything around it seems weird, and kind of bad.”
Lillian: “I know, awesome right?”
Enid: “Huh?”
Albert: “Based solely on John’s account, the most likely in our class would be Lemmy, or JoJo, or possibly Roger.

No. 1015882 ID: 629f2e
File 163768520418.png - (926.18KB , 1000x1000 , 43.png )

Roger: “Wait, what?”
Albert: “Lemmy and JoJo fit the Calvin example. They’re both-”
Roger: “No- Why Me!?
Albert: “Keep your voice down! We’re in a library.”

He looks around, checking for something before speaking again.

Albert: “If you consider the example of Jonah, then you should be able to understand it.”
Roger: “What? But if it was grades-”
Albert: “It's not about grades. You’re smart Roger, I’m sure you can work it out.”

He stares at you, as if waiting for you to put the pieces together. You didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, and yet he had perfect faith in you. It was annoying that he wouldn’t just say it, but…

...If he thought you could do it, then the least you could do is try.

Even in retelling, John’s story brings up Fear and doubts in the children who hear it.
Lillian gains 4 Fear, feeling uncertain if she is a candidate for early graduation.
Albert gains 2 Fear, feeling confident that he isn’t under consideration. Still, the story is troubling.
Roger’s Fear gain indeterminate until the next update.

Party Fear Levels:
Roger: 6/100
Enid: 32/100
Franklin: 6/100
Albert: 10/100 (He appears to have gained 8 Fear since you split up.)
Lillian: 6/100 (She appears to have gained 2 Fear since you split up.)

What might cause Roger to graduate before other members of his class?
A: Answer (Try to find the meaning without need for explanation. You’ll gain less fear if you work it out on your own.) (Write your thoughts along with your answer.)
B: Deflect (“But what about X?” If you can successfully point out at least one kid who breaks the rules John’s tale seems to be implying, you’ll gain a bit less fear. If your deflection gets shot down though, fear gain will stay normal.) (Simply name a student who has graduated early.)

A/N: If you correctly follow Albert’s reasoning, you will gain the least fear. If you don’t feel confident that you can, Deflecting is the safer alternative. Feel free to ask for clarification on anything previously mentioned, a mini update may be made addressing all questions asked.
No. 1015888 ID: 0838d6

Is it because you don't get along with your parents and constantly argue? It's probably not because you'll crack under the pressure, as it hasn't happened yet and you've shown no signs of that happening.

If I had to make an assumption, it's because you're good at sports but prefer to pursue art and this upsets your parents which causes you to HATE them as you discuss things with them because they're making life difficult for you. You're slowly skirting along the edge of that.

A course correction you COULD make could be to take up a relatively non obstructive SPORT just to get them off your back. You're good at running so maybe TRACK AND FIELD? Plus that usually doesn't take up too much time and you can put in MINIMUM EFFORT and do just fine, still able to art.

But this is just to please your parents and maybe avoid graduation, would you even consider it otherwise?
No. 1015893 ID: ce39da

A: Answer
... Early graduation can ultimately be decided by your parents. CALVIN was poorly understood by most people, and that could have included his own family. JONAH was struggling to live up to the high expectations his parents set for his grades. CASSIDY did something to provoke SOMEONE to injure her outside of school, and not only that, she may have tattled to another adult about it. JACOB's outburst, regarding how it reflected on his family and upbringing, could only be described as "shameful."

Then there are the examples you already knew about:
JHONEN makes sense. He was always off in his own weird world of conspiracies; you doubt that was what his parents would have wanted, and he may have stumbled on something dangerous.

"Hey, Lillian, what were your and Phillip's relationships with your folks like?"

Honestly, RODNEY is the only anomaly for this theory, but like PHILLIP, you don't know enough about his and CLIVE'S home-life to dispute this or make theories around it. Honestly, you're more shocked that CLIVE hasn't graduated early, if this theory is true... but there are a few explanations for this that are... troubling in their own way. Something had to happen in that house to make CLIVE the way he is, after all...
No. 1015896 ID: ce39da

And yeah, this compromise should be something you're at least considering, regardless of whether you go through with it.
No. 1015900 ID: 71720a

It not about grades, it's about nerves. If the situation is getting to you and you start panicking, that's when you're reaped.
No. 1016003 ID: 8483cf

- “Keep your head down and do what you’re told”; don’t “step out of line” (John)
- “Has nothing to do with intelligence” (Snyder; likely reliable)
- Has something to do with parents (Snyder; likely reliable)
- High school’s intention is to “mold [them] into mature and capable adults” (Chamberlane)
- “I don’t know why yet, but someone dragged Rodney into some Conspiracy. As soon as I know who's behind it, and what the heck they did to my little brother...”

Common Factors in Early Graduation
- Received extra attention from school administration (Calvin, Jonah, Jacob, Cassidy [Nurse])
- Violence, or threats of violence (Jonah [Threatened to rip Franklin’s arm off], Jacob, Cassidy)
- Low grades (Jonah, Calvin[?])
- Emotionally unstable (Jonah, Jhonen)
- Inability to fit in (Jhonen [called The Freak]; Calvin, Jonah, Jacob)

- Violence is not a guarantee of early graduation (Clive, Riley)
- Low grades/Intelligence is not a guarantee of early graduation (Snyder tip)
- High grades/Intelligence is not a guarantee of avoiding early graduation (Phillip)
- Not fitting in is not a guarantee of early graduation (Franklin and Clive “The Anti-Socialite”)
- Being well-liked is not a guarantee of avoiding early graduation (Rodney “The Socialite”)
- Graduation can happen without immediate signs at home, and can be done without direct parental involvement (Rodney just didn’t come home, as per Clive; Jhonen just got in a car; didn’t talk with parents)

Albert’s Guesses
- Lemmy: Class clown. “Spoke crassly about death.” Not a trustworthy source. Makes unfunny puns and doesn’t get along with Roger. Potential swindler of home-schoolers.
- Jojo: Unknown, but name is similar to Jonah and Jhonen, so maybe Albert’s a smartass
- Roger: Doesn’t socialize before class/prefers to sketch instead; parents do not approve of drawing habit; draws furry girls

Reasoned Conclusions
- Grades are not the deciding factor in early graduation.
- Social standing is not the deciding factor in early graduation.
- Incidences of violence can be the deciding factor in early graduation.
- Disrupting the social order is a significant contributing factor to early graduation. Even unwilling participation in activities, conspiracies or disruptions are significant risk factors.
- Parents are involved in the early graduation process, and are aware that it will happen. This is most obvious by the fact that Clive and Rodney’s parents did not exhibit extreme emotional distress at Rodney’s disappearance, despite Rodney’s good disposition and lack of contributing factors for early graduation.

The above factors indicate that early graduation is predictable to adults, and potentially even able to be requested by parents. Children who disrupt the social order (or at imminent, immediate risk of disrupting the social order), defy parental or educational expectations, or do not show signs of being able to recover from personality defects are at high risk of early graduation.

