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1014176 No. 1014176 ID: eedbeb

Previous Thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/1008685.html
Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/This_Isn%27t_Working
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/tippler

NSFW, warning for fantasy drug use.

Uzak is the reader controlled character. Her perception cannot be trusted.
384 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1016211 ID: c0a638

Follow Vince and ask him what the fuss is. Also, very suspicious! You should probably break the pieces of that scope so this job stays a bust.
No. 1016213 ID: 96c896

...job. The guild hired Silicon to make a mana scope? Well that explains why the guild didn't want to give you any information, why they think it's safe, and why they want it.

Well, better verify. Ask who hired them.
No. 1016214 ID: e51896

Tell Vince to proceed have courage, it's alright to be scared, but you know he can get through this as a team.

then tell Silicone what's the deal with draining the dryad's power to make the scope to to sneakingly give to us afterwards? although they didn't know at the time the Dryad's power would be restored, it still caused the team to split for whatever misunderstanding is going on. Silicone has to at least apologize for ruining the relationship of Vince's team and for making Vince think it was his fault, because it's not.
No. 1016215 ID: 6e4236

I think what's actually happening is that Silicon got dragged into the vision too!

Let Tom kick this dummy.
No. 1016218 ID: 894419

We have to destroy the remaining scope pieces. The guild knowingly arranged an experience which traumatized these people, ruined their relationships, and then when they didn't get their goods they hired you to recover them. Something the admitted was dubiously legal at best.

The guild does not get to have a win out of this.
No. 1016221 ID: eedbeb
File 163797942866.png - (322.27KB , 1000x1100 , p104.png )

Uzak shakes him off. “Hey, hey it’s okay, we don’t have to run.”

Vince stares at Uzak as if seeing her for the first time.

“You’re the cat from earlier.” he whispers. “This isn’t real this isn’t real it’s a dream you can’t hurt me I won’t let you hurt me.”

Uzak reaches a careful hand to the owl’s shoulder. “I’m not going to hurt you, I’m here to find out what happened.”

Vince tears away from Uzak and bolts, only to be snatched by a giant robot hand.

“Oh dis is real. A real waste of my time.” Silicon snarks. “What I’m hearing is you need to talk about your problems so we can get da fuck outta here.”

The owl screams with terror and struggles, shedding ice and distorting wildly, but Silicon holds tight.
No. 1016222 ID: eedbeb
File 163797943712.png - (270.82KB , 1000x1100 , p105.png )

“I have questions for you, too.” Uzak snarls at Silicon. “What do you mean the scope was a job? Did the Guild hire you to make it?”

Silicon puffs with indignation. “Don’t be silly! I am gainfully self-employed as de premier supervillain on dis dwarf planet. The problem is heroes are very weak and easily distracted so I have to help them sometimes.”

He holds Vince up to his face. “So what is it? Girl twouble? Teammates die? I learned that second one bothers people a lot.”

Uzak checks on Tom, who’s trying to make itself seem as small and non-threatening as possible by burrowing in the snow, then walks up to Silicon.
No. 1016223 ID: c0a638

"Both, kind of! You're not being very helpful."
Go for his neck. You don't want to breathe in the stuff that comes from smashing those screens - oh wait, gasmask, right.
No. 1016225 ID: e51896

Tell Silicon Vince is feeling guilt over the team breaking up ever since they failed to protect the Dryad from them, and Vince wants Audrey to forgive him so the group can be friends again...
But as Audrey said, Vince might be a coward. and considering the fact that he doesn't go apologize to audrey face to face and is instead stuck frozen in the past isolated in his home, we can believe that.

We might need to tell Vince about our own experience with Maddie and how we apologized to her.
No. 1016227 ID: 6e4236

Encourage Tom play with his new body, now that he has the chance, then turn towards Silicon.

Explain to this robot that Vince and his two companions split after this adventure and this old owl has been simping on the hare druidess ex-partner ever since.
No. 1016229 ID: 96c896

Oh, so the scope is intended to be used to see the thing that Silicon is doing so that he gets to fight heroes.

Hmm, how confident are you feeling? Do you think you could give Silicon an actual nightmare?
No. 1016230 ID: 96c896

Oh, Silicon doesn't know you're getting the scope parts, and likely thinks that scheme is still sunk. Ask them what the scope was supposed to do.
No. 1016256 ID: eedbeb
File 163803000399.png - (351.12KB , 1000x1100 , p106.png )

Hahahahahahaha no. That’s for next thread.

“You’re not helping by scaring him like that.” Uzak says.

“Dat is the problem.” Silicon grumbles. “When I’m mean people yell at me and when I’m nice nobody takes me seriously. I have to do drastic things to get anything to go according to plan.”

The robot sighs and drops Vince into the snow. Uzak hurries over to the owl, who’s curled up into a ball with his head in his hands.