Roger is at slight to moderate risk of early graduation because he refuses to conform to parental expectations, which is a risk factor. Refusing to conform with parental expectations puts him at risk of being evaluated by educational or other authorities responsible for gauging levels of conformity.

Roger exhibits a risk factor of expressing interest in conspiracy or investigation into disruption of elementary school order, by talking to Mr. Snyder about specific instances of early graduation and asking pointed questions. A mitigating factor in this case is Mr. Snyder’s belief that all children ask questions upon witnessing early graduation.

However, Roger is not currently emotionally unstable, and has not disrupted the social order, and is not currently at imminent risk of doing so.
No. 1016607 ID: 629f2e
File 163851178250.png - (1.25MB , 1000x1000 , 44.png )

Albert said that Jonah’s story was the example that explained why I was a candidate, but it isn’t about grades. He said just as much already, and yours aren’t great or terrible. It probably wasn’t about grades with Jonah either. Or well, it was grades, but if he was falling short of high expectations then it doesn’t sound like he was failing his classes. He was probably just doing fine. If you think about it like that, then what you have in common with him is…

Roger: “I’m not... what my Parents want me to be.”

The thought had simply come to you, you aren’t sure how. After it did however, you just couldn’t think of anything else Albert could mean. He nods in response.

Albert: “Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.”

Enid: “What do you mean? What do they want from you?”

Roger: “To stop ‘wasting my time’ drawing and take up a sport where I can use my ‘talents’. Because why do something that I didn’t happen to be Born good at?”

Your mind goes back to all the ways they’ve tried to convince you to give up your passion for theirs. The thought that you might graduate early for not giving in to their wishes… It made you mad.

Ugh, you hope you don’t have to talk to them today. You don’t think you have the Patience to handle it well right now.

Enid: “Ah, that’s right. You’re the fastest kid in school, Lillian said that.”
Franklin: “Do our parents have anything to do with school though?”
Franklin: “...Shouldn’t it be the teachers who decide which kids graduate? They grade us, it makes more sense.”
Albert: “That doesn’t fit with the examples we’ve already heard though.”

Albert: “To start with the obvious, Jonah failed to meet the lofty expectations of his parents, and eventually became an early graduate.”
Roger: “Calvin’s parents probably didn’t understand him, just like the rest of his classmates couldn’t. His actual grades probably didn’t matter.”
Lillian: “What about Cassidy? What’s her example mean?”
Albert: “Well… who gave her the black eye?”
Lillian: “...Uh, I’m pretty sure you want me to say her parents, but that doesn’t make sense.”
Albert: “Why not?”
Lillian: “Because that’s stupid. She went to a nurse, and she would have just told Mrs. Wheatley. Her parents would have gone to jail, she wouldn’t get sent up to high school.”

Her logic made sense, but there was one assumption that could clear it up for her. What was a good way of explaining it though…?

Enid finds an answer before you do.

Enid: “The school has to be in on it too, right? I-If they weren’t, then why would they be letting in kids for Bad Reasons. Right?”
Enid: “A-And the people who run the school are Parents too, aren’t they? That means they have to know it’s an option.”
Albert: “...I don’t like the idea that the faculty would overlook clear evidence of abuse, but it seems likely.”
Franklin: “...Oh, I think I get it. Jacob’s parents probably weren’t happy with him for beating up Riley.”
Franklin: “Dad tells me all the time not to get into fights or else he’ll rip my legs off and beat me to death with them.”
Franklin: “His parents probably just told him that they’d send him to high school early, which I think sounds worse.”

You all take a minute to stare at Franklin, before silently agreeing to ignore the non-sequitur and move on.

Roger: “R-Right… Jacob got into a fight, and was described as having anger issues. Breaking another student’s arm was probably the last straw.”
Albert: “If you think about early graduation as a decision made by the parents, then there are reasonable explanations for all of the examples we’ve been given.”

You bring a hand to your chin at that summary, debating on whether to accept his response or speak up. In the end, you decide to make your objections known.

Roger: “Hold on, I don’t disagree with the idea, but I don’t think that makes perfect sense either. At least, not with the three kids that just graduated.”

He lets out a small sigh, indicating he also knew the flaws you were about to point out. He says nothing though, allowing you to continue.

Roger: “I think there are three… yeah, three issues with that. The first is obvious, isn’t it?”

Lill snorts.

Lillian: “Uh, yeah, do we even have to say it? No way mom and dad would have sent Phillip to high school, he was great!”

That wasn’t the one you were thinking of, but it seemed this was what you were talking about now. That’s what you get for asking an open-ended question.

Enid: “So, he got along perfectly well with your parents?”

Her tone made it obvious that she didn’t fully believe Lill.

Lillian: “...Y-Yeah. I mean… Look, there was nothing wrong with Phillip so that wouldn’t have happened. End of story.”
Albert: “Are you sure about that? Wasn’t there-”
Lillian: “You want the other leg to match? Watch what you say about my brother.”
Albert: “...Fine. For now, let’s agree to put Phillip off to the side. What were your other two issues, Roger?”
Roger: “Clive.”
Albert: “*sigh* Well, I suppose this was unavoidable.”
Roger: “Come on, after Jacob’s example you have to think it’s weird too. Jacob broke a kid’s arm, but Clive? He nearly Killed JoJo!”
Enid: “He did what!?

Her gaze whips to Albert, who nods.

Albert: “I only saw the aftermath, but the story is rather gruesome according to those who witnessed the scene.”
Franklin: “...He just kept hitting her.” Franklin says. “Over and over and over and over again. Everyone around him was screaming, but he just kept doing it. It only stopped when Mrs. Chamberlane dragged him off of her..”

Franklin’s description couldn’t truly capture how horrific a scene it was.

So many kids were there, yourself included, but you were all petrified and unable to stop the scene that was taking place before your eyes. You all just watched as he pulled his arms back and wailed on her, until her face was so battered and broken that you could barely recognize the girl who wore it. JoJo wasn’t a nice person, kind of the opposite, but she didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserved that.

When it had finally ended, and you were all broken from your trance, all you can remember was crying. School ended early for the day, as you and your classmates were inconsolable after witnessing a classmate nearly die in front of you.

Albert: “She spent a few months in the hospital. It took a great deal of surgery and recovery for her to come back to class, but she did manage to pull through.
Enid: “...I didn’t know he was that kind of boy... I feel stupid for feeling bad for him.”
Roger: “Yeah, if you’re gonna feel bad for anyone then it should be Rodney. He had to live with that monster.”
Roger: “But that’s my point. Clive definitely should have graduated after what he did to JoJo, but he didn’t.”
Roger: “Even if his parents don’t care enough, JoJo’s parents should have twisted their arm about getting rid of the kid who broke their daughter’s face. But it’s been two years, and he’s still here.”
Lillian: “Oh yeah, guess it is weird that Killer Clive’s still around after pulling a stunt like that.”

She snaps her fingers.

Lillian: “Oh! I’ve got it! Rodney must not have let them get rid of him. He was his brother’s number one defender, and it’s really hard to say no to that kid.”
Albert: “Unfortunately, that doesn’t mesh with the third issue I believe Roger is going to raise. Namely, why was Rodney the one to graduate between the Schmidt brothers?”
Lillian: “Okay good, we’re talking about that!”
Albert: “Stop shouting! Library, remember?”
Lillian: “Everybody loved that little goober, he was everyone’s friend. Who in their right mind would make him graduate early?”
Franklin: “...His parents? That’s what we were talking about before, right?”
Albert: “The homelife of Rodney and Clive isn’t well known to us, and making assumptions will simply lead to us chasing the wrong path.”
Albert: “Instead, there is something else Clive said earlier that I think goes against our current theory more concretely.”
Roger: “You remember it too then?”

Lillian: "That can't be right. Maybe they talked to your parents-"
Clive: "I know for a Fact they didn't."

Roger: “He seemed really sure that his parents didn’t know anything about it.”
Franklin: “...I’m confused. Then who made Rodney graduate early?”
Enid: “If our guess isn’t right, h-have we been on the wrong track this whole time?”
Albert: “...Do you have any ideas, Roger?”

Honestly, you weren’t sure. It seemed like you didn’t have enough information to really say if you were wrong about everything, or if there was just a small piece you were missing that would fill in this gap. Maybe if you thought about it a bit-

Enid: “What if Rodney Didn’t graduate?”
Roger: “Huh?”
Enid: “...The only reason we think he did is because the teachers say that’s what happened.”
Enid: “But if we can’t trust them, because they’re being suspicious and keeping things from us, then maybe we can’t trust that ‘fact’ either.”
Albert: “...Hm. Any specific reason you think that.”
Enid: “...”

Her eyebrows furrow as she gazes downwards.

Enid: “Adults Lie all the time. Even Giovanni lied to us when we asked him about Jhonen.”
Enid: “Why wouldn’t they lie about this too?”

You get the feeling that this went beyond the matter of early graduation. Sadly, this didn’t seem like the time or place to ask about it. You still had a lot to go over.

Albert: “Well... That’s one possible explanation. We don’t have evidence for or against it, but let’s keep it in mind for now and come back to it later.”
Roger: “Alright, so can we talk about what you and Lill found then?”
Albert: “Yes, I think now would be a good time.”
No. 1016608 ID: 629f2e
File 163851218444.png - (883.99KB , 1000x1000 , 45.png )

He turns to Lillian, who nods and takes the initiative.

Lillian: “So we went to talk to Mrs. Chamberlane and try to figure out why some kids graduate early. She didn’t want to talk, and basically told us to ask our parents.”
Lillian: “I didn’t want to talk to mom about it, dad’s at work, Albert’s mom was at work too, and his dad is in the Hospital apparently, so instead we-”
Roger: “Wait, your dad is in the hospital? Is he okay?”
Albert: “I am physically incapable of caring less. Let’s just hope he’s perished and move on.”

...You’re not gonna talk about that either.

Albert: “I suggested we visit the library to do our own research, and here is where we spent the rest of our investigation. We made, in total, Two discoveries.”
Lillian: “The first is that we couldn’t find anything about modern day high school.”
Lillian: “The only books that talk about it are from the 1950s or earlier. Those books still think children come and go from high school each day, just like our classes.”
Albert: “I asked Lillian to check out fiction that involved high school, while I turned my focus to legal texts. My hope was that there were laws relating to graduation that would answer our questions.”

He suddenly holds up the book he’d been holding, flipping the cover to show off its title of Public School Laws of North Carolina Annotated. You ask to see so he passes it to you, but you can’t even read a single sentence of this book. It’s written in the most boring voice imaginable and filled with more jargon than you can handle.

Albert: “It’s a bit advanced. You don’t have to read the whole thing, but there’s one specific section I’d like to call attention to.”

He takes the book from you and flips through it. He stops on a page and begins to read out loud.

“115C-218.85. Course of study requirements. (a) Instructional Program. - (1) The school shall provide instruction each year for at least 185 days or 1,025 hours over nine calendar months...”

“(3) The school shall provide instruction each year for no greater than 200 days or 1100 hours over nine calendar months.”

Albert: “This is the regulation that concerned me. Do you all understand.”
Franklin: “...No.”
Enid: “Um... You lost me near the start, sorry.”
Roger: “It’s a bit much...”
Lillian: “I do!”
Albert: “Only because I explained it to you, don’t act so proud.”
Albert: “It’s simple. This regulation states that the maximum school year is 200 days. This applies to Elementary, Middle, and High School.
Enid: “Oh! Wait, but that can’t be right.”

She was correct. You all knew that kids stayed in high school until they turned 18, and weren’t allowed to leave until then. What Albert just explained doesn’t make sense. Unless...

Roger: “Isn’t it possible that high schoolers have non-school days inside the high school? Just because they only have class for that many doesn’t change the fact that they stay inside.”
Albert: “I could read out three more relevant regulations on trespassing and on-campus activities if you’d like.”
Roger: “N-No, please don’t. If you say they exist, I’ll believe you.”
Albert: “The conclusion I reached after looking through this book is that according to these regulations, the high school we know Should Not Exist.
Franklin: “...But it does.”
Albert: “And there’s the contradiction.”
Enid: “Is it possible that the book is just... old?”

He flips it around, pointing to something on the back cover. Copyright 1956.

Albert: “I’m Not Sure how long ago that is exactly, it’s possible that they published a new version. That’s not what’s important.”
Roger: “Then what is?”
Albert: “The fact that my father started high school in the 1940s, many years before these regulations changed. I assume it’s the same for many of your parents.”
Albert: “So tell me, what have they said about high school to you?”

What had your parents said about high school...? Well, just about the same stuff everyone’s parents did you think. They told you how it worked when you were young or when the first person you knew graduated. Dad told you how he met mom there, and how he used to be the Star of the track team (ugh). And...

They told you that it was normal. That it had Always been like that, and that they had gone through high school just like you would someday.

Roger: “...They lied. They said they went through it, but when they were kids high school let them Leave.
Albert: “Exactly. My parents told me the same thing.”
Lillian: “Mine too.”
Enid: “...”
Franklin: “...My dad actually never talked to me about high school, but I think Mrs. Chamberlane told me something like that once.”
Roger: “Between this and everything we were talking about before...”
Roger: “...Clive was right. There really is some kind of conspiracy going on, isn’t there?”
Albert: “Parents changed the town’s high school to hold kids until adulthood, and began to send problem children there. If you put those together, it sounds more like a Prison than a school.”
Enid: “A place to hold kids until they’re old enough to take care of themselves, and their parents don’t have to support them.”
Enid: “It’s so terrible...”
Lillian: “No way, this is perfect!”

You all turn to Lillian, who was wearing a too big smirk for the dire topics you were discussing.