“Audrey told me that you guys didn’t stay to fight the elementals even though she wanted to. What happened?” she asks gently.

“She was charging her magic and didn’t seem to see me. I couldn’t let her die there so I-I took her by surprise and dragged her away. After that, I apologized over and over but s-she never forgave me.”
No. 1016257 ID: eedbeb
File 163803001308.png - (312.29KB , 1000x1100 , p107.png )

“Sounds like she’s the asshole here.” Silicon says helpfully. “You thought you were saving her from two nasty elementals, which is a perfectly good reason even if we weren’t planning to hurt you. If she can’t see that she’s either dense or being stubborn.”

That was a bit harsh but relatively accurate. “What about Princess?” Uzak asks.

“She was dealing with the robots from before, she didn’t know what happened. When we split up afterwards it broke her heart.” Vince sniffs.

“It’s not too late to reconnect with her. You can’t change how Audrey feels but I’m sure Princess would like to see you again.”

Vince shakes his head weakly. “She has a family, she’s busy—“

Silicon pokes Vince with a finger. “Stop being stupid.”

The owl wipes his eyes and pushes himself to a sitting position. The snow has stopped.
No. 1016258 ID: 5024e5

Worst case scenario, she says no.
And then sends you to the hospital with a gut punch, but maybe don't say that part out loud.
No. 1016262 ID: e51896

Right, so tell Vince to go reconnect with Princess at the very least, and get to know her family (give them a gift). Let Vince know Whenever he feels comfortable one day after reconnecting with Princess, he should tell her what happened between him and Audrey, and then discuss to Princess about how the two of them could reconnect and apologize to Audrey.

Let Vince know that it should probably be much easier now to get her forgiveness because we told her that the Dryad is recovering and will be back to her normal state.

If Vince says he is scared, tell him about your incident with you and Maddie and how you fucked things up badly with her, but was able to make amends by gaining the courage to apologize to her with a gift.
No. 1016263 ID: 6e4236

What Poltergeist said.
No. 1016265 ID: a90ed6

I think the only other thing to wonder about is, i know Tom and Vince are here because we were close to vince traveling through his memories, and Tom is here because he is an eldrich and also nearby, but how did Silicon get here?
No. 1016266 ID: 96c896

Tell Silicon that's a good middle ground. Not mean, not nice.

Audrey's problem is that she thought Silicon and Carbon were killing or at least doing permanent damage to the great tree. She's a druid. She would have gladly given her life to defend the forest, I think. However, we've since told her it wasn't as big a deal as she thought, so... she might finally forgive Vince?
No. 1016268 ID: eedbeb
File 163804261218.png - (302.38KB , 1000x1100 , p108.png )

“You should see Princess soon and explain to her what happened, and when it feels appropriate the two of you can talk to Audrey together. I’ve already told Audrey about how the dryad wasn’t permanently hurt, so she should be more willing to forgive you.”

“Why are you giving me advice? You’re only here for the lens.” Vince sulks.

“Oho? You’re putting de scope together?” Silicon gives Uzak an approving smile. “I am glad it will not go to waste.”

Praise from a self-proclaimed supervillain feels weird. “It’s for the Guild.” Uzak says quickly.

“Yes good, they can finally find my real body and I can unleash my robot army.” Silicon says. “You hear dat, owl? Give her da lens when we get out of here or I will be sad.”

Silicon pauses. “Wait, are de lenses why I was pulled into this place? I betta patch that out.”
No. 1016269 ID: eedbeb
File 163804262060.png - (416.81KB , 1000x1100 , p109.png )

Vince starts making a strange choking noise. At first Uzak thinks he’s crying, but then he starts cackling hysterically.

“This is ridiculous, I can’t believe an elemental is helping a cat hopped up on eldritch powder fix my team problems.” he gasps. He shuts his eyes and shrieks with laughter.

Uzak jumps when Tom tugs on her elbow. The surroundings are dissolving into eldritch tentacles and she feels one wrap around her leg.

“Don’t absorb me.” it pleads.

How does Uzak resist corruption?
A. Beat the shit out of the tentacles with mace (low chance of corruption, high chance of injuring Tom)

B. Focus on memories of friends and family (medium chance of corruption, medium chance of absorbing Tom if corrupted)

C. Ask Silicon for help (???)
No. 1016270 ID: e51896

B. We're not hurting Tom or trusting Silicon.
No. 1016271 ID: 5024e5

A. A little pain now will dim in comparison to not getting smoked, Tom.
No. 1016272 ID: f8fa51

No. 1016273 ID: 96c896

A seems like a good bet. Injuring an eldritch is obviously temporary, considering how willing Tom was to cut his own limbs off.
No. 1016274 ID: a09158

A: tell Tom that you’re his friend, and that he can passively regain mana, you’ll help him out and are very sorry for this pummeling but wouldn rather not be corrupted thanks.
No. 1016275 ID: 58acf3

A, we bought the mace after all, so it'd be a shame not to use it
No. 1016276 ID: 36784c

At the very least, make sure you apologize to Tom!
No. 1016283 ID: eedbeb
File 163805582995.png - (424.06KB , 1000x1100 , p110.png )

“I’m sorry for dragging you here Tom, but I’ll protect us.” Uzak says. She stomps the tendril around her foot. It squeaks and dissolves.