Roger: “...In what way?”
Lillian: “Because that means we have to do something about it, right? If it was normal and good then we wouldn’t have any reason to, but obviously we have to do something if this is the truth.”
Lillian: “That means I don’t have to wait to see Phillip again!”

Oh. Okay, that tracks. This is a win for her.

To be honest, you weren’t too unhappy with the idea either. Phillip was one of your best friends, Rodney was a great kid to keep around, and Jhonen...

Phillip and Rodney were great kids! The idea of pulling them out and having them back was a nice one at least. Still, how would you even do that? And should you? The adults make the rules, so even if this is super unfair, don’t you have to go along with it?

Franklin: “...Hmm...”
Franklin: “...What do we do now?”
Albert: “...”
Roger: “...”
Enid: “...”
Lillian: “...Break in?”
Albert: “If we did that, I presume we’d be staying until we’re all adults.”

She grumbles about how they need to do something, which isn’t wrong, but ignores the big issues that you were all thinking about right now. In the end, you give your own suggestion.

Roger: “We’ve done a lot today. Maybe we should just... give it some thought?”
Roger: “We can meet up again tomorrow to talk about what to do next after school.”
Albert: “...That’s probably for the best.”

You all agree to call it a day, having heard plenty as is. A few of your friends talk a bit more before splitting. (Albert specifically asks Lillian if he can come over even if game night is off. You have a strong feeling that he has an ulterior motive, but can’t fathom what at this time.)

After all of that discussion, you feel drained as you start on your way home.

In the end, the long and tiring conversation has left everyone exhausted and worried.
Roger resisted 8 Fear for reaching some conclusions himself, but still gained 15 Fear overall. He’s terrified that he’ll graduate very soon.
[Roger is a little on edge.]
Albert is concerned about the implications of this system, but still doesn’t fear he’ll graduate any time soon. He has gained 5 Fear.
Enid has gained a lot of stress, which thankfully is not a stat we track. However, being so stressed has made it easier to gain fear, and Enid has accrued 15 Fear.
[Enid isn’t holding up well.]
Lillian gained 2 Fear. The thought of getting Phillip back was enough to let her resist 12 Fear. Good for her.
Franklin is worried about possibly graduating, but resisted some Fear by spacing out at various points in the conversation. He has gained 8 Fear.

Party Fear Levels:
[Roger: 21/100]
[Enid: 47/100]
[Franklin: 14/100]
[Albert: 15/100]
[Lillian: 8/100]

Let’s also check in on the party’s suspicion while we still have everyone.

Party Suspicion Levels:
[Roger: 3/100]
[Enid: 6/100]
[Franklin: 21/100]
[Albert: 14/100]
[Lillian: 1/100]

No. 1016609 ID: 629f2e
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You make it home just before your curfew. You weren’t in the mood for talking to your parents at all, so having them yell at you for being late wouldn’t have sat well. Honestly, you weren’t even that hungry. You just wanted to skip dinner and go up to your room.

As you start up the stairs however…

Dad: “Is that you Roger?”


Roger: “Yes dad.”
Dad: “Come over here for a minute, your mom and I want to talk with you.”

No no no no no no no no no no no…

Roger: “Um, can it wait? I really need to get started on this homework.”
Mom: “It’ll just be a minute. Come on down, this is important.”

You lightly bang your head against the wall a few times. Looks like you weren’t getting out of this. You toss your bag in your bedroom before heading downstairs to the living room. Both of them are waiting for you there. You try to give them a fake smile, but your face doesn’t comply. Not frowning would have to suffice.

Roger: “So… What’s up?”
Mom: “We wanted to talk to you about school.”
Roger: “School’s fine… Still have Bs in all my classes. A in math though. Nothing interesting to talk about.”
Dad: “That’s just it. You don’t really have much going on right now, it’s just school. A boy your age needs some activities to keep himself focused.”
Roger: “...I have activities. I play with my friends, I draw-”
Dad: “Real activities. The kinds that build skill, character, and muscle!”

You bite back a retort. He always did this, he always acted like your drawing was worthless.

Dad: “You’re not going to be a kid forever, and sooner or later you’ll be going up to high school where we won’t be able to watch over you.”
Dad: “It’s time you take hold of your life and start making something of yourself! No more talking about it, your mother and I think it’s about time we do something for your future.”
Dad: “That’s why tomorrow, I want to come to school with you to help you pick out a Sport.

...You blink.

Roger: “...H-Huh?”
Dad: “I know you’ve never been a fan of the idea, but I think once you start you’ll find you really do like it.”
Roger: “...”

Hey… Heads up.

The stakes have been very low this chapter so far. There was no mistake big enough to have serious consequences.

So I just thought I should warn you...


Have fun! And think carefully about what you’re going to say. You’re probably tempted to just agree to whatever your dad says, but be careful!

You ARE still a kid after all.

[Roger’s Remaining Patience: 9/10]

How does Roger respond?

No. 1016610 ID: 8483cf

Okay, this is gonna be a long haul, so let's manage Roger's patience. We're a kid, so we have to stick to our guns and compromise only when we have to.

Dad wants us to do something that teaches skills, builds character, and builds muscle. Let's give the kid response of "but I already do those things!" and have an obvious weak point in our argument for dad to seize on.

Drawing builds skills of: focus (seriously, what kid our age has the patience to toil away at a piece of paper for this long?), attention to detail, and spatial visualization. These are ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL for any engineering profession, be it civil, electrical, or Corps of Engineers.

Character: Drawing builds character by teaching perseverance through failure. It also builds our social standing because we're super cool and people want to see our drawings.

Muscle: Teaches hand-eye coordination and builds reflexes!!!!
No. 1016634 ID: 076735

Ooh, I love the idea of engineering: A healthy, well-paying job that yields a good and healthy life. Plus it's a productive job: Engineers create. Sports do not create anything, they just break people.

Remind your father that most sports careers are short, so if you let sports get in the way of your actual studies, you'll be left with no job once in your forties.

PS: What if Rodney somehow took the fall for Clive? It's as simple as telling the high school person he was Clive, especially if they didn't bother to check with the family.
No. 1016693 ID: 629f2e
File 163860570383.png - (744.65KB , 1000x1000 , 47.png )

You hold back the venom you desperately wanted to lace your words with, gritting your teeth and replying.

Roger: “...Drawing is a real activity. I don’t need to be playing a sport to build character.”
Roger: “And I probably get way more skill with a pencil in my hand than I would running around. I’m already good at that.”

Your father sighs, leaning back in his seat.

Dad: “We’ve talked about this Roger. It’s not going to get you anywhere. Pushing your limits will.
Roger: “I-It can get me places. I could… It builds good coordination. I bet that could help me with a bunch of grown up jobs.”
Dad: “Roger...”
Roger: “And attention to detail! A bunch of jobs would want someone who could notice small things and-”
Mom: “Sweetheart, please. It’s fine if you like it, it’s just not going to be helpful for you.”
Mom: “I don’t mind if you want to Doodle after finishing your homework, but your father is right. Taking up a sport will be good for you.”
Dad: “Anything that gets your nose out of that god-forsaken sketchbook would be.”
Dad: “Maybe when you have less free time, you’ll stop wasting so much of it.”

You lock your jaw to hold back a harsh retort. -1 Patience

[Roger’s Remaining Patience: 8/10]

Roger: “I don’t want-”
Dad: “Well you didn’t want to eat your peas when you were eight, but you did it anyways, didn’t you? Because your mother and I made you.”
Dad: “This is exactly the same thing. You don’t know what’s best, but we do.”
Mom: “Just give it a try. You can’t say that you hate it if you’ve never even tried, can you?”

Yes you can. You may not have played every sport, but you’ve run around and thrown things before. It’s not for you, neither of those are things you like doing. Combining the two won’t magically make them better.

Looks like they won’t even start to acknowledge your art as a viable hobby. Of course they wouldn’t, why did you ever think they would? Parents supporting their child? Impossible, couldn’t be them!

...Your lip is quivering. Crud, if this keeps up you’re going to start crying frustration tears. That’ll just make them worse, you should try to wrap this up as quickly as you can.

How does Roger proceed?
No. 1016694 ID: 8483cf

Let's see what dad means by pushing our limits. Maybe there's a sport we can do that doesn't involve running or throwing?
No. 1016696 ID: 076735

Ask how many old sportsmen they know.
No. 1016708 ID: e51896

You can prove that your artwork will get you somewhere. Tell them that you actually SOLD some artwork, and they were actually impressed by your art, you made a whole $1.75, making you rich! rich enough to buy some sweet scrumptious candy! uhh, I mean TO SAVE FOR YOUR FUTURE! They even wanted you to make more artwork to trade for even MORE MONEY as at least THEY support your art career. You don't see how sports will make you some immediate money, especially if we're inexperienced in atheletics while we're already experienced in our arts, and already making A LOT of money off of it, and you thought maybe your parents would be proud of you by actually finding a way to use art as WORK make some extra allowance instead of just seeing it as a waste of free-time for fun.

and as far as building character goes, you had to push your limits of embarrassment and fear in order to show your artwork and sell your work, which was worth it! Which means you're building character by improving your courage to do stuff like making a deal like that with your art!
No. 1016713 ID: ce39da

"So art has no future, but sports do? Even if I manage to go professional, athletes retire pretty early, don't they? I... I want to be able to do something I can keep up past the age of forty."

If this doesn't convince them, it's time for the compromise.

"Fine. But I already know which sport I'd prefer; Track & Field." It's a brain-dead sport you're already talented in - your mind would be free to wander elsewhere, at least, but don't tell them that this is your reasoning. "And this doesn't mean I'm going to stop doing art, either. My friends already know me as The Artist, while you want me to become The Athlete. At the end of the day, though, I'm neither of those. I'm Roger Bannister, a kid who's talented at running and has a passion for art, who sometimes makes pictures good enough to sell to the other students and loves his friends, and who is willing to start growing up if it means he doesn't have to be talked down to all the time. Good night, dad."
No. 1016715 ID: ce39da

... Oh crap. As an addendum to this: Once you're done with this conversation and up in your room, have a Realization.

CLIVE was Absolutely Certain that his parents never talked to the guy in charge of early graduation. He shouldn't be able to be that certain, since they could have talked while he was at school. CLIVE isn't stupid... so it's not that he thinks they Simply Didn't speak to the guy... No, he considers it to be Literally Impossible.

... Has anyone actually seen CLIVE and RODNEY'S parents? Do we know for a fact that they even currently exist and are both alive and present? Yikes... Maybe ask ENID later about how legal guardianship works in this town (but make sure you specify it has to do with the weird exceptions surrounding RODNEY and CLIVE).
No. 1016716 ID: 0838d6

I like the idea of mentioning that you made some money, it could be worth saying that you thought that adults got JOBS when they got older to make MONEY to support their KIDS, so he's already ahead of the curve on that. Because im very interested in their retort.

You should also ask if you don't like it if you can either stop or switch to another sport. Mention that they're asking you try, and that you won't give a half assed attempt you will genuinely try if they are willing to concede this point.

On this vein suggest that you get to pick or at least have your opinion considered for TRACK AND FIELD, but probably assume the result with any sport will be the same, that you'll have to wake up early and be busy until curfew because my assumption is that's exactly what they want, for you to stop drawing, form a new social group, lose your old connections sans classes and weekends *MAYBE*, and be too tired post homework as well to draw anymore, at least what your dad would like.

Feel free to pick which point you'd like to discuss, since these updates are shorter, I just have a few points I wanted to get out into the wild.
No. 1016719 ID: 094652

"But Dad, there's no local Paintball League, or Dead by Daylight League, or LARP League, or Rocket League, or Furball League, or Halo League!

Why do you think I draw all those weird characters, I need to win first place in a country-wide art competition to get a scholarship to get into a school with some MAN'S SPORTS like war-games!"
No. 1016740 ID: 629f2e
File 163867995731.png - (562.60KB , 1000x1000 , 48.png )

You try to think about something else to calm down. Your mind drifts to the conversation you had in the library and the contradictions you’d brought up. For a brief moment, you consider one possible explanation for what Clive had said in the lunchroom.

His and Rodney’s parents... Could they be- No. Come on, that’s not possible.

For starters, you’ve seen them. Not in a while mind you, but you try to stay away from Clive altogether and run into Rodney in places other than his home. You don’t see most kids’ parents that often, or at least you don’t recognize most on sight, and you don’t consider that weird. The last time you can really remember it clearly was when Rodney started coming to school, as his mom used to walk them both there for the first few weeks.

If something had happened since then, they wouldn’t still be living in the same house they did back then. Someone would have adopted them, it’s common sense. So you can definitely rule that out you think.

It wasn’t a good line of thought, but it calms you down slightly. You gather yourself as best you can and think of a new argument to make.

Roger: “You were both on the track team, and you didn’t wind up anywhere because of that. You work at the Recycling Center, and mom is just a mom.”
Roger: “I don’t know anybody’s parents here who plays professional sports, and I don’t want to when I’m an adult either.
Roger: “So how will running around and throwing things make me a good adult in a way that drawing doesn’t? Seems like a waste of time to me, even less useful than art.”
Dad: “Of course you think that. You just don’t realize yet how little you’ll have to show for all that time and money spent on scribbling in that book.”
Dad: “You’re not going to be an artist, and you’re going to end up penniless on the street if you don’t get that through your head.”

You bite your lip so hard it starts to bleed. -2 Patience.

[Roger’s Remaining Patience: 6/10]

Roger: “B-But... I’m already making money from drawing!”
Roger: “Just today, I made a dollar seventy-five by selling my sketches to kids who really liked them! And I’m going to make more when I finish the other one they were interested in.”
Dad: “Bravo. That doesn’t even come out to a tenth of what this home costs us each month.”
Mom: “Not to mention you’re just going to waste it on more art supplies and candy. If you aren’t going to be smart with your wallet Roger, you’re never going to get an allowance.”
Roger: “Yeah, why bother spending money on things that make you happy?”
Mom: “Don’t take that tone with me!”