The other tentacles, sensing their target, stream towards Uzak, obscuring the rest of the clearing from view. She pulls out her trusty mace and alternates between bashing and heavy punches.

At some point she loses track of Tom in the tangle of dull green. Uzak thinks she hears someone cry out, but she’s lost in the rapture of battle and doesn’t stop.

The world shrinks to the blur of tentacles, the dark metal of her mace, and a wild joy.
No. 1016284 ID: eedbeb
File 163805583978.png - (274.06KB , 1000x1100 , p111.png )

Uzak bolts upright from behind the bush. She reaches for her mask and peels it away easily. The filter is empty. Everything feels normal and a quick check with her phone doesn’t show any physical changes. Uzak sighs with relief and stands.

“Tom? Are you there?”

The eldritch is nowhere to be found in the yard. Uzak grows increasingly desperate, even enlisting Vince once the owl comes out of the house to look. The sharp eyed ranger spots a pile of dark ash near the bush.

“I think these are its remains, I’m sorry, eldritch are quite delicate.” Vince says.

Uzak stares at the little pile of dirt. Vince coughs lightly and pulls out his lens, which he was wearing on a chain around his neck. After a moment, she takes it. All that’s left is to deliver the goods to Prim.
No. 1016286 ID: e51896

Tell Vince to go see Princess as you want to be alone. After he's gone, Remove the mask, throw it hard on the ground, and bash it until it is like a million pieces with the mace. Try not to cry while doing it, but fail.

When you're feeling better, call Prim, tell her you got the pieces, and this will be your final job after you're paid. your done doing this, because this job just isn't working out.
No. 1016287 ID: 0838d6

Collect his ashes, im sure that the owl has some tupperware, your friend is dead and as evidenced by his life in an alley he had no one other then you, so might as well give him a proper burial or whatever eldritch prefer, burning? later.

Put like the mask on the pyre as like a symbolic gesture.
No. 1016291 ID: 36784c

You just accidentally killed your friend. Mourn for him.
No. 1016295 ID: 561b4a

I thought it said Injure! We just fucking killed that guy, what the shit :(. I guess time to dig a grave
No. 1016296 ID: 6e4236

*Sniff* Is there an afterlife for the eldritch?
No. 1016298 ID: 4d065c

As an addendum, Uzak feel no guilt, this man was murdered by the UI not you
No. 1016313 ID: eedbeb
File 163806935664.png - (172.51KB , 1000x1100 , p112.png )

Vince steps away at some point, while Uzak kneels in the grass.

She didn’t think she was going to kill Tom when fighting off the eldritch influence. She didn’t even know that could happen in the simulation or dream or whatever that was.

It’s not like Tom was a close friend, or legally recognized as a person, but it was a conscious thing. It helped her. Uzak carefully touches the ashes. They’re soft, already blowing away with the breeze. She empties her jar of bathwater, dries it with her shirt, and tries to gather as much of the dust as possible. Maybe she can bury or scatter it later.

She sends a brief text to Prim and starts walking toward the Guild offices. The lenses clink together in her pocket. Somewhere out there is Silicon, with his ominous schemes. Uzak doesn’t find it in herself to care.
No. 1016314 ID: eedbeb
File 163806936393.png - (265.34KB , 1000x1100 , p113.png )

Prim greets her at the entrance, practically bubbling with excitement. When the shrimp sees Uzak’s dour face, she sobers up.

“Are you injured, Uzak? Is something wrong?”

“My friend Tom, the one I was getting powder from, died.” Uzak says shortly.

“Dear, I’m so sorry.” Prim pats Uzak’s hip. “If you’d like to talk to another eldritch, I can give you Bob’s number.”

The name rings a bell. Nun’ya Business is at the top of the total job leaderboard for freelance and one of their members is an eldritch, a rarity in the adventuring business.

“Yeah, that’d be nice, thanks.”
No. 1016316 ID: eedbeb
File 163806952458.png - (334.68KB , 1000x1100 , p114.png )

Prim leads Uzak deep into the facility past cubicles and glass rooms of ancient artifacts to a modern lab.

“We got the scope body here, very high security.” Prim assures Uzak. “I’m excited to see the finished product, we have Cat here to test it once it’s ready, he’s an artifact expert.”