You flinch. Was that too snippy? You needed to reel that back.

Roger: “S-Sorry...”
Mom: “See, this. This is why you need a new hobby. Art is just so Lonely.
Mom: “If you get on a team, you can make new friends, form bonds that’ll carry you through adulthood, and be a more well-rounded person.”
Roger: “...I have friends.”
Mom: “I know, you have your game night group and a few others, but to be honest... This would be a good chance to find a better friend group.”
Roger: “What’s wrong with my friends!?”
Dad: “Where to start? You’re spending time with that bastard Nicolas’ spawn. That family’s a Poison to this town, and you’d be better off avoiding them like the plague.

Nicolas... You think that’s Albert’s dad. This was new, your father had never brought up feelings like this before. What does he have against Albert and his family?

Roger: “What do you mean?”
Mom: “Dear, please, don’t get into this.”
Dad: “...Fine.”
Roger: “There’s nothing wrong with Albert, he’s the smartest kid in class.”
Dad: “Yeah, I bet he is. Bet they think that changes anything. But they’ll never-”
Mom: “Stephen! That’s enough, don’t say another word.”

Your dad stops, an intense frown still resting on his face. This wasn’t something you were expecting, you didn’t know what to think about this. Why would your dad hate Albert’s dad?

Roger: “...I heard from Albert his father is in the hospital right now. I don’t know why though.”
Dad: “...Well, let’s hope for good news then.”

...You were almost certain his idea of ‘good news’ wasn’t for him to return in good health.

Mom: “Roger sweetheart... It would really mean a lot if you could be at least a little more open to the idea.”
Mom: “Your father and I only want what’s best for you, and we really do believe that this is it. I know you don’t feel the same way, but would it really hurt you that much to try?”
Mom: “Go to a few practice sessions, play in a game, and you might discover that you really enjoy it. Or maybe you won’t, but at least you’ll know for sure.”

...You don’t want to say no to mom.

That’s not true, you really did, but you couldn’t. She asked you so nicely, and... She’s your mom. You Love her. You don’t want to upset her. Even if that meant...

Dad wasn’t going to let up anyways. There’s no way around it, you have to take up a sport. But... which one? If you didn’t say anything, they would probably push you into Track and Field, just like they used to play.

What sport team should Roger suggest joining to appease his parents?

A: Track and Field
-This is the worst possible option in Roger’s mind, and will cause him a lot of stress. Not a measured stat itself, but Roger will gain more Fear at a quicker rate as a result of being stressed.
Somewhat time intensive. On days with practice, Roger will be rather unavailable.
-Suggesting this himself will make Roger’s parents very happy.
-The conversation will almost certainly end here if Roger agrees to this.

B: Baseball
-Far less stressful or intensive as Track and Field. Roger will not get a Fear gain multiplier from this.
-Roger can likely complete sketches during practice games when it isn’t his turn.
-More time intensive. On days with practice, Roger will be completely unavailable.
-Suggesting this would almost certainly please Roger’s parents.
-It’s likely that the conversation will end here, but his parents may push him towards something else as a result.

C: Bowling
-Not at all stressful. Roger might actually have fun with this.
-Roger can likely complete sketches during practice games when it isn’t his turn.
-Not very time intensive at all. On days with practice, Roger will only be unavailable for about an hour and a half after school.
-Suggesting this probably won’t please Roger’s parents.
-It is unlikely that the conversation would end after this suggestion.

D: Agree to Check out Different Teams with Dad Tomorrow
-No commitment to join anything right now.
-Gives Roger more time to try and find a way out of this.
-Roger will be unavailable tomorrow.
-Roger may end up not having a say in what he does.

E: Chess
-Not actually a sport.
-Guaranteed to drag the conversation on.
-You would literally only pick this to spite your parents.

No. 1016743 ID: e51896

We got six patience left... hmmm... i mainly want C Bowling, but since we still have patience, we can probably start out by saying E: Chess, let them worry or complain a bit, pretend to try to convince them by saying "but chess IS a sport" knowing it'll fail, and after it drags on long enough, then be like "fiiiiine, I'll go with bowling. I Hear everyone is into that these days".

Choose what they think is the worst possible option, then settle on a compromise with them by choosing the sport you actually want, bowling. Haggling, baby!
No. 1016744 ID: 8483cf

Let's take the safe route and pick B: baseball.

And try and get more info out of dad about what he does at his job, too...
No. 1016745 ID: afe7de

Ooooh you now have a way to throw some words back at em if they deny your choice here. My choice is B. Baseball, and here’s my reasoning:

Personally this means you have time to doodle when you’re not doing the sport, also its way better of a sense of community then track and field (sorry not sorry). You’ll unfortunately be unavailable on days with practice, but that just means you’ll doodle on those days, it’s an unfortunate loss but it’s better then track and field by these standards.

Now, as for how to pull the convincing. You’d say you want to do baseball, they’ll probably counter with now Track and field is better. You’d counter by how track and field is LONELY, you’re running and sprinting and just getting in your own HEAD, this would reinforce the LONLINESS they don’t want you to have.

Then if they say it’s not like that and you’d still have friends you can also counter with how baseball is a sport all about TEAMWORK and COORDINATION, which means you’ll HAVE TO get along with the whole group rather then with just a single individual or two.

I dunno how you’d fit this in there or something but I’d like to know exactly how a SPORT fits in with WORK, and what the RECYCLING CENTER job is like, what do they do, what do they recycle? If this new SPORT will only make their ability to get a career better, taking an interest in this is only natural right?

I think trying to pull the chess upgraded to bowling is a bad move imo, we have enough ammo to shoot baseball as our target and not gain tons of stress. And, by resolving this, you’ll probably only lose some more patience but not go into overtime unless they have something THREATENING to talk about as you’re assneting to their term and are picking something rather reasonable.
No. 1016746 ID: afe7de

Also, maybe have a panel or image showing a trophy of your dad or mom showing off their track and field awards (or lack thereof) would be poignant since they like to harp on about how doing that "gives you very little to show" It'd be nice to cheekily have them "show" what they have left over after that, but that might be in the punishment category of talking so maybe not?
No. 1016753 ID: 076735

Would really rather C. bowling, but I don't think we can afford that one, so maybe fall back on B. Baseball.

Also, on your mom's question about open-mindedness, you can promise to be at least as open-minded as they are.
No. 1016786 ID: 076735

Building up on this: Ask for bowling, and "negotiate" up to baseball.
No. 1016861 ID: a2493c

agreed. We try getting us into bowling, and if that does fail us, we negotiate into baseball.
No. 1016863 ID: 094652

Baseball's a good choice.
- It's like track-and-field except you practice timed blunt attacks between runs.
- Minimal-contact sport means accidents happen less often.
- Nobody will '' an eye if you carry a bludgeoning weapon everywhere as long as you're in uniform.
- You can get away with minimal exercise if your teammates suck at hitting.
No. 1016939 ID: 629f2e
File 163903137162.png - (291.83KB , 1000x1000 , 49.png )

You strongly consider haggling. If you opened with something they’d never accept, like chess, then maybe you could work them down to one of the less painful options. Bowling wouldn’t be so bad. It’d still suck that you’d be forced to do it, but at least there’s no running involved.

As quickly as you have the thought, you get rid of it with great haste. You just didn’t have the patience to draw this horrible conversation out longer, even if it meant more suffering later. If they keep saying awful things, sooner or later you won’t be able to hold back your true feelings. And if you tell them how you feel...

...You don’t Think your parents would make you graduate early, just because you refused to play a sport... But you also Don’t Know that they wouldn’t. You want to believe in them, but with everything that happened today...

...Mom wouldn’t. Dad...


You just had to give a sport they’d accept. Not track and field. Even if it was a safe choice, you couldn’t choose it. All that running, sweating, exhaustion, it’s the worst thing you could ever imagine going through. The only sport worse would be football, which adds the element of getting tackled into the dirt. Thank goodness your dad was never on that team...

Thankfully for you, Lillian has cycled between basically all the sports your school offers, so you know just enough to make a choice. With all the info you have, you pick the least terrible option that may just end this conversation.

Roger: “Maybe I could try out Baseball?
Roger: “I’d be on a team... And my speed would help me run the bases.”
Roger: “I guess... it wouldn’t be so bad.”

You weren’t sure what to expect, but you had your fingers crossed that dad would just accept it. Mom would probably be happy with anything that wasn’t art, but dad was the one you really needed to get approval from. It wasn’t track and field, and that means it wasn’t exactly what he’s been trying to push you into all this time. Still, it had similar elements, so maybe it would be enough?

His face shifts. It isn’t disappointment exactly, but more like he’s deciding how he feels about it. His eyes glance to the wall, taking a peek at a trophy that had been perched on that shelf for as long as you can remember. You don’t even have to look to remember the inscription.

“200 Meter Dash Record - 24.86: Stephen Bannister”

It was a story you’d heard enough times that it basically turned into white noise. He woke up early, had a good breakfast, kissed his lucky quarter 17 times, asked mom on a date the next day, blah blah blah...

And of course the story can’t end on that happy note, it always has to end with Michael beating his record at their final track meet, and leaving him with a Silver Medal in his final ever race. But don’t worry, he’s definitely not bitter about it or anything.

His lips curl into a frown. As he opens his mouth to respond however, mom speaks first.

Mom: “Baseball would be perfect! You could have so much fun. And with how fast I’ve seen you go, I bet you could make just about any hit a home run.”
Mom: “Oh, I’ll have to tell Jasmine next time we have lunch that our boys will be on the same team. Don’t be afraid to ask Floyd for help with your batting.”
Mom: “Stephen, doesn’t it just sound lovely, dear?”

She places a hand on his leg, looking into his eyes. There’s a pause, as his eyes glance back at his trophy one more time before landing on her. Whether it was what she said, or the fact that it was her saying it instead of you, his hesitant expression soon melts into a smile.

Dad: “I think our boy would fit in well with the team, Fernie. Heck, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t carrying them once he gets good at hitting the ball.”
Dad: “You’re really up for joining little league, Roger?”

No, not even a little, you’re only doing it because they’re making you.

Roger: “Y-Yes.”
Dad: “...Well alright then. I’ll call Elwood’s wife tomorrow to let him know you’re signing up.”
Dad: “If you want, I could try to get a day off from work sometime this week to practice throws and catching with you.”
Roger: “You don’t have to do that. I mean, that’s what practice is for, right?”
Dad: “Well, you can never get enough practice in. Especially when you’re just starting.”
Roger: “...Soooo... Are we good? Can I-?”
Dad: “Yes, that’s enough for tonight. Go ahead, you can get to that homework now.”
Roger: “Thank you.”
Mom: “It’s nothing sweetie. Just promise to tell me all about how your first day of practice goes.”
Roger: “Of course.”

You got lucky, and your dad ended up not pushing back against your choice.
[Roger will be joining the school’s Little League Team]
[Practice is on Tuesday and Friday]
[Roger will NOT be appearing next thread as a result]

No. 1016940 ID: 629f2e
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Mom comes over to give you a kiss on the cheek, before you finally escape and make it back to your room. You gently close the door behind you, quietly locking it.

You press your ear against the wood, listening for your parents. The only noise is coming from downstairs, and neither of them seemed to be following you to this floor. It sounded like they were moving to the kitchen to talk about something, but you couldn’t really hear them. That meant they couldn’t hear you either.

The moment you feel safe, you grab your bag and throw it against the wall in a rush of fury. All of your anger boils over, as you mercilessly beat the wall with your knuckles in an unsuccessful attempt to vent it. It isn’t enough.

You don’t even notice how much your hands hurt until you’re face down in a pillow and crying frustration tears.

That’s all you felt, Frustrated. This is supposed to be your life, so why does it feel like your opinion never matters to them? How long would it be before they started telling you to practice for games instead of drawing? Or maybe your grades will slip, and they’ll tell you to stop wasting time drawing so that you can focus more on school. Forget that, maybe they’ll just tell you to stop drawing, and they’ll take your sketchbook away. It doesn’t matter that it makes you happy, because they don’t like it. And that means it’s awful, and you’re wrong, and you should stop being Happy.

You’re never going to stop. Even if they take your sketchbook away, you’ll start drawing in your schoolbooks. Or you’ll do what John does and hide from them for long enough for you to finish your sketches. You don’t care if you get spanked so many times you lose the ability to sit down. You love drawing. Nobody is going to take that from you.

...Albert was right. You were going to graduate early at this rate. Hopefully your agreement bought you turned thirteen and it happened naturally. You doubted it though. Even when you gave in, your parents never seemed to be satisfied. All you’d done was guarantee they’d start asking for more.

...Today was supposed to be great. You should have been playing a game with your friends, having snacks, sleeping over at Phillip’s place...

Instead, today ended up being... this. You could only hope that tomorrow and all the days to follow would be better.

Because if you have to go through more days like this... Just the thought of it makes you want to Run Away.
No. 1016941 ID: 629f2e
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I know that you’re listening. The voices of things that were, that are, and that will be echo throughout the world. With your wisdom, you’ve guided Roger along, pushing him and his companions in the right direction. I don’t know if you’re doing it for him, or for yourselves, but either way, thank you.

You remember me, don’t you? I’m sure you do, there aren’t many other people in Cattenom that can really see you.

To tell you the truth, I’ve been listening in too. I can’t guide them though, not like you’re able to. That’s the true curse of Knowledge, it lets you know just how little you can do. I’m stuck being a spectator, forbidden from giving out more than vague clues.

Sorry, maybe calling myself that is insulting to you. For all my whining, I’ve been luckier than you all have.