Uzak gags with horror. “Cat the leader of the Awakened?”

“I said some of them were in town.”

“Well yeah but fuck, is he wearing gloves at least? I don’t want that guy reading my mind or something when he shakes my hand.”

Sure enough, inside the lab, leaning against one of the benches, the legendary black jackal is chatting cheerfully with a grumpy crocodile.
No. 1016318 ID: e51896

Quick, Put on your mask to not give away any facial expressions you don't want anyone to see.

Don't make eye contact with Cat and just focus on Prim, give Prim the scope to deal with so you yourself don't have to hand it to him and ask for the rollad.
No. 1016319 ID: 5024e5

"So, how many more people are you going to kill with this thing? "
It's a pretty big warning sign when an elemental self appointed as supervillain wants you guys to build the scope. There is definitely some alternative to scopes you guys are missing.
No. 1016322 ID: df76b1

I'm prepared to hand this over, and never speak a word about it to anyone. For which I expect to be outrageously well compensated.

There may be a nonzero risk of a robot uprising, too.
No. 1016323 ID: 8483cf

Do not make eye contact!
No. 1016324 ID: afe7de

Mention that silicone mentioned that using this would literally cause the apocalypse, and they made it specifically to get you to use it.

But other then that maybe some exposition on who these other two are, Cat does some power strengthening thing right, what about the cool gator? (and that bnnuy)
No. 1016328 ID: 96c896

"cause the apocalypse" is a bit strong. Silicon wants the guild to know where its real body is so it can send out its robot army with real stakes on both sides. It wants to fight for keeps. For some reason.
No. 1016331 ID: eedbeb
File 163811563169.png - (294.93KB , 1000x1100 , p115.png )

Uzak stops at the lab entrance and covers her face with a hand when Cat looks around curiously. “I’ll give you the lenses but I don’t want to stick around. I expect a five star rating and at least 10,000 rollad.” she tells Prim.

The shrimp nods. “Of course, I can send the money via wire transfer. Do you have any other questions or comments? I really appreciated working with you, and if you’d be available for future tasks—“

“I met Silicon. He said he wanted the Guild to use the scope so he could release his robot army or something. What’s his deal? Why are you still trying to use the scope?”

Prim opens her mouth and shuts it. She smooths the front of her dress and takes a deep breath.

“I told you the truth when I contacted you for this job. The scope is for the mana vents, first and foremost. Silicon is the one behind closing them.”
No. 1016332 ID: eedbeb
File 163811566548.png - (393.56KB , 1000x1100 , p116.png )

The shrimp continues. “He’s an extremely strange elemental. Adventurers have encountered his robots in dungeons across the world. He never hurts them and usually offers hints and advice, always claiming to be a great and terrible villain.”

‘When I’m nice nobody takes me seriously’ Silicon had said, Uzak remembers.

“Silicon has eaten many elementals of his kind, which is why he’s so powerful, but he’s never killed or seriously harmed a mortal. We haven’t devoted too many resources to stopping him because he hasn’t been a pressing concern, until now.”

“He’s closing the mana vents for attention.” Uzak says slowly. “What a nerd. You’re saying the robot army won’t kill anyone?”

“Based on past evidence, no. At worst the robots will be annoying, the real concern is the decrease in atmospheric mana that will impact the next generation of adventurers.”
No. 1016334 ID: e51896

Talk about how it's hypocritical that Silicon was complaining about adventurers being weak and not putting up much of a challenge, yet him closing the mana vents is making adventurers weaker.

Also he said something about patching the lens so he doesn't get sucked into eldritch dreams again or something, fair warning.

(Suddenly Cat spots you, and brings you over to watch the scope in action which Uzak relunctantly accepts.)
No. 1016340 ID: eedbeb
File 163813427609.png - (368.26KB , 1000x1100 , p117.png )

“Silicon made it sound like he was having a hard time finding worthy opponents, why does he want to weaken adventurers?”

“Future adventurers.” Prim corrects. “Mortals don’t need mana to live and modern industry mostly depends on artificial magic, so by closing the vents he’s threatening an end to spellcasting. To, uh, get the Guild to do something about him.”

“Good luck, that guy seems wacky.” Uzak hands Prim the lenses and turns to leave. Cat beckons at her frantically to join them but she ignores him and retraces her path out of the building.

Outside, she finds a quiet awning to check her phone and consider the jar of ashes. Tyson sent a text earlier asking how she was feeling, so she responds saying she’s fine, finished the job, and can come to band practice.

Her stomach rumbles. She needs to go home to eat and grab her bass. Maybe she can schedule a date with Bage that doesn’t end with her passed out on the floor.
No. 1016341 ID: eedbeb
File 163813429803.png - (238.90KB , 1000x1100 , p118.png )

Thanks for reading.
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