...I can’t do much for them. But maybe, if you’ll let me, I might be able to help You.

Not all are as malleable as Roger. The ears of some children cannot perceive even your most subtle influence. With a small sacrifice however, I can grant them the gift of Hearing. Not as I do, but just enough to allow you into their minds. Do not misunderstand, you will only be able to Influence their wills. You will not overwrite them, but instead share with them your Insights, Opinions, and Knowledge. It will be up to you to raise their potential further than they can take themselves.

Ah, but you don’t need to be told, do you? After all, I’m only suggesting you continue what you’ve already been doing.

No. 1016942 ID: 629f2e
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There are many children in Cattenom, but it’s clear which ones would do the most with your influence. I will let you choose between two tonight.

Shall it be the one whose Brilliance is built upon a broken foundation?

Or the one whose Passion burns to recover her other half?

I can only offer you one, not both. Nothing comes for free, and your guidance will come at a Price.

No. 1016943 ID: 629f2e
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To strengthen one, we will cripple another. I leave the choice of who it will be in your hands. There are two I know for whom the threads of fate are frayed, already on the verge of snapping at any moment.

One has frayed their own thread, asserting their will against a world that denies it.

Another had theirs come out nearly broken from the start, and has spent their days pulling at the threads of others in retaliation.

Of these two, whose thread will you Cut? Know that it will not be the end for them, but simply the end of whatever comforts they’ve enjoyed up until this point.

I will follow the will of the majority. Make your decisions now.

Who should be the POV character of Perpetuity Thread 2?
A: The Genius, Albert
B: The Athlete, Lillian

Which of these characters do you choose to receive BAD THINGS?
1: The Class Clown, Lemmy
2: The Bully, JoJo
-NOTE: While misfortune comes with your selection, the character you pick will also be given a larger role in the story moving forward.

No. 1016945 ID: afe7de

A1: Reasoning is basically I don't know if I want "the bully" to get in both a worse situation and gain the spotlight, that only sounds BAD.

As for reasoning for Albert? Cause I like his hair.
No. 1016948 ID: 175a7a

I know who to choose,
But before i decide, what if we decide not to accept your help and not make a choice, thus not making a sacrifice? Where would that lead us?
No. 1016949 ID: 175a7a

Actually, it's just baseball.

Lets go with B Lilian.

And 1, Lemmy. A true jester who witnesses or goes through bad things will learn to grow from them and make light of bad situations, seeing the world for what it truly is and steer others away from such sufferings and hardships whether it be through their mockery, stories, or entertainment... maybe influencing those in control as well.
No. 1016951 ID: efb746

B1. He will be laughing still, at the end.
No. 1016958 ID: ce39da

I understand what you're asking.

Two of our charges are misguided and prone to error or perhaps far darker misdirections. We can only choose one to aid; Lillian may resort to something reckless, but it's Albert's (A) responsibility to lead the group as a whole in the right direction and to exert enough will that they'd actually follow. He may doom not just himself but also the rest if he fails to question what he already knows.

We may subject the Class Clown or the Bully to misfortune, but they are also but noise in the background as they currently are, stagnant. Lemmy's brand of noise may be considered the more welcome of the two, whereas JoJo (2) may well be more of an obstacle to the other children; it is her slow decline we must cut short.
No. 1017007 ID: a2493c

A1, we've always been better at guiding smart characters. The bully has enough going wrong in their life, we don't need to make things worse for them.
No. 1017065 ID: 8483cf

A1! Is he smart because of his hair, or does his hair grow like that BECAUSE he's smart?
No. 1017648 ID: 629f2e
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...I see. So it’s Albert who you wish to guide, and Lemmy who will pay the price. This is your will.

I wonder what guided your choices though… Did you pick Albert for his superior mind, thinking Lillian useless for her perceived lack of intelligence? Maybe some of you, but I’d like to believe that, as a group, you’re better than misjudgements like that. Or perhaps you were simply drawn to Albert for the mysteries surrounding him. A hospitalized father, a remarkably weak constitution, and a mind learned enough to pass for a college student. What circumstances could breed such a child, surely that must interest you.

Or, to take a pessimistic view, perhaps you thought your job would be easy with a Gifted Child like him on your side. Do you intend to rest on your laurels and let the smart boy solve all the mysteries of Cattenom with minimal input?

If those were your thoughts, then my Fortune for you is that you will soon be met with a cruel awakening. Very few in this town work harder than Albert, and you will soon come to understand the sacrifices one must make to become The Genius.

As for Lemmy... I can’t say that I would have chosen the same as you here.

It’s difficult, deciding between one who has never had a chance or one who has squandered theirs. Both paths eventually lead to destruction however, so perhaps neither was better or worse than the other. Alas, I left the decision to you, and I will respect your decision.

To one who brought joy to himself, with others as an afterthought, I must take away your joy for the sake of others. May you be spared the cruelest fate of them all.

[BAD THINGS have happened to Lemmy]

And to the shining mind of Cattenom, I give to you ears that can Hear their voices. May their guidance lead you closer towards your goals.

May we change the past, the present, and our futures with this gift.

No. 1017649 ID: 629f2e
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You cross an arm over your stomach, silencing its complaints.

Unfortunately for you, Lillian was in no mood for visitors, and called Game Night off entirely. A predictable and entirely sympathetic choice, but one which bore an unfortunate consequence. To put it simply, it prevented you from having Dinner at her house.


You wince, clutching your gut in pain as you curl in on yourself. This only changes the source of your pain, as your sprained leg sends waves up your spine. A headache quickly joins in, leaving you feeling worse than you had seconds before. It wasn’t all bad though. Maybe if you dislocated your arm, it would collectively be enough to knock you out.

That was a joke of course. You would never be so lucky.


...You’re hungry.

Unfortunately, mom had already made it clear that the remaining Ham and Bread was hers, and that there would be severe Consequences if even a single bite of either was missing. For some reason, dad being in the hospital had her in a bad mood, so you didn’t feel like pushing your luck with that. This left the Rice Cereal sitting in the pantry, just enough for a modest bowl. But with tomorrow showing signs that it would be a troublesome day, given that you’d be continuing your investigation, you would need the energy to endure it. Sadly, that meant waiting until morning to eat, so that you don’t waste calories in your sleep and pass out before lunch tomorrow.

And seeing as you had just ruled out the only food left in the apartment, you were left with this current predicament.


You take deep breaths, as if the air would prove decent enough sustenance to ward off the pains.

It didn’t matter. Even if you soothed your guts, your leg and budding headache, the slurry of thoughts racing through your head would be enough to keep you up.

What was going on in this town? Who all were your enemies, why the secrecy, and what could any of you do about it?

Yes, it seemed another sleepless night awaited you. That would leave you more than enough time to take in every ounce of pain your body assaulted you with. Fun.


You let out a small cry into your pillow that goes unheard. A silent misery encompasses the remainder of your evening.

You would survive. You always had before.

Perpetuity Thread 1: END
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